Voters on Tuesday sent a clear message largely rejecting a conservative agenda, but didn't lurch to the left.
In the races we were watching, Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce, the architect of the restrictive immigration law SB 1070, was recalled, receiving a "shellacking" from charter school executive Jerry Lewis who garnered 53 percent of the vote, compared with about 45 percent for Pearce. Lewis said, "Certainly the immigration issue is important to many people including myself. We need to bring a civil tone to that discussion, a professional approach to solving it."
In Maine, voters said no to requiring voters to register at least two days before an election and restored Election same day voter registration.
Mississippians approved a constitutional amendment requiring voters show a government-issued photo ID at the polls which critics say is designed to keep minorities from casting ballots.
In a symbolic vote, Ohioans chose to let the state opt out of a provision of President Obama's health care reform law, which mandates most Americans buy health care insurance. But voters defeated the state's new law restricting collective bargaining law by a wide margin.
In communities across the country, Americans are deciding issues with national impact this Election Day, November 8, 2011 that may anticipate voters' moods ahead of the 2012 Presidential contest.
For the first time in Arizona's history, an elected state official is being recalled. Voters will decide if State Senator Russell Pearce, the man who authored the restrictive immigration law SB 1070 which some call anti-immigrant and anti-Latino, will keep his job. Will he survive or get voted off the island? Whatever the outcome, he has inspired other Republican state legislators, including in Georgia and Alabama, to pen their own versions, with disastrous repercussions to families and local economies.
Delineating the contours of voter registration is another hot topic:
- Residents of Maine are deciding if someone can register to vote on Election Day, a law that's been on the books since 1973.
- On the ballot in Mississippi is a law that would require voters to present a photo ID.
Ohioans are challenging President Obama's health care law with a measure that would allow residents to opt in--or out--of this national mandate.
Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, Latino, African-American, White, man or woman, a little bit country or a little bit rock 'n roll, every American must be informed, participate, be civically engaged, and vote.
The future of our country and our children's future, depends on it.
Plus, after you have cast your ballot, you've earned the right to complain.
Click on the video to listen to my explanation in English of these hot local races with outcomes that will be felt around the country:
And in Spanish:What local races--school district, city, or town council--are you following and why?