Election Night- The Low Down for People who Don’t Follow Politics

What Happened?

We voted for every member of the House of Representatives and about a third of the senate! Yay!

Who Won?

Democrats took the majority in the House; Republicans kept the Senate.

Trump?

According to Vox, Democrats can now subpoena him and launch investigations, particularly into his finances. They can also block legislation and initiate revenue legislation. With that, Trump now has an excuse for why nothing happens in Congress- “obstructionist Democrats” could be a real thing now.

Who is in charge?

Nancy Pelosi will likely become the new Speaker of the House (Paul Ryan’s old job). Fun fact: If the President and Vice-President, say Trump and Pence, get impeached, she (or whoever becomes Speaker) will be in charge.

Are they going to have to work together?

In theory, a divided Congress means that they can’t pass anything without involving people from both parties. Yet, the US is becoming more and more partisan, so we could be in for two years of nothing getting done and government shutdowns.

What about that woman? The Socialist?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress. Also, she identifies as a Democratic Socialist. That term gives my grandmother a heart attack, but it is really less scary than you think it is. Here’s a quiz to find out if you think like one.

Twitter Seemed Really Angry about Lines?

Here’s the deal, if you’re in line before the polls close, they have to let you vote. The problem? In a lot of places, the lines were actually ridiculous and a lot of voting machines were either broken or malfunctioning. In economic terms, for some people, the lost time and resulting high opportunity cost (especially for people who get paid by the hour) could have kept them from voting.

What’s going on in Georgia?

Stacy Abrams, as of Wednesday at 8:45pm EST, has not conceded. There was a lot of press about Abrams, because she had the potential to be the first black female governor. To be fair, she still may be. She says that she is waiting until every vote is counted, believing that there is a possibility for a run-off election (if neither candidate gets more than fifty percent of the vote in Georgia, there will be another election).

Her opponent, Brian Kemp, is currently the Secretary of State in Georgia, which meant that he was in charge of the election. Many accused him of deliberately trying to disenfranchise black voters. He says that he’s just trying to prevent voter fraud. Between closing polling places in minority districts and purging voter rolls, Brian Kemp raised quite a few eyebrows and some considerable ire.

What’s Next?

No one knows for sure. Sessions (the one Kate McKinnon plays on SNL) stepped down today, so that will change some things up in the Justice Department and that could affect the Mueller investigation. Some elections are still too close to call.

My mother likes to helpfully say that the odds of rain are always fifty-fifty: it either will or it won’t. While that’s infuriating to both statisticians and meteorologists, I keep thinking about it for this election. Will things get worse? They either will, or they won’t. Will Democrats try to impeach Trump? They either will, or they won’t. Of course, it’s not that simple. The odds are probably nowhere near fifty-fifty.

The best way to tip the scale? Call your Representatives. Whether they are brand new, freshly re-elected, or were not even on the ballot, call and tell them what matters to you as a constituent. It takes less than a minute and every call gets logged by staffers. Make a pest of yourself. Democracy doesn’t end after election day.