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Guide to Election Results, Marriage Initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota

Guide to Election Results, Marriage Initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Washington, Minnesota

by Karen Ocamb on November 6, 2012

A number of national LGBT organizations are watching the elections and dispensing good advice, as well. GLAAD, for instance, says:

States have different levels of voter ID laws, which has created problems for transgender voters. It’s also possible that voters may experience intimidation to keep them from voting. The most important thing is to know your statewide voting ID lawsIf a poll worker or poll watcher attempts to deny you a ballot, call the National Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) immediately.

The Human Rights Campaign has good information on a number of state races, as well as the four state marriage initiatives.  And the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund will be tracking all their 180 endorsed LGBT candidates.

 Freedom to Marry  will be live-blogging results from the 4 states with marriage initiatives and keeping track of key gubernatorial and state legislative races that will determine the 2013 marriage landscape in the states. You can also follow them on Twitter: @freedomtomarry and Facebook: www.facebook.com/freedomtomarry.org


Here’s Freedom to Marry’s assessment of the marriage battles up to today:



  • Public Policy Polling released its final polls in Maine before Election Day, showing that 52% of Mainers support a Yes vote on Question 1, while 45% oppose. This is virtually unchanged from their last poll in Maine that showed 52-44 support for Question 1.
  • We launched our Get Out the Vote effort this week and are on pace to talk with more than 20,000 voters by the end of the night on Monday. We’ve filled more than 3,000 volunteer shifts since Saturday morning.
  • We organized our final rally of the campaign last Thursday, and over 300 supporters joined us in Portland to commit to voting Yes on 1. You can watch coverage of the rally from the Press Herald here.
  • We released two final ads of the campaign. The first ad features Brian, who wants his two moms to have the freedom to marry in Maine. The second ad features retired Episcopal Priest Will Brewster and his wife Arlene explaining how they came to realize that civil unions are no substitute for marriage after their son Hal came out to them when he returned from serving in Iraq.
  • The Press Herald fact checked our opponents “Schools” ad and found it to be “nearly false in every way.” You can read their takedown of the ad here.
  • Our opponents have continued to run the “Schools” and “Consequences” ads over the weekend. We have nothing to indicate that they will run any new ads before Election Day.


  • How to vote: Yes on 1
  • Polling hours: Polls open between 6 and 8 am and close at 10:00 (EST). Municipalities of less than 500 may not open until 10am
  • If passed, when would the law take effect? Maine’s Secretary of State has up to 20 days to verify election results, the governor has 10 days to do so, and then there is a 30 day wait period for the law to go into effect. The earliest possibility would be Dec. 7, 2012 (30 days after the election), the latest would be Jan. 6, 2013 (60 days after the election).
  • Facebook for Mainers United: www.facebook.com/mainersunited
  • Twitter for Mainers United: @MainersUnited
  • Hashtags: #YesOn1
  • Primary Opposition: Protect Marriage Maine
  • Opposition’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/ProtectMarriageMaine
  • Twitter: @marriageme
  • Secretary of State’s Website: http://www.maine.gov/sos/
  • Local media outlets to follow:

◦                     Portland Press Herald

▪                                       Website: www.pressherald.com

▪                                       Twitter: @PressHerald

◦                     Bangor Daily News

▪                                       Website: www.bangordailynews.com

▪                                       Twitter: @bangordailynews





◦                     Baltimore Sun

▪                                       Website: www.baltimoresun.com

▪                                       Twitter: @BaltimoreSun

◦                     Washington Post

▪                                       Website: www.washingtonpost.com

▪                                       Twitter: @WashingtonPost




  • In the final days of this campaign, momentum to defeat the marriage amendment has grown stronger everyday! In the last 48 hours, we’ve seen two new polls showing significant change: The first, Public Policy Polling, showed 52% of Minnesotans plan to vote NO, while only 45% plan to vote yes, which is an all-time low for the Vote Yes side. Additionally, SurveyUSA released their final Minnesota poll, which showed 48% voting no, and 47% voting yes. This is the first time that SurveyUSA has shown a higher percentage of Minnesotans planning to vote no!
  • We’ve also just wrapped a 4-day VOTE NO RV Tour across the state, where local elected officials and community leaders joined us at more than 20 stops to rally supporters at GOTV phone banks and door knocks.
  • Meanwhile, Minnesota for Marriage is airing two new ads in Minnesota for the final days — watch them here and here.


  • How to vote: Vote NO on the marriage amendment
  • Polling hours: Polls open between 7 and 8 am and close at 8pm. Smaller munipalities may not open until 10am. (CST)
  • If passed, when would the law take effect? N/A– if the amendment passes, marriage will still be illegal in Minnesota
  • NOTE: All abstaining votes on the constitutional amendment will count as “no” votes. For instance, if a voter casts their vote in the Presidential election but does not vote either way on the marriage amendment, their vote will count as a no. For a constitutional amendment to pass in Minnesota, it must receive more than 50% of all ballots cast in the election.
  • Facebook for Minnesotans United for all Families: www.facebook.com/MN4allFamilies
  • Twitter for Marylanders for Marriage Equality: @MN4AllFamilies
  • Hashtags: #VoteNO; #MNUnited
  • Primary Opposition: Minnesota for Marriage
  • Opposition’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/MNForMarriage
  • Twitter: @MNForMarriage
  • Secretary of State’s Website: http://www.sos.state.mn.us/
  • Local media outlets:

◦                     Star Tribune

▪                                       Website: www.startribune.com

▪                                       Twitter: @StarTribune

◦                     Minnesota Public Radio

▪                                       Website: http://live.mprnews.org/Event/Election_2012_The_MPR_News_live_blog

▪                                       Twitter: @MPRNews



Please read the memo below from Zach Silk, Campaign Manager, on the unique election night dynamics in Washington state:

To: Interested Parties

From: Zach Silk, Campaign Manager

Re: Washington State’s Unique Election Night Dynamics

As we head into the final days of the campaign, I want to make sure that everyone understands the unique dynamics of Washington State vote counting and what is likely to happen on Election Night and the days after.

It is highly probable that we will not know the outcome of Referendum 74 on Election Night.  While everyone will know the results in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, it’s very likely that we will have an incomplete picture from Washington State.

Washington is an all vote-by-mail state and ballots are counted if they are post-marked Nov. 6th rather than received by Election Day.  That means ballots will continue to arrive and be processed well after Election Day.  In close elections, it is common to not know the outcome for as much as a week after the election.

Here’s the landscape: there are 3.2 million votes likely to be case in the state this cycle, with King County (where Seattle is based) making up about 30% of the vote.  King County is now projecting an 87% ballot return. King County will count as few as 40% of the eventual ballots from the electorate on Election Night.  Meaning, there will be hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be tallied.

That’s why it’s important not to get distracted or spun by opponents on Election Night returns.  The first returns are early voters who cast their ballot when they received them.  These voters are disproportionately older and more conservative, irrespective of party affiliation.  They will make up the biggest bulk of the Election Night numbers.  In close elections, final results often do not mirror initial results.

So what can you expect Tuesday night?

Almost all of the 39 counties will have one “drop” or vote tally announcement and they will roll in throughout the evening.  We’re likely to get every county in by about 10:30 PM, when we’ll have a final tally for the night.  But then, that’s it.

Ballot counting resumes the next morning, with county offices working a more traditional 9-to-5 to make their way through the ballots.  Expect these one-time daily returns to come throughout the afternoon and be posted on the Secretary of State’s website.  In this scenario, we will likely comment on the daily tally just once, at the end of the day, when all the counties are in.

The Secretary of State has a very comprehensive website which shows the results in a variety of ways, including county by county and the number of estimated ballots still to be counted.  There’s even the capability to export results to run tabulations.  Please visit and bookmark this site: http://vote.wa.gov/results/20121106/

Here’s the bottom line:

Be prepared for several days of vote counting.  Washington has a history of close elections and recounts: Senator Cantwell won by less than one percent in 2000, and Governor Gregoire won by 152 votes in 2004.  Both of those elections weren’t certified by the state until December.  I don’t expect that Referendum 74 will go that far, but I thought it was important to let you know that in Washington, it’s likely to be a long few days, not just a long night.


  • How to vote: Approve Referendum 74
  • Polling hours: Washington is a completely mail-in ballot state. All ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday 11/06.
  • Insight on how/when results will be reported: “As few as 40% and as much as 60% of the vote is expected to be tallied and announced. Most counties will release their initial vote totals in one batch on election night. It is very unlikely that the Referendum 74 outcome will be known on election night.
  • If passed, when would the law take effect? December 6, 2012
  • Facebook for Washington United for Marriage: www.facebook.com/WashingtonUnited
  • Twitter for Marylanders for Marriage Equality: @WA4Marriage
  • Hashtags: #WA4M; #Approve74; #VoteLove
  • Primary Opposition: Preserve Marriage Washington
  • Opposition’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/1Man1WomanWA
  • Twitter: @1Man1WomanWA
  • Secretary of State’s Website: http://www.sos.wa.gov/
  • Local media outlets:

◦                     Seattle Times

▪                                       Website: www.seattletimes.com

▪                                       Twitter: @SeattleTimes







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