Democrat Joe Biden won Massachusetts and Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey was reelected for another six-year term as voting concluded Tuesday.
Massachusetts residents on Tuesday faced a lot of choices: They voted to fill an open U.S. House seat, weighed two hotly contested statewide ballot questions and decided whether to reelect some longtime incumbents to Congress. A record number of voters already cast ballots early or by mail, changing the complexion of Tuesday's election.
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Markey fended off a challenge from Republican Kevin O'Connor, a lawyer from Dover who's pitched himself as a candidate who could help clean house in Washington. The 74-year-old Markey has served for decades in Congress, first in the House and later in the Senate.
Markey rebuffed a high-profile primary challenge from Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III in September.
In a live video address Tuesday night, Markey thanked his supporters and vowed to fight for action around climate change, racial justice and immigration reform. He credited the victory in large part to young activists who have organized around progressive ideals.
"Massachusetts voted to affirm our movement's mandate for change, and I am grateful for that," Markey said. "The age of incrementalism is over. The time to be timid is over. Now is our moment to think big, build big, be big."
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Biden's win wasn't a surprise in a state that has reliably backed Democratic presidential candidates. The only Republican presidential candidate in the recent era to carry the state has been Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984.
In the state's 4th Congressional District, Democratic Newton City Councilor Jake Auchincloss is projected by NBC News to become the newest member of the state's all-Democratic congressional delegation by defeating Republican Julie Hall. The open seat is currently held by Kennedy, who opted not to seek reelection after deciding to challenge Markey.
Four of the state's remaining eight Democratic House incumbents are facing Republican challengers.
NBC News has called the 2nd Congressional District in favor of longtime Rep. Jim McGovern, who fended off Republican challenger Tracy Lovvorn, who has expressed support for the right-wing QAnon conspiracy theory In the 5th District, Rep. Katherine Clark is projected to defeat Republican Caroline Colarusso. Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton, who previously ran for president, was projected to defeat Republican John Paul Moran in the 6th district. NBC News also called the race in the 9th District for Rep. William Keating, who faced challenges from Republican Helen Brady and independent Michael Manley.
Two Democratic incumbents — 1st Congressional District Rep. Richard Neal and 3rd Congressional District Rep. Lori Trahan — ran unopposed. Two others — 7th Congressional District Rep. Ayanna Pressley and 8th Congressional District Rep. Stephen Lynch — faced little-known independent challengers. NBC News called the 7th in favor of Pressley early Wednesday morning.
Voters also weighed the fate of two questions on the ballot.
The first, which expands the state's "Right to Repair" law by giving car owners and independent auto shops greater access to data related to vehicle maintenance and repair, was approved by voters.
Massachusetts voters have approved a ballot question designed to expand the state's "Right to Repair" law.
Starting with model year 2022, the measure requires manufacturers of motor vehicles sold in Massachusetts to equip any vehicles that use telematic systems to collect and wirelessly transmit mechanical data to a remote server with a standardized open access data platform.
Supporters said the measure guarantees car owners access to the repair information needed to bring their cars to independent shops. Automakers said private data could be made public.
The second question would have made major changes to the way ballots are cast and tallied in future elections in Massachusetts by introducing ranked choice voting. The Yes on 2 campaign conceded the measure's defeat in a statement early Wednesday morning.
"We came up short in this election, and we are obviously deeply disappointed," Yes on 2 campaign manager Cara Brown McCormick said in the statement. "We were attempting to do something historic in Massachusetts and fell short, but the incredible groundswell of support from volunteers and reformers that assembled behind this campaign is reason enough to stay optimistic about the future of our democracy."
If the measure passed, voters would be given the option of ranking candidates in order of their preference — one for their top choice, two for their second choice, and so on.
If no candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, the candidate with the fewest votes would be eliminated. Voters who ranked the eliminated candidate as their first choice would have their votes counted instead for their second choice. The process repeats until one candidate receives a majority of the vote and wins.
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is among the opponents of ranked choice voting, calling it complicated and costly. Polls suggested a close race between the "yes" and "no" camps.