In addition to all those politicians Americans voted for this past Tuesday, many voted in favor of legalizing marijuana and increasing minimum wage, but against against anti-abortion measures.
Although Republican candidates easily won the day over the majority of their Democratic opponents, many liberal policies still came out on top.
Below, we’ve broken down which policies passed, which ones were defeated and where it all went down.
Anti-abortion measures rejected, except in Tennessee
Demonstrators rally against Colorado Senate Bill 175, in a protest attended by Archbishop of Denver Samuel J. Aquila, on the steps of the state capitol in Denver, on April 15.
Image: Brennan Linsley/Associated Press
Voters in Colorado and North Dakota had ballot initiatives that arguably would have criminalized abortion, and could have called into question the legality of of contraceptives. Those measures were dubbed “personhood” initiatives, though “personhood” is just a veiled term for “anti-abortion” among people who’d prefer not say they’re anti-abortion.
Constituents rejected both of those measures, but a different anti-abortion measure in Tennessee succeeded. The new law paves the way for future anti-abortion legislation in the state by allowing lawmakers to repeal, amend and enact new laws dealing with abortion.
Big wins for a higher minimum wage
Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota all passed measures to increase the minimum wage on Tuesday, though it will take more than a year for most of those measures to go into effect.
Five states voted to increase minimum wage. Here’s a look at how every states compares against the federal rate pic.twitter.com/ilvfWn6o53
— L.A. Times Graphics (@LATimesGraphics) November 5, 2014
In Alaska, the minimum wage will go up from $7.75 an hour to $9.75 in 2016. Arkansas’ wage will jump from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 in 2017, Nebraska’s will increase from $7.25 an hour to $9 in 2016 and South Dakota’s will rise from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 this coming January. Illinois also passed a non-binding referendum to boost the minimum wage from $8.25 to $10. The motion in Illinois won’t translate into law, but it paves the way for a referendum in the near future.
On an otherwise dismal day for Democrats, this resounding support for a higher minimum wage was a clear bright spot.
Americans are high on legalized weed
Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. all voted to legalize marijuana on election night. The two states joined Colorado and Washington state, which means four states have now legalized weed.
Where Americans landed on marijuana legalization: http://t.co/x9VpwC6FMq pic.twitter.com/uKCSYx4Tun
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) November 5, 2014
The pot tax in Alaska will be $50 an ounce, which will greatly contribute to a weed industry there that could be worth $107 million.
Oregonians can grow their own plants, and their system of legalization will probably look a lot like Colorado’s. The former will tax marijuana at $35 an ounce, a cheaper rate than in Colorado.
Around 58% of Floridians voted to legalize medical marijuana, but the motion failed to pass, as it required 60%. That’s a minor dark spot for those in favor of legalization, but the resounding success in Alaska, Oregon and the capital could galvanize support for similar movements in the near future. Now, many eyes will turn to California, where residents may legalize the drug in 2016.
Voters reject voting measures
A voter prepares to turn her ballot in on Nov. 4.
Image: Chris Schneider/Associated Press
Voters had mixed reactions to measures meant to expand voter registration, or extend early voting.
Constituents in Connecticut voted against a proposal that would have cleared a path to create an early voting period, and allowed anyone to use absentee ballots.
People in Missouri voted down a similar measure, though opponents did so because they said the measure came with too many restrictions. It would have created a six-day early voting period, but not allowed voting on weekends, and the period would have finished on the Wednesday before the election ended.
In Montana, constituents turned down a measure that would have reduced the time citizens had to register.
Gun control gets a win in Washington state
Cheryl Stumbo (center) is applauded, as she finishes speaking at an election night party for Initiative 594, a measure seeking universal background checks on gun sales and transfers, on Nov. 4 in Seattle.
Image: Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
Two gun-related measures were on ballots in Washington state this past election. One would limit background checks for gun purchases, while the other would strengthen them; both had a chance at passing.
No one is sure what would have happened had they both passed, but only the increased gun control measure succeeded, avoiding any legal headaches. The failed measure did get 44% of voters, though, so it’s not like it wasn’t close.
Bears, wolves and sick days
In this Sept. 19 photo, out-of-state bear hunters eat a meal at the Stony Brook Outfitters lodge in Wilton, Maine.
Image: Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press
People in Maine can still hunt bears by luring them into traps with doughnuts. Yep, that was on the ballot.
Opponents of the initiative sought to ban so-called “unsportsmanlike” methods of hunting, but supporters reportedly convinced many voters that controlling the state’s bear population would be difficult if hunters couldn’t lure the animals with sweet human food.
In Michigan, the opposite happened. Voters roundly rejected hunting gray wolves in the state, though state legislators passed a law in favor of wolf hunting, anyway. Now, the courts will decide the animals’ fate.
Finally, Massachusetts voters easily passed an initiative that will allow many constituents to earn and use sick leave.
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BONUS: 12 Trippy GIFs to Help Stoners Celebrate Weed Legalization
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