Transgender activist Sarah McBride made history Tuesday. She won her Delaware state Senate race—as expected in a strongly Democratic district—making her the nation’s first openly transgender state senator. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too,” McBride tweeted on Tuesday night.
This isn’t the first time McBride, 30, has stood as a symbol of increasing trans visibility. In 2016, she was the first openly trans person to speak at a national party convention.
A longtime advocate for LGBTQ rights, McBride was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign—for which she’s been a spokesperson—as well as Emily’s List. Her campaign collected more than $270,000 in donations by early October, the AP reported.
– A largely peaceful day at the polls despite threats
Fears over widespread violence and voter intimidation at the polls failed to materialize. “No doubt we were bracing for the worst and have been pleasantly surprised to see elections in many parts of the country move rather smoothly and successfully,” Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told reporters.
The voting rights group said it had fielded 30,000 calls on its election protection hotline Tuesday asking for legal advice about problems they faced. Militia and extremist groups’ threats of violence at polling places did not materialize. However, Clarke listed several individual reports of intimidation, including an armed man wearing a Trump hat who was ultimately arrested in Charlotte, N.C.; an armed man waving a Trump flag near a polling location in Baker, La.; two white men who identified themselves as “deputies” and were questioning voters outside a polling site in central Hillsborough County, Fla.
“The isolated incidents of voter intimidation have been problems we cannot ignore,” Clarke said. “They have not been widespread and systematic. But they have been far greater in numbers than what we have seen in recent elections and are a reflection of the dark times that we are in as a nation.”