UNITED STATES NEWS

It’s Election Day. Here is what you need to know

Nov 7, 2023, 10:58 AM

Though its an off-year general election, races across the country will have far-reaching implications for 2024 and beyond.

For example, there are two races that will determine state governors. Other races will provide insight into how abortion rights are shaping American politics. Some contests, such as Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court race, could play a significant role in voting-related cases during the 2024 presidential campaign. There could also be some historic firsts, as in Rhode Island, which could elect its first Black representative to Congress.

Here is what you need to know as you cast your vote.

Where do I vote?

Your polling place depends on where you live. You can find your polling place by checking your voter registration. Here’s a helpful tool from the National Associations of Secretaries of State that can help you find your polling location.

What are the key races?

Kentucky governor’s race

Voters in Kentucky are deciding whether to give a second term to Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat running in a heavily Republican state. The GOP nominee is Daniel Cameron, who succeeded Beshear as state attorney general.

Mississippi governor’s race

Mississippi, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves is seeking reelection against a cousin of rock ’n’ roll legend Elvis Presley, Democrat Brandon Presley.

Ohio abortion amendment

Ohio voters will decide on a constitutional amendment supported by abortion rights groups. The proposed amendment, labeled “Issue 1” on the ballot, would establish the right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions” on matters including abortion, contraception and fertility treatment. It would allow for abortions to be banned once it has been established that the fetus can survive outside of the womb, unless a physician determines that continuing with the pregnancy would endanger the patient’s “life or health.”

Virginia General Assembly

Control of both chambers of Virginia’s state Legislature is up for grabs, with Republicans holding a narrow majority in the state House and Democrats leading the state Senate. GOP control of both chambers would clear the way for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin to implement a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Republican Carolyn Carluccio and Democrat Daniel McCaffery are the nominees to fill a vacant state Supreme Court seat that could play a significant role on voting-related cases during the 2024 presidential campaign.

What are some of the other key ballot initiatives this election?

Colorado

Colorado voters are deciding two statewide ballot measures Tuesday that would affect their pocketbooks as well as state funds.

Proposition HH asks voters to allow the state to keep some amount of surplus tax revenue that the state constitution currently requires be refunded back to taxpayers. In exchange, the measure would lower property tax rates for 10 years. A portion of the funds the state retains would be spent on education and rental assistance.

Proposition II would allow the state to keep and spend $23.7 million in tax revenue that has already been collected from the sale of tobacco and nicotine products. It would maintain current tax rates on tobacco and nicotine products and direct the revenue to be spent on preschool programs.

Ohio

The future of recreational marijuana legalization in Ohio is in the balance. Issue 2 on the statewide ballot would allow adults 21 and over to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and to grow plants at home. A 10% tax would be imposed on purchases, with proceeds going to administrative costs, addiction treatment, municipalities with dispensaries and social equity and jobs programs.

Virginia

Voters in Virginia’s capital city are deciding Tuesday whether developers can move forward with a proposed $562 million resort casino along Interstate 95.

A ballot measure on whether to allow the gambling and entertainment complex is before Richmond voters for a second time, after the city narrowly rejected the proposal two years ago.

When do polls close?

The answer depends on where you are.

— In Kentucky, most of the state is in Eastern time, where polls close at 6 p.m. ET, but 41 counties are located in the Central time zone and close at 7 p.m. ET.

— In Virginia, polls close statewide at 7 p.m. ET.

— In Ohio, polls will close at 7:30 p.m. ET.

— In Mississippi, polls close statewide at 7 p.m. local time (CT), which is 8 p.m. ET.

— In Pennsylvania, polls close at 8 p.m. ET.

— In Texas, polls in most of the state close at 8 p.m. ET. Polls in some of west Texas are in the mountain time zone, where they close at 9 p.m. ET.

— In Colorado, polls close at 7 p.m. MST, which is 9 p.m. ET.

— In New York, polls close at 9 p.m. ET.

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It’s Election Day. Here is what you need to know