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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Election Mini Run Down

We pay taxes we deserve access 2012 protest signTammy Duckworth (D-IL), a veteran with a disability, was elected to the House of Representatives by defeating incumbent Joe Walsh 55-45%. While certainly not the first member of Congress with a disability, Duckworth is the first female Senator with a disability and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress in Illinois. Duckworth touts her dedication to veterans and has an extensive background, most recently serving as Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she focused on veteran employment initiatives and the accessibility and accountability of the VA. Read an article about her from Mother Jones.

A Historic Night for Women: A record number of women will serve in the 113th Congress.

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will become the first openly gay member of the US Senate, and will be joined by new Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and likely Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). If Heikamp wins, the number of female Senators in the 113th Congress will be twenty. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) held the Senate seat against Representative Todd Akin after his remarks on women’s issues sparked a polarizing national controversy. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) also held their Senate seats.

At least 78 women were elected to the US House of Representatives.

Marriage Equality: Three states approved same-sex marriage.

Maryland and Washington passed ballot measures approving same-sex marriage rights by 52%. Likewise, Maine approved a similar measure by 53%. Minnesota rejected a constitutional amendment to ban it. Marriage equality ballot measures have been rejected by voters more than 30 times in the past. Maine had defeated a similar measure as recently as 2009. This is the first time in American history that marriage equality has been approved by voters (other states that have legalized same-sex marriage have done so through their legislatures and court systems).

* Vote margins listed are of the time of publication and do not represent a final tally of results.

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