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Sen. Collins wins re-election in Maine

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Sen. Susan Collins has won a tough re-election fight against a well-funded Democratic opponent, according to the Associated Press.

Collins’ Democratic challenger Sara Gideon, the Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, conceded the race on Wednesday in front of a crowd of supporters. In the lead-up to Election Day, Gideon was the favorite to win the race, with FiveThirtyEight estimating that she would claim victory.

Significantly, Collins was the sole GOP Senator up for re-election who did not receive an endorsement from President Donald Trump. Generally agreed to be the most moderate GOP Senator, she has made a name for herself for breaking with the rest of her caucus and the president more often than her colleagues. This has put her on the receiving end of criticism from more conservative Republicans.

Despite being somewhat of a centrist, Democrats don’t like her either. After deciding to vote with the rest of the Senate Republicans in controversially confirming Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in 2018, Democrats all across the country started to raise millions of dollars in funds to unseat Collins in 2020, making this campaign the toughest that she ever faced.

Collins squeaked past Gideon and the other two candidates on the ballot, managing to win just over a majority of votes. This was the first election in which Maine used its recently adopted ranked-choice voting system to vote for candidates for president and the U.S. Senate. Because Collins was able to get over 50% of people’s first-choice votes, no instant runoffs occurred.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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New York City Dems Push Law to Allow 800,000 Non-Citizens to Vote in Municipal Elections

The New York City Council will vote on December 9 on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections

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New York’s Democratic party is battling over the constitutionality of voter laws. On December 9, the New York City Council will vote on a law to allow green-card holders and residents with work permits to vote in municipal elections.

“Around 808,000 New York City residents who have work permits or are lawful permanent residents would be eligible to vote under the legislation, which has the support of 34 of 51 council members, a veto-proof majority” reports Fox News.

“It’s important for the Democratic Party to look at New York City and see that when voting rights are being attacked, we are expanding voter participation,” Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, a sponsor of the bill and Democrat who represents the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, told the New York Times. Rodriguez immigrated from the Dominican Republic and became a U.S. citizen in 2000.

Fox News reports:

Laura Wood, Chief Democracy Officer for the mayor’s office, said at a hearing on the bill in September that the law could violate the New York State Constitution, which states that voters must be U.S. citizens age 18 or older.

Mayor Bill de Blasio indicated he could veto the bill following the September hearing.
“We’ve done everything that we could possibly get our hands on to help immigrant New Yorkers—including undocumented folks—but…I don’t believe it is legal,” de Blasio told WNYC radio at the time.

Mayor-elect Eric Adams, however, submitted testimony to the September hearing in favor of the bill. “In a democracy, nothing is more fundamental than the right to vote and to say who represents you and your community in elected office…Currently, almost one million New Yorkers are denied this foundational right.”

The legislation was first introduced two years ago, but had not yet gained traction due to the legal concerns.

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