Elections results 2014

Last night, the election season drew to a close. The Republicans took majority in the Senate, making this the first time since 2006 that they’ve had control of both congressional houses. Washington D.C., Oregon and Alaska voted to legalize marijuana, becoming the third, fourth and fifth states or districts to do so thus far, with Colorado and Washington having passed similar legalization laws in 2012.

Washington also voted on its two opposing firearms bills; Universal background checks passed, with polls trailing for the other measure to ban universal background checks unless mandated by federal law. Oregon had its share of hard-fought races, passionate initiatives and controversial issues.

Despite last-minute scandals, incumbent John Kitzhaber (D) was re-elected for his fourth term as Governor of Oregon, beating opponent, Republican Dennis Richardson in a close race Tuesday night.

Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley won his Senate re-election against Republican Monica Wehby. News outlets called the race early on, and by midnight Merkley had an undeniable lead.

In the House of Representatives, Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer, both Democrat incumbents in their Portland-Metro districts (1 and 3 respectively), went on to retain their seats with strong leads and early calls. Blumenauer is headed into his 10th term as Representative for Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District, having been first elected to the post in 1996.

The ballot measures incited some of the hottest debate among Oregonians during this election, and which drew more out-of-state campaign funding than any other year on record, with Measure 92’s collective $25 million in funds tipping the scale. Ballot measure descriptions are adapted from the 2014 Oregon Voters’ guide and the League of Women Voter’s guide.

Measure 86—amends the constitution and requires the creation of a permanent financial aid fund for Oregonians pursuing post-secondary education. It also allows for state debt to finance the fund. This measure didn’t pass, with a nearly 60 percent “no” vote.

Measure 87—amends the constitution and allows state judges to accept paid employment with the National Guard, and at public universities. Current Oregon constitution states that anyone working for one branch of the government cannot work for any other branch of government. The measure passed with a nearly 60 percent “yes” vote.

Measure 88—allows persons residing in Oregon for at least a year to obtain a driver’s card without requiring proof of legal presence in the U.S. This measure did not pass, with only 30 percent in support.

Measure 89—amends Oregon’s constitution and Bill of Rights, stating that the State of Oregon and its political subdivisions cannot deny equality of rights based on gender. Currently, Oregon prohibits any laws that discriminate based on gender. This measure passed, with over 60 percent voting “yes” to the amendment.

Measure 90—transforms current election process to open primary, top-two system. Currently, only voters registered to a certain party are allowed to vote in that party’s primary elections. If passed, this measure would eliminate party requirements for primaries, and voters would be able to vote for any qualified candidate in the primary. The top two candidates would then continue to the general election. This measure didn’t pass, garnering barely 30 percent of the vote.

Measure 91—allows for possession, production, and buying and selling of marijuana for persons over the age of 21, beginning in 2016. The measure requires the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to regulate and tax all production and sale of marijuana in the state of Oregon. This measure passed, with 55 percent in support.

Measure 92—requires all food produced with genetically-manufactured organisms, either partially or in whole, to be labelled as such. Both manufacturers and retailers would be responsible for the labels, and the law would include packaged as well as fresh foods to be labelled. As of early Wednesday morning, this race was still too close to call.

All voter turnout statistics (oregonlive.com) accurate as of 4 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on Nov. 5, 2014. Subject to change as ballot counts fluctuate.