Without question, several factors led to the results of Tuesday’s presidential election. People who voted third party or didn’t bother to vote at all own the election results as much as anyone who voted for Donald Trump.
However, that doesn’t remove the likely role that vote suppression laws played in helping Donald Trump cheat his way to an Electoral College count victory.
Wade Henderson, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights told McClatchy that groups monitoring Tuesday’s election documented “beyond any doubt that vote suppression and a conscious effort to shave off 1 or 2 percent of the vote in key states, in all likelihood, influenced the outcome of this election.”
Indeed, the groups Henderson refers to reported voter intimidation, malfunctioning machines, and late-opening polling places nationwide and particularly in minority communities.
According to the Brennan Center for Justice, Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin had new restrictive voting laws for the first time in a presidential election.
Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law points to other tricks enacted by Republicans to make voting harder. They included long lines at the polls, voters’ name not on registration lists, a lack of polling place assistance for foreign-language speakers and poll workers who requested strict photo ID in states where such ID was not required. “When we look back, we will find that voter suppression figured prominently in the story surrounding the 2016 presidential election,”
Even with systemic and individual barriers to the vote, Hillary Clinton still won the popular vote. It’s also worth remembering that the Electoral College was intended to prevent disasters like Donald Trump.
In light of these issues, electors have a moral duty (and in some states a legal one), supported by a true mandate from the people, to vote for Hillary Clinton instead of Donald Trump.
As of this year, ten states and the District of Columbia which have 165 of the combined electoral votes, enacted the national popular vote compact mandating electoral college delegates to vote the will of the people.
In an article for The Hill, John R. Koza, chairman of National Popular Vote points to the fact the bill was approved by Arizona’s House, Oklahoma’s Senate, and supported unanimously by legislative committees in Georgia and Missouri.
There just may be a way to stop Trump yet by focusing on Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia and Missouri’s electors.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.