Election updates: How the WA midterm 2022 elections unfolded – The Seattle Times

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Editor’s note: This is a live account of the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, as the day unfolded. It is no longer being updated. Click here to see all the most recent local politics news.
It’s Election Day, and voters will help determine the nation’s path on health care, economic stability, reproductive rights and public safety.
Washington Republicans need to flip four state Senate seats and nine House seats to win legislative majorities, which appears unlikely based on the results of the Aug. 2 primary election. Still, Republicans could slow what progressive Democrats hope to accomplish in Olympia merely by reducing the gap between the parties and empowering more conservative Democrats.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray won a sixth term Tuesday night, defeating her Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley, a victory that will place Murray among the longest-serving senators in American history. Democratic U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier led Republican challenger Matt Larkin in election night returns in Washington’s swing 8th Congressional District.
Control of Congress hung in the balance, with both parties notching victories in some of the most competitive races in a midterm election that centered on voter frustration over high inflation and the sudden rollback of abortion rights.
Vote counting will continue for days.
Throughout Tuesday, on this page, we’ll be updating readers on voting and elections in Seattle, Washington state and across the U.S.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democrat John Fetterman won Pennsylvania’s pivotal race for U.S. Senate, flipping a Republican-held seat as he recovers from a stroke during the bare-knuckled campaign and giving Democrats hope they can retain control of the closely divided chamber.
Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz, the smooth-talking and wealthy heart surgeon-turned-TV celebrity in the presidential battleground state.
Fetterman credited his “every county, every vote” campaign strategy in which the tattooed and hoodie-wearing candidate sought to bring the Democratic Party back to predominantly white working-class areas that have increasingly rejected the party.
Read the full story here.
ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker were locked in a tight race in Georgia on Tuesday night as elections officials continued to count ballots in the state that determined partisan control of the Senate nearly two years ago and could do so again in these midterm elections.
The question is whether either contender can win the contest outright or they head to a Dec. 6 runoff. The state’s quirky election law means Tuesday could be just Round 1. Georgia requires a majority to win statewide office, and with incomplete returns showing a close race and a third-party candidate on the ballot, it’s possible neither Warnock nor Walker will surpass the 50% threshold.
Read the full story here.
Whatever red wave was forecasted out across the nation on Tuesday had already diminished to a riffle by the time it reached Washington state. When it hit the Cascade Mountains, it completely went “pfft.”
What washed up into Puget Sound was deep blue instead — or as they also call it around here, the status quo.
This all added up to yet another triumph for Democratic U.S. senator Patty Murray. She fought off a record $25 million spent against her, some terribly-done conservative polling that misleadingly showed the race close, and a slew of “think pieces” by right-leaning pundits predicting that after 30 years in office, Murray had worn out her tennis shoes.
Read the full column here.
Republican Matt Larkin expressed confidence Tuesday night that he can make up the gap in the Washington’s swing 8th Congressional District race.
With about 194,000 votes counted, Democrat U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier had 53% and Larkin was at 47%.
“We’re right where we want to be. We’re in the pocket of victory, where we can still win this,” Larkin said in a brief speech in which he thanked fellow Republicans and his family.
He said there’s “still work to be done” in the coming days as more ballots are counted.
Around 150 people were still in line to vote at Lumen Field Event Center around 9:45 p.m. Tuesday evening, according to King County Elections.
Spokesperson for King County Elections Halei Watkins said staff from closed vote centers were rerouted to Lumen Field in Seattle, and were able to open three more stations. The department earlier reported a two-hour wait to vote in-person at the site.
In a tweet, King County Executive Dow Constantine acknowledged the work of King County Elections.
“Thank you to all their staff making sure our democracy can thrive!”
Republican Tiffany Smiley didn’t concede Tuesday in the U.S. Senate race against Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray.
“It ain’t over, it ain’t over,” she said to a crowd at the Republican Party’s election party in Bellevue, calling herself and “eternal optimist.”
She spoke in an upbeat tone, thanking generations of her family behind her. She also thanked everybody in this crowd who agreed with her that “Washington state is worth fighting for.”
Smiley said the Washington State Republican Party would work to “ensure that every single legal vote is counted.”
“There is still so much out there. So there is hope.”
Murray had 57% of the vote Tuesday, to 43% for Smiley, who would need to win 60% of the estimated remaining votes to break even, according to a Seattle Times analysis.
The Seattle Times called the race for Murray shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Smiley concluded her remarks on a more subdued tone to her allies, saying she’s thankful to meet “so many incredible Washingtonians.”
“Unfortunately we’re underrepresented on the national stage, but it’s not always going to be like that,” she said.
Some candidates didn’t just win on Tuesday, they also broke barriers.
Those victories included the first female governors elected in Arkansas and Massachusetts; the first Black person to be elected governor of Maryland; and the first member of Gen Z to be elected to Congress.
In some ways, this election had already made history for the diversity of candidates running. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people ran for office in all 50 states for the first time, according to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. The number of such candidates on the ballot also increased 18 percent from 2020, it said, many of them galvanized by a wave of measures in Republican-led states attacking the community.
This cycle also set records for the number of women running for governor, said Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. But the same was not true of the Senate and the House, where female candidates in the general election fell short of the highs reached in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier took the stage at the Washington state Democratic Party’s election party in Bellevue as “Girl on Fire” by Alicia Keys played.
Though there are more ballots to counted, she said “we’re feeling pretty darn good.”
Schrier, who was leading Republican challenger Matt Larkin in Tuesday’s election night returns in Washington’s swing 8th Congressional District, thanked volunteers, her family and her team.
“You can count on me to listen, to learn and then deliver,” she said. “There’s more work to do.”
The crowed waved campaign signs and a huge cardboard cutout of Schrier’s face as she delivered her remarks.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray won a sixth term Tuesday night, defeating her Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley, a victory that will place Murray among the longest-serving senators in American history.
Murray had 57% of the vote Tuesday, to 43% for Smiley.
In a race that had state and national Republicans excited about a potential upset, Smiley would need to win 60% of the estimated remaining votes to break even, according to a Seattle Times analysis.
The Seattle Times called the race for Murray shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The crowd chanted “Patty, Patty, Patty” as U.S. Sen. Patty Murray walked onstage at the Democratic Party’s election night party in Bellevue.
“You guys, we did it. We did it!” said Murray, who was leading Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley as Tuesday night’s results began to roll in. 
“All of you who knocked on doors and made phone calls, donated and texted or just watched. You threw yourself into this fight to keep our democracy a democracy,” she said.
Murray, whose family stood on stage with her as she gave her remarks, said Biden called her to congratulate her.
“Thank you, Joe, and by the way, we now need to get childcare done.”
Murray said Washington voters “showed up” at a high-stakes election. “You all showed up to make sure Washington state had a voice in the Senate that would vote to codify Roe into law. You showed up to make sure we would protect this democracy for future generations and fight to make sure every American’s voice would be heard.”
Washington voter turnout was at an estimated 36% as of 8:50 p.m. Tuesday, according to the state Secretary of State’s office.
About 1.7 million ballots have been counted and an estimated 635,388 ballots are on hand to be processed, according to data from the office. There are 4.8 million registered voters in Washington.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — “Hillbilly Elegy” author JD Vance defeated Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio on Tuesday in a blow to Democrats who viewed it as one of their best chances nationally to flip a seat.
Vance, 38, a venture capitalist and newcomer to politics, benefited from a last-minute push by Donald Trump. The former Republican president had endorsed Vance in a crowded, ugly Republican primary — despite Vance having once declared himself a “never-Trumper” — and then rallied for him twice, most recently on election eve.
Vance and Trump successfully linked Ryan to the national economic climate he blamed on President Joe Biden, while Ryan failed to make stick his narrative that Vance’s Ivy League education and time in the San Francisco tech industry meant he was out of touch with Ohio values.
Vance’s victory was a devastating turn for Ryan, a 10-term congressman whose well-executed, well-funded campaign had buoyed his party by remaining within the margin of error of most polls since summer. That, despite Trump having twice won Ohio by 8 percentage points.
King, Pierce and Snohomish counties all reported a relatively smooth end to Tuesday evening with results posted and ballot boxes closed, despite lines and full boxes throughout the day.
In Clark County there was some brief “electioneering” earlier in the day and around 8 p.m. a woman threatened to pepper spray voters at the main county building, one of the more populous drop box locations, according to Clark County Auditor Greg Kimsey.
The woman claimed voters were threatening her but she left after security said they’d call law enforcement, Kimsey said.
A measure to increase funding for Bellevue’s parks and open spaces was passing with 55% of the vote in Tuesday’s ballot returns.
The levy lid lift would increase the city’s regular levy over nine years to 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or $200 per year for an owner of a home valued at $1 million. The levy would generate about $16 million in new revenue per year beginning in 2023, according to the city of Bellevue.
Funding would go toward acquiring land for open spaces, greenways, wildlife corridors and trails; developing community parks and neighborhood parks such as Eastgate, Factoria and Ashwood; investing in park enhancements for emerging sports like pickleball and cricket; and maintaining and improving park facilities.
Read the full story here.
It is unclear in initial ballot returns Tuesday whether Seattle voters will adopt any voting reform, but if they do, ranked-choice voting shows as the overwhelming preference over approval voting.
City voters were asked to consider supporting “approval voting” (Proposition 1A) or “ranked-choice” voting (Proposition 1B), proposals that each would allow voters to support more than one candidate in future primary elections. Ranked choice had just over 74% of initial returns. 
Voters, though, were also asked whether they wanted any change to the current system “yes” or “no” choice. That choice was nearly tied Tuesday night, with “no” at 50.95% and “yes” at just over 49.05%.
Read the full story here.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Kim Schrier led Republican challenger Matt Larkin in election night returns in Washington’s swing 8th Congressional District.
With about 195,000 votes counted, Schrier had 53% and Larkin was at 47%. Schrier led in King County but was trailing Larkin in Pierce, Snohomish, Chelan and Kittitas counties.
Hundreds of thousands of votes remain to be counted in the coming days in the contest that could help determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the House.
At the Republican Party’s election night party in Bellevue, former state chair Susan Hutchison told a crowd of a couple hundred to maintain hope. The early voting, she said, “always favors the other party, and our people come alive on the last weekend and show up in force.” Larkin did not immediately address the crowd.
Ahead of the vote this week, Schrier said she expected the race to be “squeaky tight,” but hoped the Democrats’ ground game would put her over the top.
In advisory measures that serve as a kind of opinion poll on actions this year of the Washington Legislature, voters were asked how they feel about two transportation-related taxes or premiums.
On Advisory Vote 39, 58.8% of the state’s voters in Tuesday night’s count wanted a 7-cent-per-gallon increase in taxes on aircraft fuel “repealed,” while 41.2% wanted the increase “maintained.” The tax bump, projected by legislative staff to raise $26 million over 16 years, is part of the $17 billion, 16-year transportation funding package approved during the last session.
Read full story here.
Voters in Shoreline were supportive of an increased property tax rate to fund city public safety services, while Redmond voters were against a similar proposal, election results Tuesday night showed.
Both measures require a simple majority to pass. As of Tuesday’s vote count, Shoreline’s Proposition 1 was leading with 62.16% of the vote. Redmond’s Proposition 1 was trailing with 47.2% of the vote.
Shoreline’s Proposition 1 replaces an expiring levy approved by voters in 2016. It would set the city’s maximum property tax rate at $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2023, with additional increases in the annual levy not exceeding inflation through 2028.
Read full story here.
Bond measures totaling more than $500 million each for new school buildings and capital improvements in the Highline and Renton school districts were leading in Tuesday’s vote count.
Highline school district voters are voting yes to funding for new school buildings and capital improvements, while Renton School District voters are approving a multimillion-dollar school improvement bond. 
Read the full story here.
VANCOUVER — Democrat Marie Gluesenkamp Perez led Joe Kent, the Donald Trump back Republican candidate, in election night returns in southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.
On Tuesday night, Gluesenkamp Perez was at 52.6% while Kent was at 46.8% in the race to succeed Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, who was ousted in the primary by Republicans angered by her vote to impeach Trump over the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol.
The 3rd District had been considered an easy win for Republicans. But after Herrera Beutler’s loss in the primary, Democrats saw a chance at turning the race against Kent into a competitive one, saying his far-right views don’t match the conservative-to-moderate district in Southwest Washington
Read the full story here.
Democrat Wes Moore was elected Maryland’s first Black governor Tuesday, defeating Republican Dan Cox in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1.
Moore’s victory flips a governor’s office from Republican to Democratic. Of the 36 governor’s races this year, Maryland and Massachusetts represented the best chances for Democrats to regain a governor’s office at a time when the GOP holds a 28-22 edge in governor’s seats. Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is term limited.
Read the full story here.
Washington Secretary of State Steve Hobbs — looking to become the first Democrat elected secretary of state in more than 60 years — led his nonpartisan challenger, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, 51% to 46% on election night.
Hobbs has held the office for about a year since he was appointed to fill the vacancy after Republican Kim Wyman left to take an election security position in the Biden administration.
Republicans have held the office since 1964, even as they’ve been shut out of every other statewide office in recent years.
A crowded field of Republicans split the conservative vote in the August primary election allowing Anderson to advance to the general election.
Read the full story here.
Democrats and Republicans were battling for swing districts as Washington state Legislature election results rolled in Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, potential winners of the Nov. 8 election were emerging in Seattle for several Democrat versus Democrat state House contests.
More votes will be tallied in the coming days, with consequences for the balance of power in Olympia.
In the run-up to the election, Republicans sought to chip away at Democrats’ 28-to-21 majority in the state Senate and 57-to-41 margin in the House by channeling discontent over inflation, crime and homelessness. Democrats promised to protect abortion rights and strengthen social services in Washington, hoping that would drive turnout on their side.
Read the full story here.
King County’s bid to restore its Conservation Futures tax levy to 6.25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value held a strong lead after Tuesday’s vote count. 
The tally so far shows nearly 68% of voters in initial results agree to raise the levy, which would generate an estimated $269 million by 2031 for the preservation of 65,000 acres of forests, farmland, trails and rivers throughout the county.
The measure would cost $51.25 per year in taxes for the owner of a median-price home, about $820,000 in King County. That’s roughly double what the median-price homeowner paid this year.
Read the full story here.
A King County Charter amendment intended to increase voter turnout by moving many county elections from odd-numbered to even-numbered years was leading in Tuesday’s general election, with 69% of ballots in favor to 31% opposed.
The idea behind Charter Amendment No. 1 was to have all county races moved to the ballot during the same years as congressional and presidential elections, as well as gubernatorial and state legislative contests. Proponents of the measure say it would be more convenient to voters and combat “ballot fatigue” caused by holding elections every year.
The changes would impact the races for county executive, assessor, elections director and nine county council seats. Elections for King County Prosecuting Attorney and Superior Court judges are already held on even years.
The amendment does not affect municipal elections, which are held in odd-numbered years in Seattle and many other cities.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, seeking to win a sixth term that would place her among the longest-serving senators in American history, led Republican challenger Tiffany Smiley 60% to 40%, as Tuesday night’s results began to roll in.
The results include reports from most of the state’s counties, including the three largest — King, Pierce and Snohomish counties — but with several Eastern Washington counties yet to report.
Read the full story here.
In the first open King County prosecutor race in more than four decades, Leesa Manion was leading Tuesday night with 55%. Jim Ferrell had 44%.
The race highlighted some of the thorniest issues of our time, most notably how to clamp down on an alarming crime wave while also heeding a growing call for reform of the criminal legal system.
The new prosecutor will also have to deal with a backlog of 4,500 felony cases, as of last month, a crushing workload for employees trying to keep up, and poor morale among some who feel their work is not valued.
Both candidates spent many years in the prosecutor’s office. Manion is the current chief of staff to retiring Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, who took over when his boss, Norm Maleng, died in 2007. Ferrell left the office in 2013 to become Federal Way’s mayor, a position he still holds.
Democrat Gavin Newsom easily won a second term as California’s governor on Tuesday, beating a little-known Republican state senator by mostly ignoring him while campaigning against the policies of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, two leading Republicans who like Newsom may run for president.
It was the second decisive statewide victory for Newsom in barely a year. In September 2021, he easily beat back an attempt to kick him out of office that was fueled by anger over his pandemic policies. The failed recall solidified Newsom’s political power in California, leaving him free to focus on the future — which many expect will include a run for the White House.
Read the full story here.
Tukwila’s minimum wage hike appeared headed toward passage Tuesday, which would make it the third Washington city to set a higher rate than the statewide pay floor.
Initiative Measure No. 1 would bring the city’s minimum wage in line with SeaTac’s, requiring large employers to pay about $19 an hour starting next summer. The measure was passing with 82.48% of the vote Tuesday night.
SeaTac and Seattle both require that employers pay more than the state’s required wage, $14.49 an hour. At that pay rate, a minimum-wage worker in King County would need to work 92 hours a week to avoid spending more than a third of their income on a one-bedroom apartment, according to one analysis.
Tukwila’s largest companies would pay $18.99 an hour next year, according to the campaign.
Matthew Patrick Thomas, King County GOP chair, led a countdown for the close of balloting at 8 pm, while forecasting a “red wave.” pic.twitter.com/pT2YzKRPAO
Washington State Democratic Party Chair Tina Podlodowski welcomed attendees to an Election Night party in Bellevue on Tuesday night.
“This is not the night Republicans expected, is it?” Podlodowski said. “People are voting up and down the ballot for Democrats across the entire state of Washington. Democrats are going to do great tonight in Washington state. We’re going to pick up legislative seats up and down the ballot.”
King County Elections saw some drop boxes fill up on Tuesday as voters delivered their ballots before the 8 p.m. deadline.
It is not uncommon for the department to hear about certain boxes becoming full during big elections, according to King County Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins.
“When everyone waits until the last day to vote, we can see drop boxes be or look full [sometimes the ballots stack funny when they’re dropped in],” Watkins said.
On Election Day, the “ballot connections team” starts picking up ballots at 6 a.m. and does so throughout the day, she said. If teams hear about a full drop box, Watkins said they’re usually able to respond within 15-20 minutes.
Most drop boxes are emptied at least twice before 6 p.m. on Election Day with the busiest boxes, like the one in Ballard, being emptied at least six times before 6 p.m., Watkins said.
After 6 p.m., all ballot drop boxes are staffed with trained members who can empty the boxes while on-site, Watkins said. Staff members also mark the end of the line at 8 p.m. sharp. Those who are actively standing in line at 8 p.m. are still able to vote.
Before Election Day, staff members empty drop boxes daily throughout the voting period, with pick ups happening more frequently as Nov. 8 nears, she said.
Republicans streaming into their Bellevue gathering Tuesday night walked past a table that offers no fewer than 11 statewide initiatives to sign, with a conservative bent, ranging from exempting $250,000 of value from property taxes, to “Make Crime Illegal Again” (a slogan in GOP House challenger Matt Larkin’s campaign), to “Emergency Powers Shouldn’t Last Forever,” a swipe at recurring COVID-related decrees by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee.
No fewer than 11 initiatives available to sign tonight at the GOP gathering in Bellevue. pic.twitter.com/HbVs6HLH3l
Beth Daranciang, vice chair of the King County GOP, describes the 11 initiatives as non-partisan, under the umbrella of Let’s Go Washington. She said the state can afford to reduce revenues, in light of recent state surpluses.
“They’re common sense proposals and a lot of them have been proposed as bills already,” Daranciang said. She said the petitions have been out at summer fairs and festivals, and that organizers don’t have a count yet.
One of them seeks to solve what’s been a non-problem in recent Washington state history. The “Voter Protection Act” would require audits of some county voting results, using hand counts that are supervised by a company, and witnessed by public and political-party representatives. Daranciang asserted that vote-by-mail, the dominant method in Washington state is vulnerable to fraud.
Nationwide, there has been no proof widespread voter fraud despite claims.
President Joe Biden has made several “congratulatory” calls to fellow Democrats on Tuesday evening, according to the White House.
The White House said Biden has already reached out to Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee, Vermont Senator-elect Peter Welch, Delaware Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, Virginia Rep. Abigail Spanberger, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
The Associated Press has not declared Spanberger, a two-term incumbent, the winner in Virginia’s 7th district race.
Just got off the phone with some of tonight’s winners — including some folks I saw on the road this year.

If you’re in line to vote, remember to stay in line! pic.twitter.com/43CF4rSFrP
WASHINGTON — Democrats easily repelled Republicans backed by former President Donald Trump in several left-leaning states Tuesday, while tougher tests that could decide control of Congress and the future of Joe Biden’s presidency awaited in more competitive territory.
Despite their liberal history, states like Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois have elected moderate Republican governors in the past. But the Republicans this year appeared to be too conservative in these states, handing Democrats easy victories in midterm elections that could otherwise prove difficult for the party.
Massachusetts and Maryland also saw historic firsts: Democrat Maura Healey became the first woman elected as Massachusetts governor, as well as the first openly lesbian governor of any state, and Wes Moore became the first Black governor of Maryland.
Read the full story here.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s record is on the ballot even if his name isn’t. And no matter what Tuesday’s midterm elections bring, his presidency is set for profound changes.
In public, Biden professed optimism to the end, telling Democratic state party officials on election eve that “we’re going to surprise the living devil out of people.” In private, though, White House aides have been drawing up contingencies should Republicans take control of one, or both, chambers of Congress — a scenario Biden said would make his life “more difficult.”
Regardless of the outcome, the votes will help reshape the balance of Biden’s term after an ambitious first two years and will reorder his White House priorities.
Read the full story here.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday gained a second term as he defeated challenger Nan Whaley, a Democrat who hoped to regain a seat last won by her party 16 years ago.
DeWine prevailed in a surprisingly tight three-way primary in May as conservatives angered by his efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus sought to unseat him. Whaley handily defeated former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley in her primary.
“This is Ohio’s time in history, things are coming our way,” DeWine said in his victory speech. But he also said unfinished business lay ahead, from ensuring proper prenatal and post-natal care for children, making sure students graduating from high school have a clear pathway to college or other career opportunities, and removing barriers to treatment for addiction and mental illness.
Read the full story here.
King County Elections said on Tuesday evening that they will have more staff arriving at vote centers to assist people looking to vote in-person.
On Tuesday afternoon, King County Elections said there was a two-hour wait to vote at the Lumen Field Event Center in Seattle.
King County voters! If you are in line at a vote center – stay in line! We have more staff arriving and all voters will be helped.
People in line to vote by 8 p.m. will be able to vote whether they are at in line at a vote center or a drop box, King County Elections said Tuesday.
On Twitter, King County Elections specified people must be actively standing in line at 8 p.m. not just lingering in the area or walking or driving toward the line.
King County Elections reported a two-hour wait Tuesday afternoon at their Lumen Field Event Center vote center. Additional staff were deployed and will be arriving shortly to keep lines moving.

If you’re in line, you’re on time! Whether you’re at a Vote Center or in line at a drop box, if you get there by 8 p.m., stay in line and you will be helped. pic.twitter.com/WCyAQkk2db
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has won a third term, defeating U.S. Rep. Val Demings and holding a key seat as the GOP tried to regain control of a closely divided Senate.
Rubio, 51, faced perhaps his toughest battle since he was first elected in 2010 after serving as the Florida House speaker. Once a presidential hopeful in 2016, Rubio’s name is less often mentioned as a potential 2024 candidate.
Rubio ran a campaign pulled from the Republican playbook, tying Demings to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden and hammering her on issues like spending, rising inflation and a crisis at the southern border.
The Republican was helped by shifting voter registration numbers in Florida. The last time Rubio ran for reelection, Democrats had about 327,000 more registered voters than Republicans. That has since flipped, with the GOP now having a nearly 300,000 advantage over Democrats.
Read the full story here.
Voters in the most populous county in Texas will have an extra hour to cast their ballots, thanks to an emergency order from a local judge.
Texas state District Court Judge Dawn Rogers ordered that all polling places in Harris County, which includes Houston, remain open until 8 p.m. Central (that’s 9 p.m. Eastern). The ruling is in response to request by the Texas Organizing Project, after at least 12 polling places in the county failed to open at the required time on 7 a.m. Central.
Harris County election officials attributed the delays to a variety of causes, including lack of supplies and computer issues. Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum said anyone who is not in line to vote before the original 7 p.m. deadline will need to cast a provisional ballot during that extra hour of voting.
“If you are in line, stay in line. Your vote is your voice,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a tweet.
Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was elected Arkansas governor on Tuesday, becoming the first woman to lead the state and the highest profile Trump administration official in elected office.
Sanders defeated Democratic nominee Chris Jones in the race for governor in her predominantly Republican home state, where former President Donald Trump remains popular. Sanders had been heavily favored to win the race, which also included Libertarian nominee Ricky Dale Harrington.
Read the full story here.
Americans voted without major problems Tuesday in midterm elections that drew intense scrutiny after two years of false claims and conspiracy theories about how ballots are cast and counted.
With polls open across the country, no widespread problems with ballots, long lines or voter intimidation were reported, though there were hiccups in some places, which is typical on any Election Day.
One hitch garnered outsized attention: Vote tabulators malfunctioned in 20% of polling places in Arizona’s most populous county that includes Phoenix. While election officials assured the public that every vote in Maricopa County would be counted, the issue prompted an outcry from Republicans in a state where elections for governor and U.S. Senate are expected to be close and where skepticism of election systems has run deep within the GOP since 2020.
Read the full story here.
Related: When grandma calls fraud: WA election workers take accusations personally
Generation Z officially has a seat in Congress.
Maxwell Alejandro Frost, a 25-year-old Democrat, won his election on Tuesday in Florida’s 10th Congressional District over Calvin Wimbish, a Republican, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Frost will represent the Orlando-area seat being vacated by Representative Val Demings, the Democratic nominee for senator.
His victory guarantees that the next Congress will include at least one member of Generation Z, whose oldest members were born in 1997 and are newly eligible for the House, which has a minimum age of 25. He could be joined by Karoline Leavitt, a Republican running in New Hampshire’s First Congressional District.
It is rare for 25-year-olds to be elected to Congress. Before Representative Madison Cawthorn, Republican of North Carolina, won in 2020, it hadn’t happened in more than 45 years.
Read the full story here.
BOSTON — Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey has been elected governor of Massachusetts, making history as the state’s first woman and first openly gay candidate elected to the office.
Healey defeated Republican Geoff Diehl, a former state representative who had the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. Her election returns the governor’s office to Democrats after eight years of Republican leadership under the popular Gov. Charlie Baker, who opted not to seek reelection.
Healey and her running mate, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, were among three all-female governor/lieutenant governor tickets in the U.S. that began Election Day with a chance to become the first such pairing elected to lead a state.
Read the full story here.
Many of the year’s most competitive, costly contests have played out in legislative districts outside Seattle, though some matchups in Washington’s largest city have also drawn attention as voters mull whether to back relatively moderate or ultra-progressive Democrats.
Here are some of the hottest races to watch
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis won reelection to a second term Tuesday in a victory over Democrat Charlie Crist, bolstering his rise as a prominent GOP star with potential White House ambitions.
DeSantis’ win continues a rightward shift for what was once the nation’s largest swing state, as voters embraced a governor who reveled in culture war politics and framed his candidacy as a battle against the “woke agenda” of liberals.
In the lead-up to the election, DeSantis harnessed the power of incumbency to assemble media, often on short notice and far outside major markets, for news conferences where he would spend significant time honing critiques of Democratic President Joe Biden, liberal policies and the mainstream media, delivered before cheering crowds.
Related: Why AP called the Florida governor’s race for Ron DeSantis
VANCOUVER – Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, the Democrat running in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, made a last-minute appeal to voters Tuesday, knocking on doors of voters who hadn’t returned a ballot yet and who had inconsistently voted in midterm elections.
The point: to encourage people to cast their votes in the final hours of the election.
Several people said they’d voted for her – the data the campaign used was from Monday night – and one man came out of his house unprompted to let Gluesenkamp Perez know he’d supported her.
Gluesenkemp Perez, 34, who owns a Portland auto shop with her husband, is running against Republican Joe Kent. She spent part of Election Day taking a brief swim in the Columbia River.
“I like to exchange a little bit of actual mortal fear for the existential dread of campaigning,” Gluesenkamp Perez joked. “And I can say, I did not think about the campaign for the four minutes I was in the water.”
HARTFORD, Conn. — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal has won a third term in office, fending off a challenge from first-time candidate Leora Levy, a Republican who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump.
Blumenthal, 76, the state’s former attorney general, focused much of his campaign on being a backstop for abortion rights in Connecticut and Democratic policies in Washington. Blumenthal vowed to fight any effort in Congress to impose a national abortion ban that would override Connecticut’s current law. Abortion is legal in Connecticut with restrictions.
He also warned democracy would be at risk if the GOP gained control of the U.S. Senate.
“We are in a break-the-glass moment in this democracy,” Blumenthal said after accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination in August. “And we need to stand up to the Trump Republicans, to special interests, to anyone who would put us back in time on workers’ rights, women’s rights, civil rights and liberties. It is the fight of our lifetime.”
More than 50 people lined up to drop off their ballots in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood this afternoon.
“Ballot box seemed full so people were passing along the advice to ‘angle the ballots up’ when you slid them in because ballots were pressed flat to the opening on the front,” voter Libby Brittain said.
If you haven’t yet voted in Washington state’s general election, you can stop by a ballot drop box Tuesday or head to a vote center to register to vote in-person or update your registration.
Your vote will be counted as long as you deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8 p.m. Tuesday.
Read the full story here.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a libertarian-leaning conservative and former presidential candidate, won a third term Tuesday by defeating a rival from the other end of the political spectrum, progressive Democrat Charles Booker.
First elected in the tea party-driven wave of 2010, Paul’s victory extended a long GOP winning streak in Kentucky Senate races. The Bluegrass State hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.
Booker was the first Black Kentuckian to run as the state’s Democratic nominee for the Senate, but his trailblazing campaign came up short against Paul. It was Booker’s second bid for the Senate. In 2020, he barely lost the Democratic Senate primary to an establishment-backed rival routed that year by Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in the general election.
Paul has gained a national voice in promoting limited government and restraint in U.S. foreign policy. One of the Senate’s most contrarian voices, he also denounced what he views as government overreach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — U.S. Sen. Tim Scott won reelection Tuesday to what he said will be his last term serving South Carolina, but the only Black Republican in the Senate may have bigger political ambitions yet.
Scott beat Democratic state Rep. Krystle Matthews for a second full term. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2013 by then Gov. Nikki Haley when Jim DeMint resigned and also won a special election.
Scott, 57, has spent about as much time helping other Republicans as he has campaigning in 2022. He released a memoir called “America, A Redemption Story,” where he tells his story of being raised by a single mother and his rise as a Black Republican in South Carolina.
Scott has remained coy about any plans beyond winning reelection. He has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2024 or later depending on how the field shapes up. Scott has made several trips to Iowa and other states that get an early say in the presidential nomination process.
King County Elections estimated a two-hour wait to vote in person Tuesday evening at Seattle’s Lumen Field Event Center, where the county stations one of six vote centers.
According to King County Elections spokesperson Halei Watkins, additional staff members have been deployed and will be arriving shortly to keep lines moving.
“We have seen many more folks come through our vote centers today than in previous similar elections, and we’re happy to see them and get them the help they need to vote,” Watkins said.
Anyone who is in line at 8 p.m. will still be able to register and vote, Watkins said.
Read the full story here.
Need a replacement ballot and don't want to wait in line? Visit https://t.co/JuKFH49kfB If you need assistance, give us a call at 206.296.8683.
Misleading videos, recirculated months after they were shot, carried unfounded claims that Republican voters were being barred from the polls.
Viral tweets spun early-morning mechanical problems with vote tabulators into elaborate claims of systematic fraud.
And users on the pro-Trump extremist forum TheDonald urged armed intervention at ballot counting centers in Georgia, advising, “If it gets violent, shoot first.”
Election myths built up over the last two years coalesced Tuesday into a torrent of misinformation that fed an alternative online ecosystem where all unfavorable election outcomes are suspect. The paranoia and preemptive efforts to discredit the results of the midterms found perhaps their clearest expression in a headline on a website devoted to disseminating false claims about the pro-Trump siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, an attack propelled in large part by online misinformation. “Expect the steal,” the website warned.
That expectation is no longer a fringe view. It is political doctrine for whole swaths of the country.
Read the full story here.
Alex Entrekin made the five-minute journey from his home in Bellevue to the city’s main library to cast his vote in the midterm election Tuesday.
He’s worried that not enough people are going to make a similar trek.
“I’m pretty worried that turnout isn’t what it should be,” said Entrekin, 38.
On Monday, The Seattle Times reported that early voter turnout in the election is running a bit behind the pace of the 2018 midterms. Often, Entrekin said, young people get blamed when voting numbers dip.
Entrekin’s a part-time music teacher and also works for a church in Kirkland, helping them videostream their services.
In this midterm, Entrekin said he’s paying attention to the Senate race between Patty Murray and Tiffany Smiley, and he’s voting “to make sure more progressive causes are being progressed on the ballot.”
He said he sees a lot of political engagement from his peers, but also disillusionment in the electoral process.
“Younger voters are pretty turned off from the state of politics for a variety of reasons,” he said.
But to really improve voter turnout, he said, let’s make today a federal holiday.
VANCOUVER – Joe Kent, the Republican running in Washington’s right-leaning 3rd Congressional District, shook hands with supporters at the Clark County elections office Tuesday morning.
“We feel pretty good,” Kent said of his prospects shortly after casting his own ballot. He expected to be hitting “refresh” a lot on the Secretary of State’s website once ballot counts are released after 8 p.m.
Flo Rossmiller, who lives near Battle Ground, said she was “excited about the candidates that are running, like Joe Kent.”
“The reason I came out here as opposed to putting it in a ballot box is that I love my community and I love being around the people,” Rossmiller said. “And I miss those days when we would vote in person and stand in line and sometimes get to know one another a little bit better. And also, I have concerns about election integrity and I think flooding the election office with ballots on the last day is the way to do it.”
Jamie Brown, of Vancouver, was among the Kent supporters holding signs down the block from the elections office. Brown said she came out to vote Tuesday morning to “get our country back.”
Chris Ruiz has never missed voting since he registered.
The 54-year-old took a quick break from his busy workday in construction management and made his way to the ballot drop box just outside the Seattle Public Library branch in South Park.
A registered Democrat, Ruiz usually votes along party lines each year as he aligns himself with Democratic values, he said.
But he somewhat deviated from the norm a bit by voting for nonpartisan Julie Anderson for Washington Secretary of State, as she seemed experienced and highly qualified. 
“It’s just so important to fill out that ballot, get it dropped off and do what it takes to do your part,” Ruiz said.
Election legal challenges were playing out Tuesday as voters cast ballots across the country in the midterm elections. And more bruising court fights are expected in the coming days that could draw out how long it takes for votes to be counted in some races.
More than 100 lawsuits were filed before Tuesday’s elections, targeting rules for things like mail-in voting, voting machines and access for partisan poll watchers.
And observers are bracing for a deluge of challenges after polls close as some Republican candidates have already said they will not accept a loss or have planted doubt on the election process despite no evidence of fraud.
The avalanche of election cases follows Republican Donald Trump’s failed effort to get courts to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in 2020. Trump and his Republican allies brought roughly 60 lawsuits challenging the election that were roundly rejected by judges appointed to the bench by presidents of both political parties.
Read the full story here.
If you haven’t yet voted in Washington state’s general election, you can stop by a ballot drop box Tuesday. Your vote will be counted as long as you deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8 p.m.
Many people in Washington state vote by mail, but elections officials recommended doing so by last Friday because ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.
There are more than 70 official drop box locations in King County, including more than 30 in Seattle. Locations are provided on the King County website.
There are more than 30 official drop box locations in Snohomish County. You can find a location near you on the county website.
Details about the more than 40 official drop box locations in Pierce County are available online. There are more than 20 official drop box locations in Kitsap County. Find them listed online.


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