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The Antelope

The Antelope

Presidential race remains too close to call

Photo by Gage Skidmore Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse easily retained his seat.

On Tuesday night the race for president of the United States was undetermined, with Joe Biden leading Donald Trump 209 electoral votes to 118. Conclusive results in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Nevada were not in by the time of publication.

A UNK political science professor said we may not know the results of the general election for a few days.

“You could have made the argument that [early voting] would make a big difference, because so many states would have already had a lot of votes counted before the polls closed,” said Diane Duffin, coordinator for UNK’s American Democracy project. “Given how much this map looks like the 2016 map, it didn’t turn out that way. It’s probably going to be the end of the week before we know the results of this election.”

Wisconsin was expected to release results early Wednesday morning, but the critical states of Michigan and Pennsylvania may not be finished counting ballots until Friday. 

A factor in the race may be the results of Nebraska House District 2. Since Nebraska splits its Electoral College votes, if Biden takes more votes in the Omaha based district, the state will reward one of its five electors to the Democratic challenger. Biden was leading Tuesday night.

In Nebraska, incumbent Senator Ben Sasse has won his re-election campaign against disowned Democratic candidate Chris Janicek and Democratic backed write-in candidate Prestone Love. On the whole, it remains to be seen whether the Senate will remain in Republican hands.

In Nebraska House races, Jeff Fortenberry defeated Kate Bolz in Nebraska District 1, Don Bacon had a narrow lead over Kara Eastman in District 2, and Adrian Smith defeated Mark Elworth Jr. in District 3. 

All of the major Nebraska ballot initiatives passed.

Nebraska Amendment 1, which would remove the language in the state constitution that allows slavery and involuntary as a criminal punishment, was passed by a margin of 70.06% for to 29.94% against. Amendment 2, which would extend the payback period for recipients of economic development funding in blighted areas, was passed by a margin of 61.72% to 38.28%. 

Nebraska ballot initiative 428 was passed by a margin of 84.06% for to 15.94% against. The initiative places a 36% on annual payday lending and invalidates collections on loans that exceed this limit.

Nebraska ballot initiatives 429, 430, and 431, which all relate to the legalization of gambling at racetracks. All of these measures passed by 60% or greater of the vote. The package would provide for the authorization, regulation and taxation of racetrack gambling. This issue was one that had found its way onto past ballots, but it had never successfully passed until this election.

John Lowe won his re-election bid to the state legislature to represent Kearney-area District 37.

Jaden Longfellow, a UNK student who campaigned for city council, was unsuccessful in his bid. Incumbent Kearney mayor Stan Clouse and city councilmen Jonathan Nikkila and Bruce Lear will retain their seats on Kearney’s city council. 

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