Problems at the polls
Americans stood in long lines to vote, with some waiting for hours due to large turnout, defunct voting machines and registration problems. In Kansas and Georgia, polling stations were relocated unbeknownst to some voters. In Tennessee, registration laws led to people being removed from voting lists. In North Dakota, a new voter ID requirement for a street address left native Americans rushing to get new identification in time to vote. More than 35 million votes were cast before election day, according to Politico, an early sign of voter enthusiasm that fuelled expectations of a large turnout.
History made in Massachusetts
Democrat Ayanna Pressley became the first African American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. Ms. Pressley is part of the wave of women and people of colour who were seeking office this election. Democrats had nominated a record number of women to run for office, many of whom were motivated by anger at U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration’s policies. Men make up 80 per cent of the House of Representatives, a share that female candidates like Ms. Pressley were hoping to dent.
Cruz re-elected after tough fight
Ted Cruz was re-elected as a senator from Texas after a high-profile battle with Democratic congressman Beto O’Rourke. Mr. Cruz, who was routinely mocked by Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, had aligned himself with the President and his tough talk on immigration. Mr. O’Rourke was not expected to defeat Mr. Cruz in Republican-strong Texas. But early election results showed that the race was closer than previously thought.
Florida expands convicts' rights
Florida voted in favour of restoring voting rights for convicted felons who have completed their sentences. The amendment to the state’s constitution will allow more than one million ex-felons to vote, but people convicted of murder or sexual offences will not be included.
About a tenth of the voting-age population in Florida is estimated to be disenfranchised because of a felony conviction, according to the Sentencing Project, a criminal-justice advocacy group.
Manchin wins another term
Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia won another term in the Senate after breaking with his party to confirm Mr. Trump’s two nominees for the Supreme Court, including Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault.
One of the most conservative Democratic lawmakers, Mr. Manchin was thought to be in danger of losing his seat in a state where Mr. Trump had won by 42 percentage points in 2016.
First Muslim women in Congress
Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have become the first two Muslim women elected to the U.S. Congress. Ms. Tlaib took Michigan’s 13th District in a race where she was the sole major party candidate. Ms. Omar won Minnesota’s 5th District – a heavily Democratic district – to become the first Somali-American, replacing the first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison. Mr. Ellison gave his seat up to run for attorney-general.
Vice-President’s brother wins in Indiana
Greg Pence, an older brother of U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence, defeated Democrat Jeannine Lee Lake to win Indiana’s 6th District for the Republicans. Greg Pence claims the seat his brother once held. Mr. Pence has never held office, and is a Marine veteran who once ran a now-bankrupt chain of convenience stores.
Colorado elects first openly gay governor
Jared Polis won the Colorado governor’s race, becoming the first openly gay person to be elected governor in the United States. Mr. Polis, a Democrat who has served in the House since 2009, did not hide his sexual orientation during his campaign, and at times used it to emphasize the contrast between himself and Mr. Trump.
Romney wins Senate race
Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, is finally going to Washington. He will serve as a first-time senator for Utah. Mr. Romney was a fierce critic of Mr. Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, but then dined with Mr. Trump when the President was considering him to serve as the country’s top diplomat. It is unknown whether Mr. Romney will challenge Mr. Trump on his policies or actions. The former Massachusetts governor lost his presidential bid to Barack Obama in 2012.
Women flip several GOP seats
Women were a dominant force for the Democrats as they helped flip a number of key GOP-held districts. Democrat Mikie Sherrill, a former Navy helicopter pilot, flipped New Jersey’s 11th District, a seat long held by Republicans, in a victory over Trump-backed Jay Webber. In Kansas, Democrat Sharice Davids won the 3rd District, unseating incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder. Ms. Davids, a native American and a former mixed martial arts fighter, takes over in a district that narrowly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 (47 per cent to 46 per cent).
Republicans flip Senate seats
Republicans flipped three Senate seats. Josh Hawley beat Claire McCaskill in Missouri, while Mike Braun defeated Joe Donnelly in Indiana. Kevin Cramer won over North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp. The three moderate Democratic Senators had voted against Mr. Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh.