Yesterday, many of you took to the polls to exercise the most valuable tenet of our democracy. There were some high-stakes measures in cities and states around the country, even for an off-cycle year, and your votes paid off. Here are some of the successes from yesterday's election day:- Labor rights: Voters successfully repealed Governor Kasich's (R-OH) anti-labor bill SB-5 (61 to 39), a huge triumph for We Are Ohio, labor groups, and all organizers and activists around the country.- LGBT rights: The conservative state of Virginia elected its first openly gay state senator, Adam Ebbin (D-VA). In Iowa, conservatives lost a seat in the Senate that they hoped would help them ban gay marriage. Holyoke, Massachussettes also elected its first gay mayor, the youngest gay mayor in the U.S. at just 22.- Reproductive rights: A bill in Mississippi that would have granted "personhood" to fertilized human eggs and produced new barriers to abortion services for women was defeated by a wide margin.- Voting rights: Voters in Maine successfully protected the institution of same-day voter registration, which was under attack by conservative proponents of voter ID legislation. Voter ID laws, which also include elimination of same-day registration and early voting, could potentially disenfranchise millions of voters in the U.S.- Immigrant rights: Arizona voters recalled state Senate president Russell Pearce (R-AZ), who authored Arizona's extreme anti-immigrant legislation SB 1070. The bill sparked nationwide outrage and triggered a wave of copy-cat anti-immigrant legislation in states like Georgia and Alabama.
As Governor Kasich (R-OH) said following his defeat last night, Americans have voted, and legislators in every state "heard their voices." Let's continue to make our voices heard as we head towards 2012.