Ohio

Election day 2023 live: poll closing times near for voters in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi | Abortion

Poll closing times near for voters in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi

Millions of voters in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi are almost out of time to cast ballots in some of the most closely watched races being decided today.

In Kentucky, where Democratic governor Andy Beshear is standing for a second term against GOP candidate Daniel Cameron in the strongly Republican state, most polls close at 6pm eastern time, except for the 41 counties that are in the central time zone and close an hour later.

In Virginia, where all seats in the statehouse are up for grabs and will determine whether the Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, is able to carry out his agenda – including passing an abortion ban – polls close at 7pm.

Voting in Ohio – where the marquee race is over an amendment to protect abortion rights in the state constitution – halts at 7.30pm.

And in Mississippi, where the Republican governor, Tate Reeves, is up for a second term against Democrat Brandon Presley, the voting is over at 8pm.

Key events

Polls have closed in parts of Kentucky.

The parts of Kentucky in the eastern time zone have closed their polls, while polls in parts of the state in the central time zone will remain open till the top of the hour.

Per the Kentucky secretary of state’s office, voter turnout was about 45-45%.

The big race to watch here, again, is for governor. The Democratic incumbent, Andy Beshear, is fighting to hold his seat against Republican challenger Daniel Cameron in a deeply red state.

Carter Sherman

More than a year after the news first broke, the story of a 10-year-old rape victim who had to flee Ohio for an abortion is motivating people to vote for abortion rights in Ohio.

“Basically, they believe if you’re raped, you should have a rapist’s baby,” said Bill Baldwin, a 70-year-old voter in Columbus, Ohio. “Oh, are you kidding?”

Ohio is the only state in 2023 to vote directly on abortion, as voters are being asked to decide on Tuesday whether to enshrine the right to the procedure in the state constitution. If abortion rights supporters win, Ohio will be the first reliably red state to vote in favor of abortion rights since the US supreme court overturned Roe v Wade last year.

The story of the 10-year-old, who eventually got an abortion in Indiana, made national news within days of Roe’s overturning. At the time, Ohio had a six-week abortion ban in effect. That law, which does not have exceptions for rape or incest and has since been frozen by a court, could again become the law of the land if abortion rights supporters fail this election day.

In Akron, Ohio, about two hours north-east of Columbus, voter Lewis Short also brought up the story of the 10-year-old. “What if she had the baby and down the road, the daddy says he wants to see the baby?” Short told a Guardian reporter the weekend before election day. “That’s crazy. He raped her.”

Abortion rights supporters are feeling cautiously optimistic about the vote. An October poll found that 58% of Ohioans plan to vote in favor of Issue 1, the proposal to amend the state constitution. And as activists knocked on doors in a Columbus neighborhood on election day, which was unseasonably warm, the people who answered the doors frequently said they planned to vote in favor of abortion rights or already had.

“These laws we’re passing? Yeah, we’ve got to stop that. That’s the evil I see right now,” said Baldwin, who chatted with the activists in front of his house. “I’m pretty sure Ohio is going to stop that, today.”

Poll closing times near for voters in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi

Millions of voters in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Mississippi are almost out of time to cast ballots in some of the most closely watched races being decided today.

In Kentucky, where Democratic governor Andy Beshear is standing for a second term against GOP candidate Daniel Cameron in the strongly Republican state, most polls close at 6pm eastern time, except for the 41 counties that are in the central time zone and close an hour later.

In Virginia, where all seats in the statehouse are up for grabs and will determine whether the Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin, is able to carry out his agenda – including passing an abortion ban – polls close at 7pm.

Voting in Ohio – where the marquee race is over an amendment to protect abortion rights in the state constitution – halts at 7.30pm.

And in Mississippi, where the Republican governor, Tate Reeves, is up for a second term against Democrat Brandon Presley, the voting is over at 8pm.

The House will vote tomorrow on censuring Rashida Tlaib.

The resolution was proposed by Georgia Republican Rich McCormick, and accuses Tlaib of “promoting false narratives regarding the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel and for calling for the destruction of the state of Israel”.

Democrats today tried to table the resolution, which would block its passage, but failed when 212 Republicans and one Democrat voted against doing so. It’s unclear if that coalition will hold together tomorrow when the resolution itself is considered.

There is evidence that some Democrats are uncomfortable with Tlaib’s statements, particularly her use of the slogan “from the river to the sea”, which the resolution explicitly condemns. From its text:

Whereas, on November 3, 2023, Representative Tlaib published on social media a video containing the phrase “from the river to the sea”, which is widely recognized as a genocidal call to violence to destroy the state of Israel and its people to replace it with a Palestinian state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea;

Whereas Representative Tlaib doubled down on this call to violence by falsely describing “from the river to the sea” as “an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence” despite it clearly entailing Israel’s destruction and denial of its fundamental right to exist

Earlier today, a group of House Democrats signed on to a statement that condemned usage of the term, without mentioning Tlaib specifically:

We reject the use of the phrase “from the river to the sea” – a phrase used by many, including Hamas, as a rallying cry for the destruction of the State of Israel and genocide of the Jewish people. We all feel deep anguish for the human suffering caused by the war in Gaza.Hamas started this war with a barbaric terrorist attack on October 7, 2023, and neither the Palestinian nor Israeli people can have peace as long as Hamas still rules over Gaza and threatens Israel. This war is tragic and deeply painful for everyone, especially those who identify with the land and the people – Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. Every civilian killed, every family torn apart, Palestinian and Israeli, is a tragedy. Every human being deserves dignity and respect, and each of us must do all we can to always see the humanity of the innocent people caught in the middle of this war.

Illinois’s Brad Schneider was one of the organizers of the statement, and also the only Democrat to vote against tabling the resolution to censure Tlaib.

Top House Democrat Jeffries decries ‘ad hominem attacks against colleagues’ in statement on one-month anniversary of Hamas attack

The House’s Democratic minority leader, Hakeem Jeffries, has released a statement marking a month since Hamas’s deadly attack on Israel that also weighs in on the upcoming vote to censure Rashida Tlaib.

Tlaib is the sole Palestinian American in the House, and has been outspoken against Israel’s retaliatory invasion of the Gaza Strip. Republicans have moved to censure Tlaib for comments they say promote the destruction of Israel, and which have also attracted criticism from some Democrats.

Jeffries does not mention Tlaib specifically in the statement, but instead recommends that Democrats agree to disagree when it comes to Israel:

As public officials serving in Congress, the words we choose matter. It is my strong belief that we must all take care to respect each other personally, even when strongly disagreeing on matters of policy or legislation. We should be able to agree to disagree on domestic or foreign policy issues, without being disagreeable with each other or the President of the United States. If the end goal following the defeat of Hamas and safe return of all hostages is a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people, as I believe it should be, ad hominem attacks against colleagues will never accomplish that objective.

The searing moment of turbulence in our society and throughout the world calls for us to tackle the challenges we confront in a serious, sober and substantive manner. Let us all recommit to doing just that for the good of everyone.

The day so far

Voters in many states across the country are casting ballots in off-year elections that could serve as important bellwethers ahead of the 2024 presidential vote. There is no shortage of races to cover, but we’ll be paying particularly close attention to Virginia, where Republican governor Glenn Youngkin is hoping his allies take control of the legislature so he can enact an abortion ban, and Ohio, a Republican-leaning state where voters are deciding where to protect abortion rights in the state constitution. In red state Kentucky, Democratic governor Andy Beshear is fighting for a second term, while in Mississippi, voters are deciding whether to send Republican Tate Reeves to the governor’s mansion again, or replace him with Democrat Brandon Presley – a cousin of Elvis Presley.

But that’s not all the news that has happened today:

  • The House is moving forward with a resolution to censure progressive Democrat Rashida Tlaib over comments criticizing Israel and supporting the Palestinian cause. In a speech, Tlaib said she would continue calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing invasion of Gaza.

  • David Weiss, the special counsel investigating Hunter Biden, defended his independence in an unusual behind-closed-doors appearance before the House judiciary committee.

  • Iowa’s Republican governor Kim Reynolds endorsed her Florida counterpart Ron DeSantis for president, saying she does not think Donald Trump can win next year.

Maryland’s Jamie Raskin led the Democratic defense in the just-concluded floor debate over censuring Rashida Tlaib.

He argued that punishing Tlaib for her criticism of Israel would undercut speech freedom:

“This resolution is about one thing and one thing only: the punishment of speech.”

– Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) speaks in opposition to a resolution to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) pic.twitter.com/XSU6kMUaeH

— The Recount (@therecount) November 7, 2023

The House just suspended its consideration of the resolution to censure Tlaib, and is expected to vote on it tomorrow.

Here’s video of the first half of Rashida Tlaib’s speech on the House floor defending her comments on Israel’s invasion of Gaza:

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) chokes up while condemning the resolution to censure her that the House is considering:

“Speaking up to save lives, Mr. Chair, no matter faith, no matter ethnicity, should not be controversial in this chamber.” pic.twitter.com/4ob7W6NZIB

— The Recount (@therecount) November 7, 2023

‘We cannot lose our shared humanity’ Tlaib says, as House leads towards censure

In remarks on the House floor minutes after Democrats failed to block an effort to censure her for remarks her detractors say disparaged Israel, progressive Rashida Tlaib defended her criticism of the country and urged lawmakers to join in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

“I will not be silenced and I will not let you distort my words,” Tlaib said. “No government is beyond criticism. The idea that criticizing the government of Israel is antisemitic sets a very dangerous precedent, and it’s been used to silence diverse voices speaking up for human rights across our nation.”

Tlaib, who was first elected in 2018 and is a prominent member of “The Squad” of progressive female lawmakers, grew emotional as she said, “I can’t believe I have to say this, but Palestinian people are not disposable.”

She continued by saying she was against attacks on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike:

The cries of the Palestinian and Israeli children sound no different to me. What I don’t understand is why the cries of Palestinians sound different to you all. We cannot lose our shared humanity, Mr. Chair. I hear the voices of advocates in Israel and Palestine across America and around the world for peace.

I’m inspired by … the courageous survivors in Israel who have lost loved ones, yet are calling for a ceasefire and the end to violence. I am grateful to the people in the streets for the peace movement with countless Jewish Americans across the country standing up and lovingly saying ‘not in our name’.

We will continue to call for a ceasefire, Mr. Chair, for the immediate delivery of critical humanitarian aid to Gaza, for the release of all hostages and those arbitrarily detained and for every American to come home. We will continue to work for real, lasting peace that uphold human rights and dignity of all people and centers … peaceful coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians and censures no one – no one – and ensures that no person, no child has to suffer or live in fear of violence.

Progressive Democrat Rashida Tlaib has long been outspoken against Israel’s policies towards Palestinians, but provoked a firestorm of criticism last week by defending the controversial slogan “from the river to the sea”:

From the river to the sea is an aspirational call for freedom, human rights, and peaceful coexistence, not death, destruction, or hate. My work and advocacy is always centered in justice and dignity for all people no matter faith or ethnicity.

— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) November 3, 2023

What makes that slogan so controversial? Here’s the Guardian’s Daniel Boffey with the answer:

“We won’t rest until we have justice, until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty,” said Andy McDonald, a Labour MP, at a protest in London organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign at the weekend.

Three days later, McDonald was suspended from the party pending an investigation, leaving the former shadow cabinet minister sitting as an independent for now.

Some feel the decision was heavy handed while others see it as a sign of strong leadership from Keir Starmer as the Labour leader tries to draw a clear line between himself and his predecessor, Jeremy Corbyn.

The key to understanding why the party reacted so strongly is six words from McDonald’s speech – and the context in with they were spoken.

“Between the river and the sea” is a fragment from a slogan used since the 1960s by a variety of people with a host of purposes. And it is open to an array of interpretations, from the genocidal to the democratic.

The full saying goes: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” – a reference to the land between the Jordan River, which borders eastern Israel, and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.

The question then is what that means for Israel and the Jewish people.

House votes to move ahead with censuring progressive Democrat Rashida Tlaib over Israel comments

The House of Representatives just rejected an attempt to block a resolution censuring progressive Democrat Rashida Tlaib over her criticism of Israel.

The vote was 213 opposed to tabling the resolution, 208 in favor and one voting present.

The resolution accuses Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, of “promoting false narratives” regarding Hamas’s 7 October terrorist attack against Israel, and “calling for destruction for the State of Israel.”

The House is expected to vote later today on the passing the resolution. Lawmakers are currently on the floor debating Tlaib’s comments.

Voters across Virginia are in the middle of casting ballots for state senate and assembly seats – all of which are up for grabs. Beyond just determining control of the legislature, today’s election could decide whether Republican governor Glenn Youngkin is able to pass a ban on abortion in one of the few southern states where accessing the procedure is still possible. Here’s more on today’s election, from the Guardian’s Joan E Greve:

As he approached another door in Fredericksburg, walking past Halloween decorations and trees starting to lose their autumn leaves, Muhammad Khan prepared his pitch to voters. Over the past several weeks, Khan has spoken to many of his Virginia neighbors, stressing to them that the upcoming legislative elections will determine the future of their state.

Addressing fellow union organizers on Friday morning, Khan said: “We really need to fight, and we need Virginia blue.”

Members of Unite Here, a hospitality workers’ union, have knocked on 230,000 doors on behalf of Democratic candidates in Virginia ahead of Tuesday, when all 140 legislative seats in the battleground state will be up for grabs.

Republicans are looking to maintain their narrow majority in the house of delegates and flip control of the state senate, which would clear the way for the governor, Glenn Youngkin, to enact his policy agenda. But Democrats warn that Republicans would use their legislative trifecta in Richmond to enact a 15-week abortion ban and roll back access to the ballot box.

The results in Virginia carry national implications.

Special counsel told Congress ‘I am … the decision-maker’ in Hunter Biden case – report

In his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee today, David Weiss, the justice department special counsel handling the prosecution of Hunter Biden, assured lawmakers he has full control over the case, Politico reports.

Republicans have alleged political interference in the investigation of the president’s son, which centers around allegations Biden failed to pay taxes on income from his overseas business dealings, and lied about using drugs on a background check to buy a firearm. Special prosecutors usually testify to Congress only after finishing their investigation, but the justice department and Weiss agreed to a behind-closed-doors session with the GOP-controlled committee.

Politico obtained part of Weiss’s testimony, and here’s what it had to say:

Special Counsel David Weiss told members of the Judiciary Committee (and their staff) behind closed doors today that he is “the decision-maker” in Hunter Biden case.

Reiterates he first requested special counsel status in August. More 👇 pic.twitter.com/wl814o38hD

— Jordain Carney (@jordainc) November 7, 2023

Among the many cities and states voting today is New York City, where voters are poised to send to the city council a man who was caught up in one of its most high-profile instances of wrongful convictions, the Associated Press reports:

The exonerated “Central Park Five” member Yusef Salaam is poised to win a seat Tuesday on the New York City council, marking a stunning reversal of fortune for a political newcomer who was wrongly imprisoned as a teenager in the infamous rape case.

Salaam, a Democrat, will represent a central Harlem district on the city council, having run unopposed for the seat in one of many local elections playing out across New York state on Tuesday. He won his primary election in a landslide.

The victory will come more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn the convictions of Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in the 1989 rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park. Salaam was imprisoned for almost seven years.

“For me, this means that we can really become our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” Salaam said in an interview before the election.

Less than two weeks after 18 people were killed by a gunman in their small New England city, residents headed gingerly to polling places there today.

The mood was somber. Several shooting survivors remained hospitalized, flags flew at half-staff, and funerals were being held this week for those who died in the attack, the Associated Press reports.

“This is a necessity. We have to do this [vote]. So we can’t neglect it even though we’ve been through a terrible tragedy,” said James Scribner, 79, a retired teacher and Marine veteran, who was joined by his wife at local school that was transformed into a polling place.

The shootings on October 25 at a bar and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine, forced tens of thousands of residents to shelter in place for several days. Grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants were closed. The gunman was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a nearby town.

Local candidates paused their campaigns for a week after the shootings, and campaigning was different when it resumed, said Jon Connor, a candidate for mayor.

“When we restarted campaigning, I was knocking on doors to see how people are doing,” said Connor, who was greeting voters earlier today. “We’re meeting people where they are. We want to be respectful.”

Lewiston voters were choosing a mayor and filling seven city council and eight school board seats. Some election workers stayed home, either out of safety concerns or to focus on mourning, city clerk Kathy Montejo said.

Voter turnout appeared slow but steady.

It seems a little quieter, a little more subdued, a little more somber,” Montejo said.

Some voters overcame feelings of vulnerability to get to the polls.

It still stays in the back of my mind. But I also can’t let one person make me stay in my house all by myself. I’m still sad. But I had to do my civic duty,” voter Lori Hallett said.

A voter signing a petition in Lewiston, Maine, today. The bulletin board carries a message of support for the community as it recovers from the mass shooting that killed 18 people less than two weeks ago. Photograph: Robert F Bukaty/AP
Sam Levine

Sam Levine

The Iowa governor, Kim Reynolds, broke her neutrality in the Republican primary and endorsed Ron DeSantis for president on Monday, saying she does not believe Donald Trump can win the general election.

“I believe he can’t win,” Reynolds said in an interview with NBC. “And I believe that Ron can.”

The endorsement gives DeSantis the support of a deeply popular governor (she has an 81% approval rating among likely caucus-goers, according to a Des Moines Register/NBC poll). It also gives him fuel as he tries to close a significant gap with the former president in polling, both in Iowa and across the US. Trump is currently polling at 45.6% in Iowa, according to the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, while DeSantis is at 17.1%. The Florida governor is also trying to break away from Nikki Haley, with whom he is battling for second place in the race.

DeSantis is betting his presidential campaign on a strong showing in Iowa, which will hold its caucuses for the GOP nomination on 15 January.

Iowa has long held the first caucuses in the presidential nominating contests and its governors do not typically endorse candidates. Reynolds had previously told others, including Trump, she would stay neutral in the contest, the New York Times reported in July. She reversed that on Monday.

“As a mother and as a grandmother and as an American, I just felt like I couldn’t stand on the sidelines any longer,” she said on Monday, according to the Des Moines Register. “We have too much at stake. Our country is in a world of hurt. The world is a powder keg. And I think it’s just really important that we put the right person in office.”

Full report here.

Voters in Houston are heading to the polls today to elect the next mayor of the nation’s fourth largest city, choosing from a crowded field that includes US congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and state senator John Whitmire, two longtime Democratic lawmakers, the Associated Press writes.

Jackson Lee and Whitmire have dominated an open mayoral race that drew 17 candidates to the ballot in the Texan metropolis and one write-in candidate, and that has been focused on issues of crime, crumbling infrastructure and potential budget shortfalls.

If elected, Jackson Lee would be Houston’s first Black female mayor. Since 1995, she has represented Houston in Congress. Whitmire has spent five decades in the Texas legislature, where he has helped drive policies that were tough on crime while casting himself as a reformer.

If no candidate manages to get more than half of the vote today, the top two will head to a runoff, which would be held December 9.

Jackson Lee, 73, and Whitmire, 74, have touted their experience in a race to lead one of the youngest major cities in the US.

About two weeks before the election, Jackson Lee’s campaign had to contend with the release of an unverified audio recording, which is purported to capture her berating staff members with a barrage of expletives.

Booming growth over the last decade in Houston has caused municipal headaches but has also turned the area into an expanding stronghold for Texas Democrats. Although the mayoral race is nonpartisan, most of the candidates are Democrats.

Whitmire and Jackson Lee are seeking to replace Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has served eight years and can’t run again because of term limits.

File pic: Democratic Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on Capitol Hill.
File pic: Democratic Texas congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on Capitol Hill. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP



https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2023/nov/07/election-day-latest-voting-abortion-virginia-kentucky-ohio-live-updates Election day 2023 live: poll closing times near for voters in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi | Abortion

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