US Opinion and Commentary

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Voting Rights vs Voter Fraud

Posted November 2nd, 2016 at 2:53 pm (UTC-4)
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Donald Trump’s claims of a rigged election has put a spotlight on the intricacies of the process of voting in the United States.

There is no centralized governance of American elections, except the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which enforces the 15th Amendment, affirming the right to vote no matter “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” And the 26th Amendment sets 18 as the minimum voting age.

Otherwise, it’s left up to individual states to establish its own rules for such things as registering to vote, methods of voting, and challenging voter credentials.

Republicans and Democrats will have official poll watchers deployed across the country to look for voting irregularities. But Trump has urged supporters to do so on their own to ensure the election “is not stolen” from him. Democrats are concerned that will cause voter harassment and suppression.

The rhetoric about rigging the election and suppressing the vote is adding stress to an already emotionally-chargbed campaign.

After the Debates

Posted October 20th, 2016 at 4:47 pm (UTC-4)
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Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a “puppet” of Vladimir Putin. Trump said Putin has “outsmarted” Clinton “every step of the way.” She said Trump “choked” when he didn’t tell Mexico’s president that his country will pay for the wall. He suggested the recently launched offensive in Mosul was timed to advantage Clinton.

Trump called for a repeal of Obamacare. Clinton said payroll taxes will rise for the wealthy to replenish Social Security. Trump refused to say whether or not he will accept the outcome of the election. She called that “horrifying.”

In between, the third presidential debate in Las Vegas was peppered with the candidates positions on gun rights, abortion, immigration and growing the economy.

How will what we have heard from Trump and Clinton impact the election on November 8, and afterwards?

Rigging the Election?

Posted October 18th, 2016 at 4:51 pm (UTC-4)
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Two bedrock principles of United States elections that makes American democracy a model others try to emulate are “one man (person), one vote and the peaceful handover of power.

Donald Trump is sowing seeds of doubt in both by claiming the election is “rigged” during campaign appearances, interviews and on social media.

The last close election in 2000 ended with Al Gore winning the popular vote, but losing the state of Florida when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of George W. Bush in a disputed recount of votes. Gore conceded in the name of national unity.

Trump’s unsubstantiated claims are being called dangerous, undermining and flat out wrong by his opponents and some Republicans. But Trump supporters point to various holes in laws and enforcement of laws that can open the door to voter fraud, and say they will be watching the polls on November 8.

Hacking the Election

Posted August 3rd, 2016 at 1:52 pm (UTC-4)
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Imagine. It’s the day after the election….the victor’s triumph rests on close results in five or six states, where the winner had a few thousand more votes. Assume also that each of these states used — at least partially — electronic voting. Assume then that the loser alleges that cyber-tampering stole the election.