28 de noviembre de 2020
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Beyond Trump and Biden, what did the US vote on?

New York, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- The focus of the elections in the United States is naturally heaped on the race for the White House but citizens are also asked to cast votes on state proposals, which this year ranged from the decriminalization of drugs to the voting age.

Here is a selection of eight proposals voted on this year:

1.- NEW JERSEY AND ARIZONA LEGALIZE MARIJUANA

New Jerseyans voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for people over 21 as well as the cultivation and retail sale of the plant. The measure was backed by 67% of voters. New Jersey joins a growing list of states where marijuana is legal. The substance remains illegal at a federal level.

In Arizona, 60% of voters were in favor of legalizing recreational use and possession of the drug in a proposal that would also allow citizens to grow up to six plants on their property.

2.- WASHINGTON D.C., OREGON, SUPPORT DECRIMINALIZATION OF PSYCHEDELICS

Washington D.C. wants to relax drug penalties by effectively decriminalizing the cultivation, distribution and possession of psychedelic mushrooms and similar plants for personal use. The proposal was backed by 77% of voters.

Oregon, in the northwest of the US, also voted to legalize the purchase, possession and consumption of psychedelic plants for therapeutic use, a measure that was backed by 56% of voters.

3.- OREGON SUPPORTS DECRIMINALIZING COCAINE, HEROIN POSSESSION

Oregon also became the first state to decriminalize the possession of hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycontin and methamphetamines, a move designed to boost a rehabilitative rather than criminal approach to drug laws.

The measure would re-class the possession of small quantities of such drugs as a civil offense punishable with a small fine.

4.- CALIFORNIA BLOCKS AMENDMENT TO LOWER VOTING AGE

Californians decided to vote against a proposal to allow 17-year-olds to cast their vote in primaries, a measure that would only have been legal if said voter turned 18 before the corresponding presidential election. Some 54% of voters blocked it.

5.- CALIFORNIA BACKS RESTORATION OF VOTING RIGHTS TO FORMER FELONS

Voters in the Golden State did, however, lend their backing to Proposition 17, which restores the right to vote for those who have finished serving a prison sentence.

6.- ONLY CITIZENS CAN VOTE, SAYS ALABAMA

The southern state of Alabama overwhelmingly voted in favor of limiting voting rights to US citizens over the age of 18. Alabama State Amendment 1 is to change the language of the state constitution to replace “all citizens” with “only” US citizens. The tweak in the state constitution clarifies that only those in possession of US citizenship can vote and not undocumented migrants and people with residency permits.

7. OKLAHOMA SAYS NO TO BANNING USE OF PRIOR CONVICTIONS IN SENTENCING

Some 61% of Oklahoma voters rejected a question on the state ballot that would scrap the practice of considering prior crimes when handing down a sentence, meaning judges can continue to extend jail time depending on criminal records.

8.- COLORADO DIVIDED ON WOLVES

Citizens of Colorado were split almost evenly on a proposal that would require the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission to create a program for the reinstatement of gray wolves on public land to the west on the continental divide by 2023. 50.67% of voters backed it, but 49.33% said no, with 85% counted. EFE-EPA

hc/jt

Contenido relacionado

Trump, needing millions to recount Wisconsin votes, asks for donations

New York, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Amid very tight election results, President Donald Trump's reelection campaign on Wednesday afternoon decided to "immediately" demand a vote recount in the state of Wisconsin but to do that it is estimated that it would have to pay some $3 million, and so the president has begun asking for donations from his supporters.

"Despite ridiculous public polling used as a voter suppression tactic, Wisconsin has been a razor thin race as we always knew that it would be," Trump campaign chair Bill Stepien wrote in a statement sent to the press. "There have been reports of irregularities in several Wisconsin counties which raise serious doubts about the validity of the results. The President is well within the threshold to request a recount and we will immediately do so."

The latest election figures, with almost all the votes counted, give the president 48.8 percent of the votes to 49.4 percent for his rival, Democrat Joe Biden.

In Wisconsin, state law says that a candidate may request a recount if after the state's 72 electoral districts have presented their tallies the percentage of the total votes statewide separating the candidates is less than 1 percent, but to do that the candidate making the request must pay for each vote that needs to be reviewed.

However, there is an exception. The candidate does not have to provide the funds if the margin is less than 0.25 percent, but if that is not the case in this situation, then the president would need to pay some $3 million, according to calculations by local media.

Wisconsin law also establishes that if the recount changes the election results and gives Trump the win in the state, the state would reimburse the money to the candidate.

To try and finance these legal efforts, which must be paid for in advance, the Trump campaign has repeatedly been asking his supporters for donations via e-mails throughout Tuesday night and during the day on Wednesday.

"Just like I predicted from the start," Trump claimed in one of these fundraising e-mails sent out on Wednesday morning, "mail-in ballots are leading to CHAOS like you've never seen, plain and simple! The Radical Left is going to do whatever it takes to try and rip a TRUMP-PENCE VICTORY away from you, and that's why I'm coming to you now."

In other emails, he said that he needed his supporters' help to ensure that the election results are protected and so that "leftist(s)" do not undermine the election.

If Trump's campaign ultimately presents its complaint, he has until 5 pm on the day after the 72 electoral districts present their results to do so, and if the recount order is made, a period of 13 days is allocated for pollworkers and officials to review the ballots.

After that, if Trump's or Biden's team fails to accept the result of the recount, they would have five days to file a complaint in court, which would then have to rule on the matter as quickly as possible.

Once that ruling is issued, the candidate who felt slighted would have another 30 days to appeal, which would be a process that could last weeks.

Wisconsin law provides that a matter of this kind would have to be given priority before any other similar case, with the state being one of those which has experience very tight races in recent years.

In 2011, during the election for state Supreme Court justices, JoAnne Kloppenburg initially defeated then Justice David Prosser by some 200 votes before a recount reversed the results.

In the 2016 presidential vote, a recount requested by a third candidate, Jill Stein, did not alter the results in favor of Democrat Hillary Clinton, and Trump received 131 votes more after the review.

Besides Wisconsin, the Trump campaign has announced that it will present complaints in several states to stop the vote count, a move that could lead to more legal expenses.

EFE

Biden addresses nation, stops short of claiming victory

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon said that he believes he will win the election during a speech at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware.

"I'm not here to declare that we've won, but I am here to report that when the count is finished, we believe we will be the winners," said Biden, who at this hour holds a 264-214 lead over President Donald Trump in the prospective electoral vote count, according to projections by the major US media outlets.

Although Trump had said early Wednesday morning that vote counting should be halted, particularly in certain states he needs to ensure his reelection, Biden responded by saying in his brief speech: "No one's going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever," adding that "every vote must be counted."

"Here, the people rule," he said. "Power can't be taken or asserted. It flows from the people. And it's their will that determines who will be the president of the United States, and their will alone."

"My friends, I'm confident we'll emerge victorious," Biden said. "But this will not be my victory alone or our victory alone. It will be a victory for the American people, for our democracy, for America. And there will be no blue states and red states when we win - just the United States of America."

Within the past hour, media outlets CBS, CNN and NBC projected that Biden would win the key state of Michigan, thus expanding his margin of victory over Trump.

With the 16 votes in the Electoral College that Michigan provides, Biden now stands at a projected 264 votes in that key institution - where 270 votes are required to win the presidency - to Trump's 214.

At this stage of the vote count, with several states not yet having reported their vote totals and the main media outlets holding off on projecting the winner in the presidential race in those states, Biden's electoral vote total looks like this: Arizona (11), California (55), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine-state (2), Maine-District 1 (1) Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Michigan (16), Minnesota (10), Nebraska-District 2 (1), New Jersey (14), New York (29), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12) and Wisconsin (10).

Projections indicate that Trump, on the other hand, has won the following states: Alabama (9), Arkansas (6), South Carolina (9), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Florida (29), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Iowa (6) Louisiana (8), Maine-District 2 (1), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska-state (2), Nebraska-District 1 (1), Nebraska-District 3 (1), Ohio (18), Oklahoma (7), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3).

The states of Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Alaska and Georgia have not yet been called by the networks.

Meanwhile, Trump's reelection campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in a Michigan court demanding that the vote count in that state be halted, claiming that sufficient access to the polls had not been provided to voters.

The announcement of the lawsuit was made by Trump campaign director Bill Stepien in a statement shortly after announcing that his team will also demand a recount in Wisconsin.

"Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States," the former vice president's campaign chair, Jen O'Malley Dillon, told reporters earlier on Wednesday after an anxiety-filled election night that ended - as many expert observers had expected - with no clear winner.

"We believe we are on a clear path to victory by this afternoon. We expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes," O'Malley Dillon said.

"Let's be extremely clear about something: If Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States," she added, referring to Trump's earlier claim that he had won the election and wanted "all voting to stop."

No voting is actually ongoing at this time, with all the polls having closed last night, but millions of mail-in ballots are still en route to election offices around the nation and have yet to be counted and many ballots cast in person or by mail on or before Nov. 3 have not yet been tabulated either.

O'Malley Dillon said that the campaign believes Biden has won the state of Wisconsin, but the Trump campaign announced Wednesday that it will request a recount in that state, which has a provision for an automatic recount when a candidate's margin of victory is below a certain level.

In addition, the Biden campaign is expecting Michigan to declare on Wednesday that Biden has won that state, but the country will have to wait another day to learn the definitive results in Pennsylvania and Nevada, in the latter of which local authorities decided not to make public the results until 9 am Thursday.

The campaign chief said in her remarks that Biden would address the nation "later" on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Trump said Wednesday morning that it was "very strange" that during the latter stages of the recounts in certain key states he had lost the apparent advantage he had held after the polls closed on Tuesday - although at that time only a partial count of the votes had been made.

And his campaign chairman, Bill Stepien said that "If we count all legal ballots, the president wins."

Trump reiterated his doubts about the legality of the recount in a tweet, saying: "Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the 'pollsters' got it completely & historically wrong!"

In an appearance at the White House on Wednesday morning, Trump was more emphatic in his remarks, complaining without providing any evidence of electoral fraud, threatening to resort to the Supreme Court - where conservatives hold an overwhelming 6-3 majority - to resolve the election and declaring himself to have won the election even though, as noted, millions of mail-in votes remain to be received and counted.

EFE

Biden wins Wisconsin, Trump campaign sues to stop Michigan vote count

Washington, Nov. 4 (efe-epa).- Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Wednesday was declared the winner in the key state of Wisconsin, which increases his advantage over President Donald Trump in the electoral vote total, according to projections by CNN, The New York Times and National Public Radio.

With the 10 electoral votes that Wisconsin provides, Biden now increases his anticipated electoral vote total to 248, with 214 for Trump. A total of 270 electoral votes are required for a candidate to win the presidency, regardless of the popular vote total.

Meanwhile, Trump's reelection campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in a Michigan court demanding that the vote count in that state be halted, claiming that sufficient access to the polls had not been provided to voters.

The announcement of the lawsuit was made by Trump campaign director Bill Stepien in a statement shortly after announcing that his team will also demand a recount in Wisconsin.

"Joe Biden is on track to win this election and he will be the next president of the United States," the former vice president's campaign chair, Jen O'Malley Dillon, told reporters earlier on Wednesday after an anxiety-filled election night that ended - as many expert observers had expected - with no clear winner.

"We believe we are on a clear path to victory by this afternoon. We expect that the vice president will have leads in states that put him over 270 electoral votes," O'Malley Dillon said.

"Let's be extremely clear about something: If Donald Trump got his wish and we stopped counting ballots right now, Vice President Joe Biden would be the next president of the United States," she added, referring to Trump's earlier claim that he had won the election and wanted "all voting to stop."

No voting is actually ongoing at this time, with all the polls having closed last night, but millions of mail-in ballots are still en route to election offices around the nation and have yet to be counted and many ballots cast in person or by mail on or before Nov. 3 have not yet been tabulated either.

O'Malley Dillon said that the campaign believes Biden has won the state of Wisconsin, but the Trump campaign announced Wednesday that it will request a recount in that state, which has a provision for an automatic recount when a candidate's margin of victory is below a certain level.

In addition, the Biden campaign is expecting Michigan to declare on Wednesday that Biden has won that state, but the country will have to wait another day to learn the definitive results in Pennsylvania and Nevada, in the latter of which local authorities decided not to make public the results until 9 am Thursday.

The campaign chief said in her remarks that Biden would address the nation "later" on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Trump said Wednesday morning that it was "very strange" that during the latter stages of the recounts in certain key states he had lost the apparent advantage he had held after the polls closed on Tuesday - although at that time only a partial count of the votes had been made.

And his campaign chairman, Bill Stepien said that "If we count all legal ballots, the president wins."

Trump reiterated his doubts about the legality of the recount in a tweet, saying: "Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled. Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the 'pollsters' got it completely & historically wrong!"

In an appearance at the White House on Wednesday morning, Trump was more emphatic in his remarks, complaining without providing any evidence of electoral fraud, threatening to resort to the Supreme Court - where conservatives hold an overwhelming 6-3 majority - to resolve the election and declaring himself to have won the election even though, as noted, millions of mail-in votes remain to be received and counted.

So far, Biden is projected to have won the following states with their electoral vote totals in parentheses: Arizona (11), California (55), Colorado (9), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine-state (2), Maine-District 1 (1) Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), Minnesota (10), Nebraska-District 2 (1), New Jersey (14), New York (29), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Virginia (13), Washington (12) and Wisconsin (10).

Trump is projected to have won Alabama (9), Arkansas (6), South Carolina (9), North Dakota (3), South Dakota (3), Florida (29), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Iowa (6) Louisiana (8), Maine-District 2 (1), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska-state (2), Nebraska-District 1 (1), Nebraska-District 3 (1), Ohio (18), Oklahoma (7), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), Utah (6), West Virginia (5) and Wyoming (3).

EFE

Protests in New York against Trump's attempts to stop vote count

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

New York, Nov 4 (efe-epa).- Shouting "all votes count, count all votes," hundreds gathered Wednesday on the steps of the New York Library on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to denounce President Donald Trump’s attempts to curb vote counting in two key states.

Among the lions by the building’s gates, labor, immigrant and political organizations gathered to show their rejection toward the request of Trump's electoral team to recount votes in the state of Wisconsin and the threats to take the Michigan and Pennsylvania results to court.

"I am here to join other New Yorkers with the aim of guaranteeing that the results of these elections are protected and I hope that today we can also celebrate a victory and that the country works again," Jehuda Webster, the community organizer of the Jewish NGO Economic and Racial Justice, told EFE.

In a festive atmosphere, along with Webster and several members of his organization, RefuseFascism activists brandished posters denouncing that "White Supremacism, Theocracy and Fascism are never legitimized" and calling for the departure of the President and Vice President Mike Pence.

A member of this organization, Travis Morales, told EFE that "voting is very important, but not enough."

"We need to be in the streets to demand: Trump and Pence go now, because it is a fascist regime that imprisons children in cages at the borders and violently attacks the protesters of the movement of black lives matter," Morales said, wearing a mask and a T-shirt that read "Trump / Pence OUT NOW."

Asked about measures deployed by authorities and the fear of many businesses in the city center that the marches could lead to looting, both told EFE that the protest was peaceful.

New York Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said Tuesday that there will be "zero tolerance" by his agents over possible riots in the Big Apple after the closure of polling stations and with the arrival of the first results.

"We are not here because of the violence, there are colleagues who have received training in de-escalation of conflicts and who are here to ensure that the protest remains peaceful," Pence said.

Morales, visibly agitated, said "the source of the violence is Trump and his fascist thugs" who the only way to confront "with millions of people on the streets demanded that they leave."

Among the protesters were the well-known "Cowboy of Times Square" with his white underpants with the name of the president printed next to the artist Tootsie Warhol, characterized as Donald Trump and a sign that could read "Vote for Trump to leave."

After a few minutes in which several songs were sung and speeches read denouncing Trump's steps against the electoral process, protesters marched down Fifth Avenue escorted by police officers parading in a row close to the buildings.

In the direction of the south of the island of Manhattan, where other similar protests have also been called, as in other districts of the city, participants moved slowly before by a large poster reading "All votes count, count all votes," which they shouted repeatedly. EFE-EPA

jfu/lds

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