Voters in deeply red states elected some deeply conservative politicians in this week’s midterm elections. But they also approved a litany of progressive ballot initiatives, from restoring felon voting rights to raising the minimum wage and expanding Medicaid.

The electoral dissonance underscored that the issues people vote on at the ballot box don’t always align with the candidates they vote for. The outcomes also highlight the approach advocates took in trying to get the ballot measures passed — namely, by not associating them with either party.

“Americans are far more generous than our politics suggest,” said Jonathan Schleifer, executive director of the Fairness Project, a three-year-old nonprofit organization that has used ballot measures to circumvent deadlocks in legislative and executive branches­ of government. The group backed several minimum-wage and Medicaid-expansion measures that passed Tuesday.

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