Our live coverage of the 2022 midterms elections has moved here.
Voters around the country weighed in on key ballot measures on Tuesday, including initiatives that require IDs to vote and others that would legalize recreational marijuana.
Here's what we know so far:
Arkansas voters reject recreational marijuana ballot initiative: Arkansas voters on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment that would have allowed cannabis possession and recreational consumption by adults as well as the sale by licensed facilities, CNN projects. Had it passed, cannabis possession of up to an ounce would have been legal and some tax revenue from marijuana sales would have contributed to funding law enforcement.
Maryland legalizes recreational marijuana with ballot measure: Maryland voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment that legalizes recreational marijuana for people 21 and older. It will go into effect on July 1, 2023, and allow possession of 1.5 ounces or two plants. Possession of small amounts of marijuana was already decriminalized in Maryland. Under the amendment, those previously convicted of cannabis possession and intent to distribute will be able to apply for record expungement.
Voters end prohibitions on marijuana in Missouri: Missouri voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment that ends prohibitions on marijuana in the state and allows personal use for those or those over the age of 21, CNN projects. It will allow personal possession up to 3 ounces. Additionally, the amendment allows individuals with marijuana-related non-violent offenses to petition for release from prison or parole and probation and have their records expunged. The amendment, which will be enacted 30 days after the election, prohibits marijuana facilities from selling cannabis-infused products shaped or packaged as candy that may be attractive to children.
North Dakota voters reject ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana: A citizen-initiated ballot measure that aimed to allow the use of marijuana in "various forms" for those who are at least 21 years-old was rejected by North Dakota voters, CNN projects. It would have allowed marijuana possession of up to an ounce and all marijuana is to be tested in a facility "for the potency of products and the presence of pesticides" and subject to random inspection. Legalization was on the ballot in four other states this November.
South Dakota voters reject proposal to legalize recreational marijuana: Voters in South Dakota rejected a ballot measure that aimed to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the state, CNN projects. Marijuana legalization previously passed in 2020, but South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s office championed efforts to nullify the legalization saying that it violated the state’s constitution. The Republican governor’s office previously indicated to CNN that the 2022 measure appears to be written constitutionally and she would have implemented it if it passed.
Nebraska voters approve measure to require ID to cast ballot: Nebraska voters have approved an initiative that would amend the state constitution to require that voters present a valid photo identification in a way that is specified by the legislature, CNN projects. To pass, “yes” needed to win a majority and votes equal to at least 35% of total votes cast in the election.
Connecticut passes ballot measure to allow early voting: Connecticut voters have approved a measure that would amend the state constitution to permit the legislature to enact early voting, CNN projects.
The battle for control of Congress – both the House and the Senate – is coming down to a dwindling number of key races, with Democrats dashing Republicans’ hopes for a red wave and both parties hanging onto hopes of winning narrow majorities.
Republicans began the night with a rout in Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis won heavily Latino, historically Democratic regions on his way to a blowout victory that could serve as a launch pad for a 2024 presidential run.
But in the hours that have followed, Democrats have fought back. In Pennsylvania, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Pat Toomey.
Meanwhile, the battle for the House majority – one that favored Republicans, who expected to benefit from high inflation, historical trends and friendly new district lines after 2021’s redistricting – remains unsettled.
Here are some key takeaways as votes continue to be counted in key races:
Democrats go a long way to protecting their Senate majority: Republicans were not shy about the importance of Pennsylvania’s Senate race: “This is a must-win race. We believe if we win Pennsylvania, we win the majority,” said Steven Law, president of the preeminent Republican Senate super PAC. Early on Wednesday morning, CNN projected that Fetterman would be the next senator from Pennsylvania, defeating Oz in the most expensive and high stakes Senate campaign in the country. Fetterman’s win was a thunderclap for Democrats.
Democrats and the suburbs: Suburban areas across the country went a long way to helping Democrats avoid a significant red wave. Republicans may still win the House, but if the 2022 election was going to be a red wave, it was likely to come through suburban victories that have not materialized yet. Republicans did score some suburban victories – CNN projected Brandon Ogles the winner in a district around Nashville, Tom Kean Jr. winning in a suburban New Jersey district and Rich McCormick the victor in a district that included Atlanta’s northern suburbs – but it was their defeats that spoke volumes about the size of the GOP wave.
Virginia’s split decision offers early signals: Three Democratic-controlled House races in Virginia were widely viewed as an early warning signal of the night’s results. Democrats held seats in two Virginia districts Biden won in 2020. CNN projected that Democratic Jennifer Wexton won her reelection bid in Virginia’s 10th District. In an even more competitive race, CNN projected Rep. Abigail Spanberger also won reelection in Virginia’s 7th District. But Democrats lost in southeastern Virginia, with CNN projecting that Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans defeated Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria.
Another Jan. 6 committee member loses: Luria, a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, lost her Virginia Beach-based House seat, CNN projected. She had defeated former GOP Rep. Scott Taylor in 2018 and 2020. But the district had become slightly more favorable ground for Republicans in redistricting: Biden carried the previous version by 5 points, and would have lost the new district by 2 points.
DeSantis and 2024: Gov. Ron DeSantis led a dominant Republican ticket in Florida – delivering historic margins in Democratic territory in his victory over Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist on a night that provides him a powerful argument if he seeks the GOP’s 2024 presidential nomination. The easy wins by DeSantis, who led by nearly 20 percentage points with 92% of the estimated vote counted, and Sen. Marco Rubio, who was 17 points up, were enough to cast doubt on Florida’s status as a national bellwether.
GOP makes gains with Latinos in Florida: Republicans hoped to build on Trump’s inroads among Latino voters in 2020, a trend that could reshape the political landscapes in several swing states if it continues. The strongest early signal that the GOP had continued to make gains came in Miami-Dade County, home to a large Cuban population. But it’ll take a while to fully gauge whether those GOP gains take place outside of Florida.
Win for abortion rights: In Michigan, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer – who staked her reelection campaign on her successful efforts to block the enforcement of the state’s 1931 law banning abortion in almost all instances – defeated Republican challenger Tudor Dixon, who had waged a campaign focused on cultural battles. Michigan voters also approved a Whitmer-backed amendment to the state’s constitution that will scrap that 1931 law and guarantee abortion rights. Voters in California and Vermont also green-lit constitutional amendments enshrining abortion rights.
A night of firsts: Up and down the ballot, in red states and blue, candidates from both parties are celebrating pathbreaking victories. Read about some of them here.
Election Day ballots from all 223 sites in Maricopa County, the most populous county in Arizona, have been reported as of 1:55 a.m local time, according to a tweet from the county’s elections department.
Additional results are expected to be posted Wednesday night, the county said.
As of 1:59 a.m. local time, with 90% of statewide precincts reporting, the Democratic candidates for the senate, governor and secretary of state were in the lead.
Earlier in the day, Maricopa County experienced technical problems with tabulation devices at about 20% of its voting locations, county officials said Tuesday morning, but there was no indication of intentional malfeasance despite claims to the contrary.
Some of the most aggressive deniers of the 2020 election results will lose their 2022 gubernatorial races, CNN projects.
CNN found that at least 22 of the 36 Republican candidates for governor have rejected, declined to affirm, raised doubts about, or tried to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.
Here are some of the candidates CNN projects will lose:
- Doug Mastriano of Pennsylvania, who made extensive efforts to try to overturn Biden’s win. (As governor, Mastriano would have had the power to appoint the state elections chief.)
- Dan Cox of Maryland, who said he didn’t recognize Biden as the president and who co-organized buses to the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6, 2021.
- Paul LePage of Maine, who falsely claimed that 2020 was “clearly a stolen election.”
- Lee Zeldin of New York, who, as a member of Congress, voted against certifying Biden’s victories in Pennsylvania and Arizona.
- Geoff Diehl of Massachusetts, who said in mid-2021 that the election wasn’t stolen but by 2022 was saying that it was certainly stolen.
- Scott Jensen of Minnesota, who refused to affirm the legitimacy of Biden’s win and who baselessly suggested imprisoning the state’s Democratic elections chief.
- Tim Michels of Wisconsin, who baselessly claimed that “President Trump probably would be president right now if we had election integrity.”
- Tudor Dixon of Michigan, who falsely claimed Trump won Michigan in 2020 even though he actually lost by more than 154,000 votes.
- Heidi Ganahl of Colorado, who refused on multiple occasions to say whether Biden was the legitimate winner and then selected a promoter of false election conspiracy theories as her running mate.
Some incumbents who denied or questioned the election results will win, CNN projects. They include:
- Kay Ivey of Alabama, who ran an ad during her Republican primary that falsely claimed the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.
- Brad Little of Idaho, who endorsed the Texas-led lawsuit in 2020 that sought to get the Supreme Court to overturn Biden’s win.
- Kim Reynolds of Iowa, who expressed support for that Texas-led lawsuit (though she later said Biden was legitimately elected).
- Greg Abbott of Texas, who also expressed support for the lawsuit led by the attorney general of his state.
- Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who baselessly claimed on Twitter that Trump was fighting “rigged election systems” and hinted that there were issues in “Democrat-run” states.
Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas will win reelection in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, CNN projects, keeping the swing seat in Democratic hands by defeating Karoline Leavitt, who worked as a press aide to former President Donald Trump.
Republican Derrick Van Orden will win in Wisconsin’s 3rd District, CNN projects.
Democrat Rep. Annie Kuster will win reelection in New Hampshire’s 2nd District, CNN projects, and defeat Republican Robert Burns.
Republican Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks will win in Iowa’s 1st District, CNN projects.