They said it couldn’t happen, but it did, and Donald Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President of the United States on January 20th. How did it happen? After all, the polls were not looking good in the early hours of the election, and the polls of polls were looking even worse.
On Tuesday morning, it sure was looking like a respite – A moment to regroup before the final battle. People all across social media took to wikiLeaks to scour for evidence of wrong doing. It didn’t last long and by mid-day, tones were changing and headlines were already being prepped for lines like “rigged”.
Although, online news headlines changes many times during Election Day, or any other day for that matter, with print editions, editors would create a headline that could ride out the entire day in an attempt to attract people to pick up copies at newsstands.
As scandalous as it may sound, the media played a big role in how and who people voted for with pre-election headlines, while other newspapers used the front page to display an end to a long and bitter campaign. Others printed negative font pagers. Here’s’ an example of one of them:
Today’s cover: It’s almost over https://t.co/pjKrKSeWB5 pic.twitter.com/7Y6SJibePw
— New York Post (@nypost) November 8, 2016
“Vote for the one you dislike”, NY Post
“Stop the Don Con”, Daily News.
“Clinton, Trump battle to the end”, The Wall Street Journal.
“Nonstop to the finish”, The Boston Globe.
So at 8:00 A.M., when Election Day was in full swing, millions of voters began lining up at polls around the country to cast their vote. Even though things went smoothly at the majority of the polling places, it didn’t take long for the complaints to start coming in. Complaints such as poll worker violations, faulty machines, voter intimidation, and delayed openings, to name a few.
In Media, PA, Congressman Patrick Meehan called for the U.S. Attorney General to investigate Fieldworks, LLC. Fieldworks bills itself as a Democratic Grassroots organization. State Police raided their Delaware County office earlier this week looking for voter registration fraud.
In Delaware, a man was assaulted after casting his vote. The assault occurred in the city of Wilmington at PS Dupont Elementary School. Jeff Brown, 65, cast his ballot to vote, according to Sgt. Andrea Janvier, a public information officer. He was walking away from the area and not the actually polling station when the incident occurred, Janvier added.
Word got around that at some polling places, poll watchers were seen casting votes for voters who were either confused by the polls or didn’t speak fluent English. Others were seen outside polling places changing candidate signs or simply removing them. At one location, State Police had to be called to quiet down Trump supporters who were being loud and disorderly.
In Texas, a man was arrested after he tried to vote twice. The man claimed he worked for Trump and was testing the system. Honestly, I’d like to see those test results.
Arrest: We can confirm 1 arrested for attempting to vote a second time. Claimed he worked for Trump and was testing the system.
— FBCSO Texas (@FBCSO) November 9, 2016
In Arizona, the Arizona Democratic Party asked a judge to keep polls in Maricopa County open for an extra two hours due to e-poll books issues. The filing was just before the 7 P.M. poll-closing deadline.
In Oregon, A Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office corrections deputy is facing an internal investigation after allegedly broadcasting pro-Donald Trump sentiments from a department vehicle while driving past voters.
In Iowa, A prosecutor in Des Moines says no charges will be filed against two residents who were suspected of trying to vote twice. Polk County Attorney John Sarcone said Tuesday that authorities have determined that there’s “no basis to go forward” due to lack of criminal intent. He says age and confusion were factors in the cases.
In Idaho, in its federal lawsuit against Ada County and Idaho state election officials, the Idaho Democratic Party contends that the Ada County Clerk’s office didn’t give enough notice to voters that five polling places had changed locations.
The list goes on and on, from state to state. Many other voter complaints were in regards to the long lines, machine memory card issues, and relocated polling places by local officials, last minute changes, and voter technology issues.
Regardless of what happened, Trump won 290 electoral votes with 60,072,551 of total combined votes, pushing Clinton back at 218 electoral votes just shy of 62 electoral votes. Clinton had a total of 60,467,601 combined votes.voter-turnout-report_july-2016-7
The Trump Vote Facts:
1. Overall, Trump won 90.5% of US rural counties while Clinton only lead a 9.5%
2. Trump won more counties where the population is 100,000 or more.
(Clinton 36.7% Trump 63.3%)
3. Trump won more counties where less than 5% of the population is foreign born.
(Clinton 8.1% Trump 91.9%)
4. Trump won more counties where the median household income is less than $50,000.
(Clinton 11.5% Trump 88.5%)
5. Trump won more counties where less than 20% of adults have a bachelor’s degrees
(Clinton 7.8% Trump 92.2%)
6. Trump won more counties where the population is 10,000 or less
(Clinton 6.3% Trump 93.7%)
Trump won Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, all of which Mitt Romney lost in 2012.
The Clinton Vote Facts:
1. Clinton won more counties where less than 50% of the population is white.
(Clinton 83.8% Trump 16.2%)
2. Clinton won more counties where at least 45% of the population is African Americans.(Clinton 85.0% Trump 15.0%)
3. Clinton won more counties where at least 30% of the population is foreign born.
(Clinton 71.4% Trump 28.6%)
Did you know that in Arizona, one vote counted as 6 votes
In response to Trump’s White House win, within 24 hours, protests erupted and thousands of people across the country marched and shouted slogans such as “not my president”. The demonstrations were fueled by social media and continued for several days. In most cities, the demonstrations remained peaceful.
Protests were reported in Boston, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Washington, and New York. They were also reported at many colleges and universities.
At 7 P.M., in Oakland, Ca, the crowd grew from 3,000 to 6,000 protestors within an hour. The situation was tense and by Wednesday protestors began setting fires, damaging property which sparked the police to classify the protest as a riot. One officer was injured.
So what happens now? In reality, Trump is expected to be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States on January 20th; however, the Electoral College is expected to cast their vote on January 19th. In spite of the brutal and bitter fight to the White House, a petition has been created at change.org asking the Electoral College to vote the more popular vote against Trump and award the presidency to Clinton. The petition is at 650,000 which is about half way to what is needed.
If this happens, it will be a game changer and a historical moment for the Electoral College, however, such an event would technically be constitutional, but it would also be wholly unprecedented in American history and would require a sudden and drastic change in the United States’ political traditions.
The Electoral College was devised at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. It was a compromise meant to strike a balance between those who wanted popular elections for president and those who wanted no public input.
What this means is that the Electoral College exists primarily for two reasons: to allow for fair and equal representation of states, no matter their size or population, and to prevent a person unfit to govern from attaining office.
Under the Electoral College system, it is possible that the candidate who receives the most popular votes nationwide does not win the election, a phenomenon that had previously occurred five times in U.S. history prior to 2016.
The catch to all of this, is that electors are not absolutely required to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged by the results of their state’s vote. They nearly always do so since they are typically strong supporters of the political parties who appoint them (electors are a mix of government officials, party activists, and high-profile figures in their communities), but so-called “faithless electors” can (and occasionally do) vote for another candidate or don’t vote at all.
The upshot of all this is that yes, it is theoretically possible that — as urged by the Change.org petition cited above — a large group of Republican-selected electors could choose not to cast their ballots for Donald Trump, but to instead defect and vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton (or some other compromise candidate) and thus deny the putative election winner (Trump) from gaining the White House.