Election Day sees changes in New Jersey and beyond

Voters and poll workers, Ramapo students and staff included, turned out to the polls on Nov. 7 for Election Day. Even though this was considered an “off-year” election because there was no big draw at the top of the ticket, some key issues were decided nationwide.

In New Jersey, the entire state legislature was up for election, which included all 40 State Senate seats.

Bergen County reported a 29.5% voter turnout with more than 196,000 votes cast. This is down from the 2022 election when 44.3% of eligible Bergen County residents participated. A full list of New Jersey’s winning politicians can be found at northjersey.com.

Nationally, some elections made significant changes in their state’s legislature.

Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment that protects access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion. Ohio is now the seventh state where voters supported protection to reproductive healthcare following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. 

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was reelected. He is notably a Democratic politician in a state with an increasingly Republican political lean. Beshear campaigned on the promise of adding exceptions to the state’s near-total abortion ban and building a new bridge between Kentucky and Ohio without tolls.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves was reelected after he was challenged by Democratic candidate Brandon Presley. Presley campaigned on his skillful political charm and his relation to Elvis Presley. Democrats expected Presley to take Reeves’ seat during the run up to the election, but Reeves beat his opponent by about 4%.

Democratic Rep. Gabe Amo was elected as Rhode Island’s first Black Congressman. Amo is a former White House aid, who served during the Biden administration. Amo describes himself as someone who will fight for the rights of women and the working class. Curbing gun violence, protecting social security and restoring the public’s trust in the U.S. government are among his top priorities. 

Democrat Cherelle Parker was elected mayor of Philadelphia. She is the first woman to hold the office and aims to “make the city the safest, cleanest, greenest big city in the nation.” Parker cited her upbringing in a working-class majority-Black neighborhood as one of her motivations to rebuild Philadelphia’s ‘village’ atmosphere and address the rising concerns about crime. 

Democrats took full control of the General Assembly in Virginia. Republican legislators in Virginia had been attempting to secure a “GOP trifecta,” where Republicans would hold full power over the governor seat, the General Assembly and the Attorney General. 

Reproductive rights were an important factor in this election in Virginia. One of the points Republican legislators and candidates had been campaigning on was a 15-week abortion ban with few exceptions. This win for Democrats makes the threat of an abortion ban unlikely in Virginia. 

“It’s official: there will be absolutely no abortion ban legislation sent to Glenn Youngkin’s desk for the duration of his term in office, period,” Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke said in a statement.




Featured photo courtesy of @GovAndyBeshear, X