Below is a statement from Joni Madison, the Interim President of the Human Rights Campaign, on the 2022 midterm elections.
“While we likely won’t know the full outcome of the election for several days — we do know a few things right now. We know that extremist candidates didn’t generate the tsunami they were betting on, thanks to the historic turnout of pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters, who showed up to the polls in record numbers to make their voices heard. In some of the most consequential and bellwether races in key battleground states, voters sent a strong message: Extremists, conspiracy theorists, and far-right radicals won’t be readily handed the keys to our democracy — and certainly won’t prevent the gears of progress from turning.
“Those gears of progress continued turning tonight, as LGBTQ+ voters turned out in larger numbers than ever before for a nonpresidential election — and as LGBTQ+ candidates for the first time appeared on ballots in every state across the country. Those historic candidates included people like Maura Healey in Massachusetts, who tonight became the first openly lesbian woman ever elected as governor, and candidates like Robert Garcia in California, who tonight became the first openly gay immigrant elected to the U.S. Congress, and Becca Balint, the first woman and first lesbian in Vermont to be elected to the U.S. Congress. Garcia and Balint will serve alongside a number of openly LGBTQ+ Members of Congress who were reelected tonight in states like Kansas, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
“Those historic candidates also included people like Jared Polis in Colorado, who became the first openly gay man tonight to be elected and reelected as governor, and people like James Roesener of New Hampshire, who tonight became the first openly transgender man elected to any state legislature. Roesener’s historic win is further bolstered by the record number of transgender and non-binary people elected and re-elected tonight, including people like Sarah McBride — who secured a second term as state senator in Delaware.
“Those gears of progress also continued turning tonight as LGBTQ+ ally Wes Moore secured a historic victory as the first Black governor of Maryland, and as voters in states across the country weighed in on a number of reproductive rights ballot measures, making it clear that pro-choice policies are supported by the majority of Americans.
“The reality is that extremists worked overtime this election cycle, pushing discriminatory and inflammatory narratives about LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color, because they know we are the only thing standing between them and their extremist vision of America. But as voters made clear tonight — this outdated playbook remained as ineffective as it has in the past.
“In the coming days we’ll have a clearer picture of the full outcome of this election. But tonight, we know that pro-equality, pro-democracy, pro-choice voters came out in full force — and denied extremists and conspiracy theorists the landslide they assumed was theirs for the taking.
“For democracy to work for all of us, it must include all of us. That means every voter must have their voice heard and vote counted. Despite deliberate efforts to suppress turnout, including last minute anti-LGBTQ+ attacks and disinformation, voters have done their job and turned out in record numbers — now election officials are doing theirs by ensuring every vote is counted.”
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