election 58ad8Top left to right: Michele Rayner-Goolsby, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sarah McBride, Ilhan Omar. Bottom left to right: Kim Jackson, Sharice Davids, Cori Bush, Mauree Turner. 

 

As was expected, Election Day has turned into election week. Mail-in ballots are being diligently counted, and both sides are holding out hope. Although we do not yet have a decision on the presidential seat (spoiler alert: this could take a week or more), there were major victories for LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color last night. Celebrating these victories is necessary for the work and patience required in the coming weeks and months. For vote counting updates, scroll to the end of this story. 

The LGBTQ+ community won lots of representation last night. Sarah McBride, from Delaware, became the first openly transgender state senator. Florida may have been called for Trump, but Michele Rayner-Goolsby became the state’s first openly queer Black senator and Shevrin Jones became their first out LGBTQ+ senator. In Georgia, Kim Jackson is the first openly LGBTQ+ senator. Sam Park, who four years ago became Georgia’s first openly gay man elected to the state legislature, won his reelection. 

 

In Kansas, Sharice Davids, the first out LGBTQ+ Native American congresswoman in the country, won her reelection. Stephanie Byers, a transgender Native American politician, became the first openly transgender person of color to be elected to any state legislature in the U.S. Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres, both Black LGBTQ+ men, became New York congressmen. As of last night, Jabari Brisport is the first openly LGBTQ+ person of color in the New York state legislature. Taylor Small, of Vermont, became the state’s first openly transgender legislator. Mauree Turner, from Oklahoma, is the country’s first openly non-binary state lawmaker.

Female politicians of color also won big last night. All four members of “the squad,” Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Ayanna Pressley won their reelections as congresswomen. In Missouri, Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush became the state’s first Black congresswoman. 

Some important state propositions were also voted on yesterday. Here are just two of those victories: Mississippi voted to end a Jim Crow-era law that diluted the power of Black votes by creating the state’s own electoral college. Now, the popular vote alone will decide the elections of state leaders. California voted “yes” on Prop. 17, which will allow formerly incarcerated citizens on parole, an estimated 50,000 people, to vote. 

 

Now, for some important vote counting updates. Patience is key in this election as high voter turnout and millions of mail-in ballots make the process lengthy. Here’s what to know for the week(s) to come: 

Nevada will release a result update tomorrow at 9 a.m. Per the Nevada Elections twitter account, the state still has to count the mail-in ballots received on Election Day, mail-in ballots that will be received over the next week, and provisional ballots. 

Pennsylvania is allowed to accept and count ballots received up to three days after the election as long as the ballot is postmarked by Election Day. Additionally, they could not start counting the mail-in ballots until 7 a.m on Nov. 3. Counting can take a while when the number of votes are so high. For example, in Philadelphia, only 76,000 absentee ballots out of more than 350,000 were processed in the first 14 hours that officials were allowed to count ballots. Michigan has similar factors at play. 

This election is constantly changing. Check back with BUST for updates as the week continues, take care of yourself, and partake in some revolutionary joy. 

Header collage by Meredith Felt 

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Madeleine Janz is a journalism student at the New School. She lives in New York City and enjoys film, as long as film means rewatching the same five rom-com's from the 90's every week. You can follow her @madilonglegs24 on Instagram and Twitter. 

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