Elections

CSG Midwest
For 40 years, Mary Murphy has been introducing legislation and casting votes that shape public policy in her home state of Minnesota. But the longtime state representative always had her eye on being part of another vote, and this past year, she finally got the chance. In December, Rep. Murphy and nine other fellow Minnesotans met in St. Paul to make the state’s official votes in the U.S. Electoral College. A packed room of people — some of them high school teachers and students who had participated in a statewide mock election run by the secretary of state — watched the proceedings in the Senate Office Building.
“It was everything I expected, and more,” Murphy said a few days after casting her votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The event had special meaning for Murphy because of her many years as a high school history and civics teacher. But for most people, in most presidential elections, the Electoral College is little more than an afterthought. This time was different. First, for one of the few instances in the nation’s history, the winner of the nation’s popular vote (Clinton) lost the race for president. Second, between the Nov. 8 general election and the Dec. 19 Electoral College vote, some electors in states where Donald Trump won the popular vote were pressured to cast a vote for someone else.
CSG Midwest
In November 2016, a panel of federal district judges struck down Wisconsin’s 2011 state legislative district maps as an unconstitutional gerrymander. “It is clear that the drafters got what they intended to get,” Judge Kenneth Ripple wrote in the 2-1 decision. “There is no question that Act 43 was designed to make it more difficult for Democrats, compared with Republicans, to translate their votes into seats.”
CSG Midwest
Indiana and Minnesota set various state records for voter registration and turnout in the Nov. 8 general election, according to their secretaries of state.

In an election year, voter registration becomes an important agenda item for states throughout the country. This year, many states have employed new techniques in order to encourage voter registration and participation. For example, the State of Oregon has been on the forefront of one particular measure to increase registration. After passing a law in 2015, the state unveiled a program that automatically registers voters when they apply for, renew, or replace their state ID, or driver’s license at the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle...

CSG’s Military Ballot Tracking Pilot Program deployed a robust tracking system of both blank and voted ballots (around 3,500 ballots) throughout the mail flow, including blank ballots navigating through the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Military Postal Service during the 2016 November General Election. California, Colorado, Texas, and Florida are the four states participating in the pilot program that involves coordination with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP), the U.S. Postal Service, and...

CSG Midwest
State constitutions were changed and policies on issues ranging from medical marijuana to the death penalty were decided on by voters across the Midwest this November.
In all, 20 ballot proposals were voted on in seven states in the region. Here is a review of some of the proposals that won voter approval.
CSG Midwest
With the pending shift in partisan control of the Iowa and Minnesota senates to the Republican Party, nearly every legislature and governor’s office in the 11-state Midwest will be led by the GOP over the next two years.
Power will be divided among the parties in only two of the region’s states: Illinois, Republican governor and Democratic legislature; and Minnesota, Democratic governor and Republican legislature. (Nebraska’s Unicameral Legislature is nonpartisan.)

A record number of ballot initiatives regarding recreational and medicinal marijuana were considered during this election season. Five states (Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada) considered legalizing recreational marijuana and four states (Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota) voted on allowing or extending the use of medicinal marijuana.

On Tuesday, voters in California, Nevada, and Washington State approved measurers to tighten existing gun control laws, while voters in Maine narrowly rejected a measure that would have required background checks on private gun sales.

Donald Trump’s surprising win wasn’t the only big story to emerge on Election Day. Voters also had the opportunity to weigh in on a number of important transportation-related ballot measures around the country. Here’s a look at how they fared and an extensive collection of links where you can read more about those measures and the impacts of other election results.

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