WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Trump supporters protest outside ballot-processing center in Phoenix. A crowd of more than 150 people — several of them armed — gathered outside a Maricopa County election office last night to angrily demand that votes be counted amid unfounded rumors of vote tampering in the close presidential race. Workers inside continued counting votes without pause as law enforcement on the scene guarded the building and later escorted election officials to their cars when they departed in the early morning. A local reporter said she and her photographer would file a police report after a demonstrator threatened them. The chaotic scene was one of several election-related protests in cities across the country.
Philadelphia demonstrators call for all votes to be counted, justice for Walter Wallace Jr. Protesters demanding a completed vote count in Pennsylvania and another group marching for the 27-year-old killed by police merged on Wednesday night. The combined rally of hundreds took on a particular resonance as the city released bodycam footage and 911 calls from the day officers shot Wallace as he was suffering from a mental health crisis. His death sparked days of civil unrest and the deployment of the National Guard. “Long live Walter Wallace,” protesters chanted.
Reminder: We’re still tracking several tight congressional races. In all of them, gun rights or gun reform groups spent six figures or more. So far, results have come in for 13 of those races — the latest being the re-election of Democratic Senator Gary Peters in Michigan. Check out our tracker for the latest developments.
The highlights related to gun policy or criminal justice reform you may have missed:
- Collin Peterson, the last NRA A-rated Democrat, was unseated. He lost his race to a GOP challenger whom the gun group also rated highly. A decade ago, National Rifle Association ratings reflected bipartisan support for the gun group’s agenda. But as we have reported, its endorsements in the 2020 election offered a snapshot of widening political polarization.
- Lauren Boebert, an upstart gun rights provocateur, won a Colorado House seat. The owner of Shooters Grill in the town of Rifle, where staffers are encouraged to openly carry guns, defeated her Democratic opponent after besting a five-term incumbent in a primary. Boebert catapulted into the national scene on her strident gun rights activism and opposition to pandemic restrictions.
- Los Angeles County passed a ballot initiative to redirect funds to policing alternatives. It will require at least 10 percent of the county’s general fund be used for social services like housing, jail diversion, and mental health treatment. Separately, George Gascón is well ahead in his effort to unseat chief prosecutor Jackie Lacey. He ran as a criminal justice reformer who has, among other things, pledged to focus on decarceration and reopen officer-involved shooting cases.
- Georgia DA involved in the Ahmaud Arbery case was defeated. Republican Jackie Johnson lost to Independent Keith Higgins in Brunswick. Johnson was criticized for declining to bring charges against the white father and son who followed and fatally shot Arbery. A state grand jury subsequently indicted the men after a different prosecutor took the case.
- Philadelphia will have an office for crime victims. Voters approved a measure that will create the office, which will serve victims of gun violence and other crimes. The bill’s sponsor hopes it will launch next year.
Gun stocks tumble as prospect of united Democratic governance dissipates. With a GOP-majority Senate control looking increasingly likely, MarketWatch reports that the failed sweep “assuaged concerns over potential tighter regulations.” As we’ve reported, demand for firearms typically spikes after elections and mass shootings when support for tighter gun restrictions increases.
California’s age limit on gun purchases lives on. A federal judge refused to block a state law that went into effect last year prohibiting the sale of long guns to those under the age of 21. The judge cited the long history of age-based regulations on firearms in the United States and California’s “substantial interest” in public safety in denying an injunction request.
0 — the number of reported cases of armed conflict related to Election Day.