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Voting rights, LGBT rights, marijuana, and immigration: The night in ballot measures

State passes largest expansion of voting rights in decades as Massachusetts affirms transgender protections.

Four more states voted on the legalization of marijuana.

It’s not all about the red v blue. In dozens of states, voters cast ballots on Tuesday on issues ranging from voting rights and climate change to gun control and taxing tech to fund homeless services. Four states will see voters weigh in on the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, while Massachusetts voters will have a chance to reaffirm (or reject) a measure protecting the rights of transgender people.

We’ll be updating this story all night as the results come in, so stay tuned …

Voting rights

Last-minute lawsuits, long lines, voter roll purges, and inconvenient polling places – Americans’ ability to exercise their right to vote has been under pressure since the supreme court invalidated parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013.

Five states had voting rights issues on their ballots tonight, including Florida, where voters chose to restore the franchise to 1.5 million people who were convicted of felonies and have completed their sentences. Activists who fought to pass Amendment 4 cheered the victory, which represents the largest expansion of voting rights in decades.

Maryland approved a measure that will expand voting rights by allowing same-day registration, and Nevada enacted automatic voter registration when drivers have contact with the department of motor vehicles.

Meanwhile, North Carolina and Arkansas both passed constitutional amendments requiring voters to provide photo IDs to vote – measures that generally have the effect of restricting the voting rights of the poor and elderly.

Tech tax for the homeless

A controversial measure that will levy a tax against the largest businesses in San Francisco to fund housing and services for the homeless has passed. The 0.5% gross receipts tax on companies with revenues over $50m had touched off a battle between the city’s tech billionaires, with the Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, publicly feuding with Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and other tech titans who complained the tax was unfair.

Another California housing measure, Proposition 10, which would have allowed cities to enact rent control measures, failed.

Transgender rights

Actor Laverne Cox poses with supporters of a 2016 Massachusetts law that protects transgender people from discrimination.
 Actor Laverne Cox poses with supporters of a 2016 Massachusetts law that protects transgender people from discrimination. Photograph: Josh Wood for the Guardian

A Massachusetts civil rights law came under attack this year with Question 3, which sought to repeal the 2016 state law banning discrimination against transgender people. But voters rejected the measure, making Massachusetts the first state to affirm transgender rights in a statewide vote.

Reproductive rights

It was a tough night for reproductive rights, with voters in two staunchly Republican states approving measures to restrict abortion. Alabama passed a constitutional amendment to recognize the “right to life” of fetuses and deny public funding for abortion. West Virginia also passed a constitutional amendment declaring that the state does not protect the right to abortion and restricting public funding for the procedure. A similar measure prohibiting public funding of abortion was rejected by voters in Oregon.

Marijuana

Legal weed continues to spread across the US, as four more states voted on legalization. Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana, and Michigan voted to approve recreational use of the drug. North Dakota, which allows medical marijuana, rejected legalization for recreational purposes. We’re still awaiting results from Utah, where a measures legalizing use for medical purposes is leading the polls.

Immigration

Thirty years after Oregon passed a sanctuary law, barring state and local law enforcement from using public resources for immigration enforcement, voters in the state rejected an attempt to repeal the measure.

Criminal justice

Voters in Louisiana elected to require a unanimous verdict from a 12-person jury for a felony conviction. Juries in the state had previously been allowed to convict with 10 out of 12 votes, a remnant of Jim Crow-era laws that disproportionately affected African Americans.

Minimum wage

It’s not quite $15 an hour, but hundreds of thousands of workers in Arkansas and Missouri will get raises after voters in the two states approved increases to the minimum wages. In Arkansas, the rate will increase from $8.50 to $11 an hour by 2021; in Missouri the wage will ramp up from the current $7.85 to $12 an hour by 2023.

Fossil fuels

A renewable energy measure has failed in Arizona.
 A renewable energy measure has failed in Arizona. Photograph: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Efforts to curb America’s addiction to fossil fuel consumption saw little success at the ballot box on Tuesday. In Arizona, a well-funded campaign to require electric utilities to get half their power from renewable sources by 2030 was rejected by voters, and in Colorado, a measure to place restrictions on where new oil and gas wells can be located failed to pass.

Missouri and Utah voters also rejected increases on gasoline taxes. Another major environmental initiative – a carbon emissions fee in the state of Washington – is currently trailing. California voters did manage to reject an attempt to repeal the state’s most recent gas tax increase.

Gun control

Washington state enacted tough new gun control laws, increasing the minimum age for purchasing a gun to 21 and establishing background checks and waiting periods.

Animal rights

Chicken farms must convert to cage free in California.
 Chicken farms must be cage-free by 2022. Photograph: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

In a blow to factory farms, California’s Proposition 12 passed, establishing minimum space requirements for farm animals. The measure also requires that all egg-laying hens be raised “cage-free” by 2022.

Medicaid expansion

Four states voted on the expansion of Medicaid coverage to more low-income residents, a key aspect of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, that many Republican state governments rejected. So far, voters in Nebraska and Idaho have approved the expansion, and the measure is leading in Utah. In Montana, voters are facing a slightly different question: whether to maintain the Medicaid expansion beyond 2019 and fund it through a tobacco tax. That race is still too close to call.

Tampon tax exemption

And in one small victory for women, Nevada voted to exempt feminine hygiene products from state and local sales taxes.

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Donald Trump Has One Trick Up His Sleeve To Stop The Caravan

Donald Trump

The migrant caravan threatening to invade America is still making its way through Mexico.

Thousands of migrants think they will be able to pour across the border and enter America.

But Donald Trump has one trick up his sleeve to stop the caravan dead in its tracks.

Donald Trump Promises To Change Asylum Laws To Stop The Caravan

The caravan – which once numbered as many as 10,000 migrants according to some reports – is intent on invading America.

Even though it is now down to roughly 3,000 migrants, these invaders still plan to breach America’s Southern border.

Their plan is to get caught by border patrol agents and request asylum.

You can request asylum at legal points of entry.

Border patrol agents catching migrants in the act of illegally entering America is not one of those points of entry.

But the Immigration and Naturalization Act also states if asylum seekers have a “well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion,” they can request asylum at non-designated points of entry.

Illegal aliens caught entering the country then have one year to request asylum.

But Trump plans to change all that.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions previously issued guidelines rolling back Obama-era rules that allowed migrants to request asylum if they feared gang or domestic violence.

In a pre-election press event, Trump announced he would issue an executive order changing asylum laws.

“If these caravans are allowed into our country, only bigger and more emboldened caravans will follow — and you see that’s what’s happening now,” Trump declared.

That’s why he said he would change asylum laws to prevent migrants who are caught entering the country illegally from requesting asylum.

Why This Executive Order Is Necessary

The day after the midterm elections, news broke that Trump planned to issue this executive order before he left for Paris.

Trump said that asylum is not a program for people in poverty.

In fact, many of the migrants in these caravans are economic refugees.

Employers in the United States want the cheap labor to cut costs, but it depresses the wages of American workers.

Trump knows migrants abused the asylum program for too long.

So he is making whatever changes the Constitution allows him through his executive authority.

If the caravans aren’t stopped, Trump noted this could lead to a flood of migrants invading the country.

A Pew poll showed 58 percent of people in El Salvador would move to America if they could.

The United States cannot sustain itself as a nation with open borders and allowing the world’s poorest people to flood into the country.

Trump and his supporters believe there needs to be a tightly controlled system in place to allow for legitimate claims but will clamp down on the idea that just anyone can enter America.

Ann Coulter Just Exposed A Huge Secret About The Migrant Caravan

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Droves of illegal migrants are heading to the U.S. border.

They claim to be seeking asylum from their home countries in South America.

But Ann Coulter just exposed a huge secret about the caravan.

Ann Coulter Exposes The Truth

The illegal migrant caravan is growing every day.

They’ve already entered one country illegally and plan to do the same when they arrive at the U.S. border.

Those in the caravan claim to be seeking asylum from their home countries—and the left-wing media has been working hard to promote those claims.

But many American’s don’t believe it’s really the case.

Ann Coulter is one of those people.

As a conservative commentator with 13 New York Times best-selling books, she is a strong authority on immigration.

Speaking on a Fox News Channel program, she laid out exactly why these aren’t asylum cases:

“None of these are asylum cases or they’d stop in the first country they get to.”

Continuing on, she explains why:

“THE IDEA OF ASYLUM IS SOMETHING LIKE THERE’S A HOLOCAUST, THERE’S A POTATO FAMINE. NO THIS IS HOW THESE PEOPLE ALWAYS LIVE WHICH IS WHY ALL OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES WANT TO COME TO THE … BIGGEST WELFARE STATE IN THE WORLD, THAT IS THE UNITED STATES.”

The Caravan Coming To The Biggest Welfare State

Calling the U.S. the biggest welfare state in the world is a correct statement.

If the U.S. grants asylum to the caravan, they will have access to the same government programs available to U.S. citizens like healthcare, public education, and food stamps.

Those are things not as readily available in Mexico.

If they simply wanted asylum, they could stay in Mexico and live there.

But they know they won’t get expansive welfare programs like in the U.S.

And according to Coulter, that is exactly why they aren’t choosing to live in Mexico.

That’s why it is the job of the U.S. to stop them.

President Trump Working To Stop The Caravan

Democrats are hoping we accept the illegal migrants, but Republicans are fighting back.

President Trump is fully ready to deny them entry.

And he’s sent U.S. troops to the border to do just that.

Trump made his intentions clear on Twitter.

“To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!” Trump said.

This shows how differently Trump handles things.

Had Hillary been president, she likely would have allowed the illegal migrants full asylum so she wouldn’t anger her far-left constituents.

But Trump has a backbone and isn’t going to abandon what he believes in.

Are you happy that President Trump is in office right now?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

There Is News About Brett Kavanaugh That No Trump Supporter Is Going To Like

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Donald Trump and his supporters thought they won the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation fight.

But then some bad news came in.

And Trump and his supporters will not be happy with what happened.

Republicans See Kavanaugh Bounce Fade

Republicans saw a surge in support after the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation battle.

Americans looked at the Democrats behavior and were disgusted.

Democrats used fake news, hoaxes, smears, and women lying about rape to try and stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Republican voters had been trailing Democrats in voter enthusiasm up to that point.

But getting a taste of how Democrats would act if they were in power inspired Republicans to turn out and vote.

Republicans in key Senate races saw their political fortunes improve.

In key states like Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Texas, and Tennessee, Republicans led Democrats in early voting.

But that appears to have changed.

Republican and Democrat strategists both say their internal polling shows the Kavanaugh bounce has faded.

Rob Stutzman – a California Republican operative – told Politico this was the case.

“Clearly the Kavanaugh confirmation was an inflection point to activate the Republican base, and even pull over some Democratic men,” Stutzman said. “But that’s an effect that benefits the Senate and leaves suburban members of Congress stranded. It’s unlikely we won back suburban Orange County voters.”

Democrats Split Over Kavanaugh Hearings

But Democrats contend they also saw a Kavanaugh bounce.

Democrat Pollster Ben Tulchin informed Politico that the Kavanaugh fight helped them in the upscale suburbs where Democrats expect to pick up House seats.

“The Kavanaugh hearings did set us back, but it depended on geography,” he stated. “The more upscale districts, where we’ve done well all cycle, it was to our benefit there, and in more downscale districts with rural pockets, it was a challenge.

But other Democrats saw the danger the Kavanaugh hearings held for Democrats.

Dan McCready – a Democrat running for Congress in a conservative North Carolina district – ripped the Democrats for their conduct during the hearings in an interview with Politico.

“I think people in North Carolina feel that those hearings were another example of how broken Washington is now,” McCready declared. “For me, putting country over party, Democrats and Republicans working together, that’s the leadership we need right now.”

Donald Trump Makes A Change

Donald Trump recognized that the Kavanaugh bounce could not last forever.

That’s why he made immigration the number one issue in America.

Democrats helped with their support for open borders in the face of the migrant caravan invasion.

Thousands of migrants marched through Central America intending to pour over America’s southern border.

The fake news media claims this isn’t a real threat because the migrant caravan won’t reach our border for weeks.

But it doesn’t matter when they show up.

The simple fact that thousands of migrants think they can walk across America’s southern border is a threat in and of itself.

This is a direct challenge to America’s sovereignty.

If America can’t control her borders, she is no longer a nation.

That’s why Trump is making immigration a central campaign issue.

Donald Trump Shut Down The Migrant Caravan With One Tweet

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