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- The 2020 election has broken at least six major records so far.
- Voters made Oregon the first state to decriminalize small amounts of drugs, and the youngest member of Congress in modern history has been elected to the House of Representatives.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A presidential election held in the middle of a pandemic was bound to have a few firsts, but the 2020 election is shaping up to set a slew of new records.
As in 2018, 2020 also carried with it a host of diverse candidates — from the youngest member of Congress in modern history to the first openly gay Black men elected to the US House of Representatives.
Here are just a few of the election cycle’s record-shattering developments.
American voters set a new record for early votes, casting a whopping 101 million pre-election ballots.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, droves of voters sought to vote early or by mail to avoid in-person voting on Election Day.
The US Elections Project said the figure for early votes is roughly twice as high as the number of early votes cast in 2016.
The country is on track to achieve the highest voter turnout overall in more than 100 years.
Oregon became the first state to decriminalize small quantities of illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
The issue was put to the state’s voters in a ballot measure, which won handily, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
The new law will make possession of small amounts of those drugs a civil violation, rather than a criminal one. Violators will be fined $100 unless they opt for a voluntary health assessment.
Madison Cawthorn, 25, became the youngest person in modern history to be elected to Congress.
The Republican candidate beat out Democrat Moe Davis to win North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District with 55% of the vote.
Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair after a 2014 car accident, was an investor and motivational speaker who billed himself as the Republican equivalent to rising young Democratic stars such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Two men became the first openly gay Black men to be elected to Congress.
Mondaire Jones of New York’s 17th Congressional District and Ritchie Torres of New York’s 15th Congressional District each won on Tuesday night.
“It is a lot of responsibility,” Jones told CBS News. “I’m happy to be providing that kind of representation for so many young people and older people all throughout my district and all throughout this country.”
Cori Bush became Missouri’s first Black congresswoman.
Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist, won out over the incumbent Republican Rep. William Lacy Clay, who was seeking his 11th term in Congress.
She ran on a platform advocating for the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-All.
Cynthia Lummis, a Republican, became Wyoming’s first female senator.
Lummis is an attorney and former member of the House who will replace Republican Sen. Mike Enzi after he announced last year he would not be running for a fifth term.