While considered an “off” year, voters in 37 states went to the polls and exercised their right to vote on state and and local offices, special elections, ballot questions, constitutional amendments and more.

Gubernatorial elections were held in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Governor Andy Beshear (D) won another term. Investing in higher education and workforce development, focusing on job creation, and expanding high-speed internet access are among his priorities. Governor-elect Jeff Landry (R) will replace Governor John bel Edwards who was term-limited. Landry’s campaign materials note “wokforce development is key” and states he aims to align the education system with the needs of high-demand, good paying jobs to keep families living and working in Louisiana. Lastly, incumbent Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves held onto his seat. Reeves has made expanding career and technical education a priority.

Four states (Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia) held elections for both of their legislative chambers and New Hampshire held a special election for its state House of Representatives. All but one of the chambers remained in their respective party’s control. Republicans lost control of the Virginia State House of Delegates, and now Democrats control both chambers.

In the only U.S. House of Representatives race on the ballot, a special election to fill a seat in Rhode Island, Democrat Gabe Amo, a former White House official, defeated his Republican opponent. Amo’s victory cuts the GOP majority in the House to 221-213, with a Utah special election pending. Another retirement may occur if Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) is successful in her bid to be Houston Mayor. Jackson Lee will face a runoff next month. Many other mayoral races occurred throughout the country, including in thirteen of the 100 largest cities by population. Of note, Cherelle Parker (D) will be the first female mayor of Philadelphia. Eighteen state capitals held mayoral elections including 11 capitals that fall outside of the top 100 cities.

Voters this year saw the highest number of ballot measures in an odd-number year since 2007. Voters in five states decided on 28 ballot measures, including six citizen-initiated ballot measures. Of note to Goodwill, a Texas measure to create a broadband infrastructure fund passed.

As a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, Goodwill does not endorse or support individual candidates or national parties. However, we do encourage all citizens to express their opinions through the power of their vote. As we prepare for next year’s midterm elections, we encourage all eligible citizens to register to vote and engage in their local and national elections. Elections have consequences and everyone deserves to have a say in the outcomes.