As the polls closed across the United States on Tuesday — starting in parts of Kentucky and Indiana, at 6 p.m. ET, and concluding in Alaska seven hours later — The Intercept followed the vote count and brought readers updates on key races for control of the House, the Senate and governor’s mansions in a number of states.
Pelosi Claims Democratic Victory in the House, Republicans Keep the Senate
Following a string of Democratic wins in House districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, and some unexpected gains in other areas, President Donald Trump called Rep. Nancy Pelosi to congratulate her on the Democrats taking control of the House, according to her deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill.
President Trump called Leader Pelosi at 11:45 p.m. this evening to extend his congratulations on winning a Democratic House Majority. He acknowledged the Leader’s call for bipartisanship in her victory remarks.
— Drew Hammill (@Drew_Hammill) November 7, 2018
When Pelosi spoke, she claimed her party’s victory would be “about restoring the Constitution’s checks and balances” and “stopping the GOP and Mitch McConnell’s assault on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the healthcare of 130 million Americans living with preexisting medical conditions.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi: "Today is more than about Democrats and Republicans. It's about restoring the constitution's checks and balances to the Trump administration…but more than anything, it's about what a new Democratic majority will mean in the lives of hardworking Americans." pic.twitter.com/DihBb5jOA6
— Axios (@axios) November 7, 2018
“Let’s hear it more,” she added awkwardly, “for pre-existing medical conditions!”
There was a more uplifting message for progressives from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her victory party.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat, speaks after winning her Congressional election in New York's 14th district. At age 29, she became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress. https://t.co/ESbVLxvSCY pic.twitter.com/bCIf0uofOT
— CNBC (@CNBC) November 7, 2018
As votes continue to be counted in many races at the state and local level, Republican control of the Senate was also secure, with the party on track to add to its majority in that chamber.
That concludes our live coverage of election night, but stay tuned for much more analysis of the election results in the days and weeks ahead from The Intercept. — 12:51 a.m.
Beto O’Rourke Concedes Defeat in Texas
Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Senate who gained a national profile in running a close race against Sen. Ted Cruz without accepting corporate PAC donations, just conceded defeat in El Paso in a speech that saluted the activists who helped him to run a close race in a state where a Democrat hasn’t been elected to statewide office since 1994. “I’m so fucking proud of you guys,” he said to huge cheers.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) November 7, 2018
“It is the greatness to which we aspire and the work that we’re willing to put in to achieve it,” which will be the campaign’s legacy, O’Rourke added. — 12:15 a.m.
— Bob Moore (@BobMooreNews) November 7, 2018
i’m disappointed about florida & georgia & texas but i also know that organizers in those states have worked their asses off for the past year & have changed the political dynamics of those states in remarkable & potentially paradigm shifting ways that shouldn’t be overlooked
— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) November 7, 2018
Emotional Victory Speech From Rashida Tlaib, First Palestinian-American Congresswoman
Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian-American woman to be elected to Congress, gave a emotional victory speech in which she described her family watching the results come in from the Israeli occupied West Bank, and said that “for so many years, they’ve felt dehumanized.” — 11:56 p.m.
Andrew Gillum Concedes Florida Governor Race
Democrat Andrew Gillum, the Tallahassee mayor, has just conceded defeat to Republican Ron DeSantis, a strong supporter of Donald Trump who started his general election campaign by suggesting that the African-American candidate would “monkey this up.”
A Ron DiSantis victory— a true racist becoming governor of Florida – would be a huge disappointment.
— Norman Ornstein (@NormOrnstein) November 7, 2018
In his victory speech, DeSantis made sure to thank Trump.
— CSPAN (@cspan) November 7, 2018
Gillum’s loss was a disappointment to Democrats, but many observers suggested that he could still have a bright future. — 11:11 p.m.
First Two Native American Women Elected to Congress
The first two Native American women to have ever been elected to Congress won House races for the Democrats on Tuesday. Deb Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico just gave her victory speech, less than an hour after Sharice Davids, a Ho-Chunk from Kansas who is also a lesbian, claimed her seat.
Tonight, we made history. https://t.co/VC4HNSRc2i
— Deb Haaland (@DebHaalandNM) November 7, 2018
A Native American woman, Peggy Flanagan, was also elected lieutenant governor of Minnesota.
And congrats to our next Lt. Governor @peggyflanagan! With Peggy by Tim’s side, their deep commitment to inclusion and opportunity will be the foundation of their administration.
— Minnesota DFL Party (@MinnesotaDFL) November 7, 2018
As Ian Frazier of The New Yorker explained this week, while the federal government gave citizenship to all Native Americans in 1924, some states refused to go along. One of them was New Mexico, which did not allow Native Americans to vote until 1962. — 10:55 p.m.
Kris Kobach, of Voter Suppression Fame, Loses Kansas Governor Race
Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state best known nationally for his role on President Trump’s bogus voter fraud commission, and locally as a champion of voter suppression, was defeated by Democrat Laura Kelly in the race to be that state’s governor.
My friend and very early supporter Kris Kobach won the Republican Nomination for Governor of Kansas last night in a tough race against a very fine opponent. Kris will win in November and be a great Governor. He has my complete and total Endorsement!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 15, 2018
While the loss is a blow to Trump, it was greeted with joy by supporters of free and fair elections. — 10:29 p.m.
Whatever else happens, this is a big night for voting nights.
— Taniel (@Taniel) November 7, 2018
Oh my god Kris Kobach lost I thought my capacity for joy was gone an hour ago but Kris Kobach lost! Kris Kobach lost!
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) November 7, 2018
Whatever happens tonight, at least Kris Kobach got his racist ass kicked
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) November 7, 2018
Odds of Democratic House Majority Rise With Surprise Democrat Win in Staten Island District
In one of the first upsets of the night, Democrat Max Rose defeated Republican incumbent Dan Donovan in New York’s 11th Congressional District, encompassing Staten Island and part of Brooklyn.
— Joel Siegel (@joelmsiegel) November 7, 2018
That swing to the Democrats came as a series of House races were called in the party’s favor, increasing its odds of controlling the House to a 9-in-10 chance according Nate Silver’s FiveThityEight model.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 7, 2018
#PA07: Susan Wild (D) defeats Marty Nothstein (R). Dem PICKUP. This district voted 49%-48% for Clinton in 2016.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 7, 2018
#PA06: Chrissy Houlahan (D) defeats Greg McCauley (R). Dem PICKUP. This seat voted 53%-43% for Clinton in 2016.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) November 7, 2018
Democrats Post Gains in House Races, but Lose Indiana Senate Seat
Within the past few minutes, Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Miami has conceded defeat in Florida, handing the Democrats another win in their effort to regain control of the House, while Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly has conceded in Indiana, making it more likely that Republicans will control the Senate. — 9:56 p.m.
Curbelo has conceded. Democrats flip FL-26
— Patricia Mazzei (@PatriciaMazzei) November 7, 2018
Donnelly camp releases a statement: "A few minutes ago, I called Mike Braun and congratulated him on winning a hard-fought race…" #INSEN
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) November 7, 2018
Curbelo’s loss to Debbie Mucarsel-Powell is the sixth Democratic gain of 25 Republican-held districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. — 10:09 p.m.
Florida Votes to Restore Voting Rights to Ex-Felons
While Republican candidates in Florida currently cling to narrow leads in the elections for governor and the Senate, media outlets project that voters in the state have approved a ballot initiative to restore voting rights to 1.4 million residents who are currently unable to vote because of prior felony convictions.
— Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (@ProfCiara) November 7, 2018
Every discussion of Florida politics should acknowledge that 1.6 million ex-felons, including 500,000 African Americans, were unable to vote today. Even if Amendment 4 passes they were disenfranchised in 2018
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) November 7, 2018
As my colleague Alice Speri reported, this change “will enfranchise the largest number of people at once since American women won the right to vote in 1920.”
As several observers note, the impact of such a massive restoration of voting rights on future elections could be enormous. — 9:22 p.m.
40% of all black men in the state of Florida just became eligible to vote *today.* Think about that.
— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) November 7, 2018
1.4M restored votes in Florida won't just change the future of Florida politics – it'll change the future of presidential politics https://t.co/MjGpQJS5eu
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) November 7, 2018
Kim Davis, Kentucky County Clerk Who Refused to Issue Licenses for Same-Sex Marriages, Loses Bid for Reelection
Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who was jailed in 2015 after defying a federal court order by refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in 2015, lost her bid for reelection in Rowan County.
Davis, a Republican, lost to Democratic challenger Elwood Caudill Jr. by about 700 votes.
Virulent homophobe Kim Davis made national news when she tried to stand in the way of marriage equality as a Kentucky county clerk. She's on her way to losing tonight to a Democrat https://t.co/LebwGhP8CS
— Stephen Wolf (@PoliticsWolf) November 7, 2018
“The controversy launched this mostly-rural Kentucky county into the national spotlight,” Will Wright of the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. “It gave Davis a hero’s reputation to some on the right, including Gov. Matt Bevin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who lauded her decision as a self-sacrificing expression of religious liberty. For many on the left, though, Davis was condemned. Critics called her refusal to sign marriage licenses a bigoted neglect of her official duties.” — 8:16 p.m.
Georgia Voters Ask Federal Court to Block Secretary of State From Presiding Over His Own Race for Governor
A group of voters in Georgia filed suit on Tuesday afternoon asking the United States District Court in Atlanta to issue a temporary restraining order barring Secretary of State Brian Kemp from overseeing the counting of votes in the election for governor, in which he is the Republican candidate. The lawsuit also asks that Kemp play no part in the certification of results, “or any runoff or recount procedures that would normally be exercised by the Secretary of State’s Office or the Board of Elections, on which he also sits.”
Kemp is locked in a close race with Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate, which could go to a runoff if neither of them gets 50 percent of the votes.
Rick Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California–Irvine School of Law, called Kemp’s evidence-free, last-minute claim that Georgia’s Democratic Party had hacked into the state’s voter database, “perhaps the most outrageous example of election administration partisanship in the modern era.” As Hasen noted, Kemp even “plastered a headline about it on the Secretary of State’s website, which thousands of voters use to get information about voting on election day.”
Kemp’s campaign has also been criticized for spreading lies about Abrams through automated robocall, including one, recorded by CNN, which made the absurd claim that “radical Stacey Abrams is so extreme that she wants to allow illegal immigrants to vote in this election.”
Kevin Collier of Buzzfeed News points out that any recount in Georgia faces an obvious obstacle — the state uses electronic voting machines which give voters no paper copy or receipt to ensure that their vote was properly cast. — 7:50 p.m.
Saw tweets speculating a recount in Georgia. It certainly could happen, but since it's one of 5 states with no paper ballots, it would be meaningless for all but absentees. It'd be like putting 7+3 in your calculator, then doing that again to see if it gives the same result.
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) November 7, 2018
Voting Extended in Parts of Georgia and Texas Due to Delays
As polling places were scheduled to close across Georgia at 7 p.m. Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor, announced that voting hours had been extended in districts of Gwinnett County where computer problems caused long delays earlier in the day.
BREAKING: Poll hours have been extended in Gwinnett County! ?
Annistown Elementary School NOW OPEN UNTIL 9:25pm
Anderson-Livsey Elementary School NOW OPEN UNTIL 7:30pm
Harbins Elementary School NOW OPEN UNTIL 7:14pm
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) November 6, 2018
Abrams also reminded voters already in line at other polling places that they have a right to vote even afte the official closing time. “I need folks to know that you need to stay in line,” Abrams said, according to an MSNBC producer. “Do not let trouble push you out of line. As long as you’re in line at 7 p.m. when the polls close, you can cast your vote,” she said.
Her message was echoed by Democrats in other states, including Andrew Gillum, who is running for governor of Florida.
???STAY IN LINE IF YOU ARE WAITING TO VOTE ???
— Andrew Gillum (@AndrewGillum) November 7, 2018
Voting has also been extended in parts of Indiana and Texas, where the polls have not yet closed. — 7:22 p.m.
BREAKING: All Monroe County polling sites will stay open until 7 p.m.
— The Herald-Times (@theheraldtimes) November 6, 2018
WE WON! We sued Harris County for failing to open nine polling places on time. After we filed our lawsuit, the County Judge ruled that those nine polling places must stay open an extra hour, until 8pm. These sites were delayed in opening this morning or had technology issues. pic.twitter.com/8P6cKOSzDO
— Texas Civil Rights Project (@TXCivilRights) November 6, 2018
Errors and Delays Plague Voting Nationwide
Polling places in parts of Kentucky and Indiana have just closed, but voting continues in most of the nation on an election day that has been plagued, as usual, by reports of malfunctioning equipment, errors on voter rolls and long delays. Eighteen years after the debacle in Florida focused the world’s attention on the patchwork of local election laws and procedures used to elect state and federal officeholders, complaints about how difficult it was to vote in many states piled up throughout the day on social networks. — 6:10 p.m.
Ready to wait? Hundreds of voters stand in line for hours this morning at this SW Atlanta polling place. Only three voting machines! What’s going on here? Live report at noon. pic.twitter.com/lewTPUZnf1
— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 6, 2018
Happen to know anybody who could do this in Georgia? ????? no voting at my dads polling site pic.twitter.com/zEyQmXwEq2
— DG911 2lite (@_2lite) November 6, 2018
NBC News has confirmed that the issue at Anderson Livsey Elementary in Snellville, GA was indeed a lack of power cords. Gwinnett County Director of Communications Joe Sorenson tells @NBCNews “the machine was not supplied power and was running on battery & the battery ran out” ? https://t.co/YFa45nihXs
— Ayman (@AymanM) November 6, 2018
There is an official term for this. No offence, dear followers, but were this to happen in my or any other East European country, the U.S. would label this a “voting irregularity”… you know, one of those things that happens in far away places you can’t locate on a map. https://t.co/MZFkBhVN56
— toomas ilves, ex-verif (@IlvesToomas) November 6, 2018
Voting machine issues are justifiably getting lots of attention today, but don't overlook voter reg problems. We are getting tons of calls from voters who thought they were registered or were previously registered & are not on the rolls. Automatic voter reg would solve that.
— Wendy Weiser (@WendyRWeiser) November 6, 2018
AZ MIDTERMS- POLLING PLACE FORECLOSED- VO TUE0161- Polls in Maricopa County and Arizona opened at 6am but some Valley locations are already experiencing issues. Three polling places are currently down, incl in the Gila Precinct in Chandler. The building was foreclosed overnight. pic.twitter.com/8LSP5iykVD
— CBS Newspath (@cbsnewspath) November 6, 2018
90 yr-old mother of @YaraAllen, our theo-musicologist, was told she had to go to another voting precinct this morning. If she can press on singing, then let us all follow her voice, her vote & her lead. pic.twitter.com/clc3R7yXlP
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) November 6, 2018
Here’s the Dodge City, Kansas, polling location that has caused so much consternation after officials moved it to an expo center outside city limits.
Thing that struck me: The city is 59% Hispanic, but almost all the voters I see here now are not. pic.twitter.com/fpeuWTRkOP
— Matt Pearce ??? (@mattdpearce) November 6, 2018
Voting in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, is a total disaster. 3 of 4 voting machines broken, then the 4th broke. Then the woman in charge didn't know there was an emergency box where ppl can put their ballots. Hours, and then I had to leave before voting.
— Darinstrauss (@Darinstrauss) November 6, 2018
At St. Cecilia’s in Greenpoint, where some voters have been waiting up to FOUR HOURS because of broken machines. To lift spirits, one woman just convinced everyone to do the wave pic.twitter.com/RvdHwLQMQf
— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) November 6, 2018
I just spoke to a poll worker at the Porcupine Community Center @StandingRockST. They have 8 ballots left. The polls are open for another 1.5 hours. The copier is out of toner. She has requested that more ballots be brought there. #NDNativeVote
— Carrie Levine (@levinecarrie) November 6, 2018