By Tom Maertens
Nov 26, 2016
Mankato Free Press
More than two weeks after the
election, there are still several million uncounted paper ballots,
according to the Cook Political Report, principally in California.
Clinton currently leads the popular vote by 2 million; MPR estimates
that her national vote margin could be in excess of 2.5 million.
Percentage-wise, this is greater than that of seven candidates who won
the presidency, including Kennedy and Nixon, and is roughly in line with
George W. Bush’s victory over John Kerry in 2004.
winning the popular vote by a wide margin, Trump will be elected
president in the Electoral College, a system set up when slaveholders
dominated the constitutional convention that led to the election of
eight slaveholders among the first 10 presidents.
Donald Trump repeatedly said during the campaign that the election was rigged: it was — in his favor.
rights advocates have long charged that the Republican Party instituted
voter suppression laws in states where it controlled both the
legislative and executive branches. These included restrictions on
voting hours, closing polling places, and passing restrictive voter ID
laws — allegedly because of rampant in-person vote fraud, which is
This program was facilitated by the Supreme
Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which made Section 5 of the
Voting Rights Act (VRA) inoperable. That ruling freed states previously
found to have engaged in systematic vote suppression from the obligation
to submit proposed changes to their voting procedures to the Department
Following “Holder,” 868 polling stations were closed throughout the South, overwhelmingly in poor or mostly black areas.
investigative journalist Greg Palast, along with his co-author, Robert
F. Kennedy Jr., has written about Interstate Crosscheck, a program run
by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach to ferret out double
registration or double voting in 30 different states.
investigation in Rolling Stone found that Interstate Crosscheck wrongly
targets people with African-American, Latino and Asian names for
suspicion of double voting. In addition, although it is supposed to
match first, middle and last name, plus birth dates, along with the last
four digits of a Social Security number, Palast found that a quarter of
the listed names on the state rolls lacked a middle-name match, that
the system ignored designations of Jr. and Sr., and that Social Security
numbers weren’t included on any of the lists he obtained.
tally found that while the program flagged 7.2 million possible double
registrants, no more than four voters were charged with deliberate
double registration or double voting.
Palast believes that the Crosscheck system wrongly purged some 1.1
million Americans of color from the voter rolls, including 449,922 in
Michigan (Trump won by 13,107); 270,824 in Arizona (Trump won there by
85,257); and 589,393 in North Carolina (Trump won by 177,008).
also systematically gerrymandered voting districts to favor Republican
candidates, as in Wisconsin, where Democrats won 51 percent of the votes
but Republicans got 60 percent of the seats. Federal courts reversed
some of those laws, including in North Carolina, Texas, and Wisconsin.
election was also rigged by Russian intervention, using their catspaw,
Wikileaks. The intelligence community, private cyber security experts
and Microsoft all believe that Russia was almost surely behind the
hacking of Democratic emails — which Trump encouraged — and then
WikiLeaks released. Nothing particularly scandalous emerged, except that
politicians engage in politics, but the Russians correctly judged the
news media hoopla that resulted.
New York magazine reports that
several voting-rights attorneys and cyber security experts believe
they’ve found persuasive evidence that results in Wisconsin, Michigan,
and Pennsylvania may have been manipulated or hacked, as well.
ominously, the election was rigged by FBI Director James Comey, who put
his thumb on the scale repeatedly during the election. As the
Washington Post wrote, “First, the FBI director, James B. Comey, put
himself enthusiastically forward as the arbiter of not only whether to
prosecute a criminal case — which is not the job of the FBI — but also
best practices in the handling of email and other matters.”
Additionally, pro-Trump agents within the FBI put out the false claim that the FBI was preparing to indict Clinton.
stories were hyped by the partisan media, including Fox News, which
blared the claims for days, before they were retracted. But as the
ubiquitous Kellyanne Conway remarked, “The damage is done to Hillary
What we can expect, now that the Republicans will
control all of the levers of power in Washington, is that they will take
their voter suppression campaign national.
Tom Maertens served as
National Security Council director for nonproliferation and homeland
defense under presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and as deputy
coordinator for counter-terrorism in the State Department during and
after 9/11. He lives in Mankato.