It's election day across the United States.
ABC News Live will stream special election coverage live, beginning at 4:00 p.m. PT. This will include live results from the Virginia and New Jersey races, runoffs in Ohio, ballot proposals in Minneapolis and Texas. Plus, ABC News will provide context and analysis on other top news stories of the day. A live election results ticker will also be running on the channel, tracking all the major races from coast to coast.
Watch it all live in the player above.
Races to watch across the nation
Virginia governor's race
The Virginia governor’s race will be the most closely watched contest of the night, with both Republicans and Democrats viewing the neck-and-neck contest as a key bellwether for national sentiment headed into the 2022 midterms and beyond.
McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, is seeking a historic second stint in a commonwealth that bars governors from serving successive terms. McAuliffe has leaned heavily on the state’s leftward tilt during his campaign, hoping to energize the same voters who helped Biden win Virginia by 10 percentage points in 2020. And he has done so by spending millions on television ads that link his opponent, businessman-turned-politician Youngkin, to former President Donald Trump, a political figure who remains deeply unpopular in some of Virginia’s most vote-rich areas.
Youngkin has tried to walk a fine line with Trump: Although he has kept him at arm’s length in the close of the campaign, he has focused on many of the same issues that animated his base in 2020. Youngkin’s campaign has sought to localize the race, hoping to animate a series of grievances aimed at Democratic leadership in Richmond and Washington, from what is taught in Virginia schools to how strict the commonwealth should be in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Be wary of early returns in Virginia because they might not resemble the final results. This year, a new state law requires counties to start processing mail ballots at least seven days before Election Day so they can be counted and released on election night soon after the polls close at 7 p.m. EDT. Counties are expected to release the results of their mail ballots first, followed by early in-person votes and, finally, votes cast at local polling places on Election Day. If Virginia’s mail ballots continue to favor Democrats and the Election Day votes favor Republicans, the vote count could swing back and forth, depending on which type of votes are being released.
New Jersey governor's race
In New Jersey, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy is trying to fight off a challenge from Republican Jack Ciattarelli, a former state legislator.
New Jersey is something of a test case for Democrats’ theory of how they can win in 2022 and beyond. Murphy fulfilled his campaign promises and was able to implement vastly expanded government funding for widespread prekindergarten and free community college — policies that Biden is struggling to get through the Democrats’ razor-thin majorities in Congress. Murphy has embraced the left wing of the party and hosted Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders for a campaign rally last month.
While Ciattarelli has also tried to walk the line between energizing Trump voters and appealing to suburbanites, he faces a more daunting task than Youngkin. New Jersey is a more Democratic state than Virginia — Murphy won his first election by 14 percentage points in 2018. He also has the power of incumbency on his side, unlike in Virginia, the only state in the nation that doesn’t allow governors consecutive terms.
Ballot proposal in Minneapolis
In Minneapolis, a city still shaken by George Floyd’s murder will vote on whether to disband its police department and create a new public safety agency, a “Department of Public Safety.” The city’s mayor, Jacob Frey, a Democrat, opposes the measure and is himself up for reelection against two liberals who contend he hasn’t been aggressive enough on reforming the city’s police.
Mayoral races to watch
Boston: Boston is set to make history by electing a woman of color for the first time in a city long dominated by White men. Polls have shown Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, a champion of progressive policies, opening a commanding lead over her more moderate rival Annissa Essaibi George, who also serves as a Boston city councilor-at-large.
Buffalo: Democratic Socialist India Walton defeated four-term Mayor Byron Brown in Buffalo’s Democratic primary in June, notching a stunning victory for the progressive left as she charted a course to become the first socialist mayor of a major American city in more than 60 years. But to win the mayor’s office, she’ll have to defeat Brown again. The incumbent mayor is mounting an aggressive write-in campaign.
Atlanta: Fourteen candidates are vying to replace Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who’s not running for reelection. The contest is happening amid alarm about the spike in violent crime, as well as controversy over an effort by the residents of the wealthy community of Buckhead to break off from the capital and create their own city. Polls suggest that a large swath of the electorate is still undecided, but the leading candidates — including former Mayor Kasim Reed, City Council President Felicia Moore and Councilman Andre Dickens — have put Atlanta’s crime rate at the forefront of their campaigns. If no candidate receives at least 50% plus one, Atlanta will hold a run-off election on November 30 to decide the winner.