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LGBTQ Voters Could Decide Close Elections in Arizona, Florida, N.J.

Kyrsten Sinema

Politicians, aware the queer electorate could swing their races, are specifically reaching out to LGBTQ voters.

The midterms will be over at last in the next 48 hours. In the meantime, politicians this year target LGBTQ votes in a huge way. Around the country, specific efforts go into attracting queer voters to the polls, as revealed by a sampling of headlines nationwide.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Florida's 100,000 transgender voters in particular seem a crucial bloc in the midterms. "The new rules by the Trump administration could mean the dissolution of the last line of legal defense against workplace discrimination for Floridians who are a gender different than the one assigned to them at birth," the paper reports. "But to many in the LGBTQ community, the problem goes beyond a lack of legal protections for trans Floridians. Advocates have argued for years that Florida lacks statewide anti-discrimination protections for all LGBTQ citizens."

The Sacramento Bee, meanwhile, ran an op-ed from Sacramento LGBT Community Center director David Heitstuman suggesting the queer demographic could make the difference for all marginalized groups this election. "A significant but rarely acknowledged factor involves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community," he writes. "Identifying as LGBTQ intersects across racial, ethnic, gender, religious and socio-economic backgrounds, so LGBTQ people are uniquely positioned to improve voter turnout and make a difference in the election results."

The Arizona Republic, meanwhile, reports that the Human Rights Campaign spent millions in that state in hopes of flipping the legislature and potentially electing the Senate's first out bisexual member, Kyrsten Sinema. "You think of the margins that elections were won or lost by in 2016, and will be won by in 2018," Chad Griffin, HRC President, told the newspaper. "LGBTQ people can be the determining factor in these elections."

And Patch reports that in New Jersey, Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez made specific efforts to reach out to LGBTQ voters, visiting the Hudson Pride Center in Jersey City in the days before the election.

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