Massachusetts elects new House members, decides ballot measures
Massachusetts residents have set a new record for voter turnout the 2018 midterm election, according to a Nov. 9 CBS Boston article. On Friday, Secretary of State Bill Galvin confirmed that 2.7 million voters had gone to the polls, compared to 2.1 million in the 2014 midterms. At the time, ballots were still being counted. Massachusetts re-elected Republican governor Charlie Baker. FiveThirtyEight considers Baker to be a “moderate, or perhaps even liberal, Republican.” Voters also elected an all-Democratic House of Representatives delegation to Washington, D.C. The state also voted on three ballot questions.
Baker maintained his position as governor, receiving 66.9 percent of the vote, compared to his Democratic opponent Jay Gonzalez, who received 33.1 percent of the vote, as reported by The New York Times.
A Nov. 7 Boston.com article quoted Baker as telling supporters, “You told us to focus on the work, not the noise. To work across the aisle … to chase the best ideas wherever they come from. And to find common ground.”
Baker chose to keep his distance from President Donald Trump, according to the Boston.com article. Baker often criticizes White House policies and claims he probably won’t vote for Trump should he be on the ballot in 2020.
Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren won another six-year term and has promised voters to take a “hard look” at running for president in 2020, according to the same Boston.com article. Boston.com also reported Warren as saying, “I try to stay focused on the issues, not on division and hate.”
A Nov. 7 WGBH article summarized how Massachusetts voters voted on the ballot questions. Voters rejected Question 1’s proposal to create strict limits on the number of patients Massachusetts nurses could be assigned. Ballot Question 2 passed and will create a commission of 15 volunteer citizens to study “the issue of money in politics at a state and federal level.”
Voters also approved Question 3, the first statewide referendum on transgender rights in the United States. Massachusetts voters upheld a 2016 state law protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places. According to Ballotopedia, a “yes” vote for Question 3 upheld Senate Bill 2407 that prohibits discrimination in areas such as hotels, stores or restaurants.
According to the CBS article, local election officials need to certify their results by Nov. 21. The governor and Governor’s Council will have until Nov. 28 to certify all results.