7 remarkable election headlines you may have missed during the presidential count

National

FILE – In this May 24, 2019, file photo a vendor bags psilocybin mushrooms at a pop-up cannabis market in Los Angeles. Despite pandemic conditions that made normal signature-gathering almost impossible, activists in the nation’s capital say they have enough signatures for a November ballot initiative that would decriminalize natural psychedelics such as mescaline and psilocybin mushrooms. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

(NEXSTAR) — Political junkies and armchair analysts emerged from across the map this week as the race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden squeezed down to a handful of states. But while we were brushing up on the geography of suburban Atlanta, some intriguing results came in from around the nation.

Here’s a look at some of the remarkable stories that may not have hit your radar as Election Day stretched into Election Week.

Oregon becomes first state to legalize ‘magic’ mushrooms and decriminalize hard drugs

Oregon just became the first state in the union to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin or the compound found in “magic” mushrooms, KOIN reports.

Measure 109 comes decades after Oregon became the first state to decriminalize marijuana in 1973, and on the same night voters decided to decriminalize all single-user amounts of hard drugs.

The measure, which takes effect 30 days after Tuesday’s election, completely changes how Oregon’s justice system treats those who are found with personal-use amounts of the hard drugs.

North Dakota legislature candidate who died of COVID-19 wins election

A North Dakota state legislative candidate who died in October due to COVID-19 complications won his election on Tuesday.

David Andahl, 55, died in October. His mother, Pat Andahl, told The Bismarck Tribune that her son had been hospitalized with the coronavirus disease and died after being sick for about four days.

David Andahl
David Andahl

Andahl received 35% of the vote to win one of two seats. 

Sarah McBride elected as country’s first transgender state senator

Delaware has elected Democrat Sarah McBride, which would make her the first openly transgender state senator in the country’s history when she is sworn in.

McBride, a trans activist who acted as a spokeswoman for the Human Rights Campaign for several years, defeated Republican Steve Washington for the state seat.

Mississippi approves replacement for Confederate-themed flag

Mississippi will fly a new state flag with a magnolia and the phrase “In God We Trust,” with voters approving the design Tuesday. It replaces a Confederate-themed flag state lawmakers retired months ago as part of the national reckoning over racial injustice.

The magnolia flag was the only design on the general election ballot, and voters were asked to say yes or no. A majority said yes.

Mississippi State Flag
The magnolia flower centered banner chosen Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 by the Mississippi State Flag Commission flies outside the Old State Capitol Museum in downtown Jackson, Miss. The nine member committee voted to recommend a design with the state flower, now known as the “In God We Trust,” flag. That design will go on the November ballot for voters consideration and if approved, it will become the new state flag. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

Legislators will have to put the design into law, but they are expected to do that with little fuss because they already did the hard work of retiring a flag that some people wanted to keep.

Slavery was on the ballot in Utah

Utah voters on Tuesday passed an amendment to remove slavery as a punishment for a crime from the state constitution, The Associated Press confirmed.

In late November 2018, KTVX reported that slavery was still technically legal in the state.

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP Salt Lake Branch, said the wording within the article needed to be changed.

“It’s something that should be done immediately,” said Williams. “What they’re trying to get around is saying slavery is not OK but then saying ‘except.’ That right there is very troubling.”

‘He’s ALL Ears’: Wilbur the dog elected mayor of Kentucky town

Wilbur, mayor of Rabbit Hash
Wilbur, mayor of Rabbit Hash (Courtesy of Mayor Wilbur of Rabbit Hash KY/Facebook)

The mayoral election in a town in Kentucky has gone to the dogs — or the dog, as it were. 

On Tuesday night, Wilbur Beast, a French Bulldog, was elected mayor of Rabbit Hash in a landslide victory, WCPO reported. He unseated the incumbent Brynneth Pawltro, a rescued pit bull mix who had held the seat for the last four years.

That wasn’t the only win for pit bulls

Denver voters chose to lift a ban on the pit bull breed that has been in place since 1989 on Tuesday, KDVR reports.

With this measure passing, pit bull owners would need to get a provisional permit and would be required to have their dog microchipped. Owners cannot have more than two pit bulls in one home and need to submit a list of emergency contacts.

According to the bill, a dog would need to be registered with the provisional permit for 36 months with no issues. Owners are required to report any bite incidents or loose pit bulls to Animal Control within eight hours. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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