Election Results 2016: Voter Suppression Concerns Congressional Dems

With an electoral college map and a myriad of exit polls that heavily favored Hillary Clinton heading into Election Day, the 2016 election results of Donald Trump becoming President-elect have left many stunned and looking for concrete answers that would explain why the final results data differed so significantly from pre-elections polling data and exit polls.

The Tribune reported that Congressional Dems are concerned about voter suppression as one data-driven explanation to the vast differences between polls and the final 2016 election results. Additionally, Greg Palast, an investigative journalist that has studied elections since Al Gore and George Bush, has analyzed the election results of 2016 and says the red shift in the swing states that were to lean Hillary Clinton and ultimately leaned Donald Trump is the result of voter suppression through the use of a data driven tool called Crosscheck, according to the Huffington Post.

This was a general prediction of the electoral college map of pollsters and pundits going into election night.

This was the final electoral college map and elections results for 2016 after election night.

The numbers before in exit polls and after the election with 2016 election results simply do not match up, by considerable margins. The 2016 National Popular Vote Tracker has Hillary Clinton in leading the popular vote by over 1.4 million votes at the time of press. The New York Times shows Hillary Clinton’s margin is greater than John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Al Gore. Donald Trump’s margin has been calculated to be so slim, it could reportedly only fill a football stadium.

The two theories that keep coming up to explain the electoral college map vast discrepancies between the polls and the 2016 election results are voter suppression and election hacking. While polls are not accurate to the 100 percent degree, they are accurate within a margin of error. For many swing states, Hillary Clinton was well outside the margin of error, and she lost them anyway.

The Tribune reports that Congressional Democrats are considering voter suppression to be a legitimate concern in this election, with Texas Democrats reportedly lamenting the first election without federal oversight since the Supreme Court abolishment of the Voting Rights Act. Additionally, the Inquisitr previously reported that the chief of the NSA, Admiral Rogers, told the Wall Street Journal this week that there is enough evidence to indicate that a “nation-state” made a conscious effort to intervene in the election.

The Tribune reported that one of the results of Election Day last week was voter suppression at multiple levels, including polling places closed or not working correctly, voter ID laws, and voter intimidation at the polls. Congressional Democrats are reportedly concerned about this, and the “future of voting” after the 2013 Supreme Court decision that overturned the Voting Rights Act.

The Tribune notes that one impact of Supreme Court rulings on the Voting Rights Act was that a number of states resulted in fewer polling stations, making it more difficult for Americans to get to the polls. Almost all states with fewer polling stations went to Donald Trump.

Fort Worth Rep. Marc Veasey and the chairman of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus spoke with civil rights leaders on Capitol Hill this week about his concerns on voter suppression impacting elections 2016 results reports The Tribune. He cited some key swing states that he thinks swung to Donald Trump because of voter suppression. He said the following.

“Many people are saying the voter ID law in Wisconsin may have swung from Clinton to Trump. An Illinois man moved to Wisconsin and they made it virtually impossible for him to vote. This shows us that the worst fears we had in the post Shelby v. Holder era are here.”

One 99-year-old man from Madison, Wisconsin, reportedly made two trips to the polls, and an additional trip to the DMV, just to make sure he was able to vote and comply with Wisconsin’s new voter ID laws on election day.

It is the 2013 change to the Voting Rights Act that has Congressional Democrats concerned, reports The Tribune. This change resulted in many states passing new voter ID requirements, and shifted early voting and voter registration time frames. The Tribune reports that laws were also changed in Texas prior to election day, for this election cycle, and left many Texans confused about where to go, and what ID was required.

Testimony from a North Carolina representative, Rev. Dr. William Barber II also was provided on Capitol Hill this week. He also reportedly discussed the many technical issues that swing state North Carolina experienced on election day. Rep. Veasey reportedly claimed that North Carolina experienced an 8.5 percent decline in early voting because of some of the new restrictions.

Rep. Veasey has been an advocate of voting rights for years. Watch him discuss it here with Rachel Maddow for MSNBC in 2013, where Rachel Maddow reports that one in four voters in Texas need to file a legal affidavit to vote, if they don’t have the proper ID.

Rep. Veasey said on Capitol Hill this week that citizens need to call their state legislators and representatives to let them know that they were not able to vote due to new hassles this year. He feels this will help prevent voter suppression in the future, and also will help Congress keep a record on the quantifiable nature of voter suppression in this election. When discussing voter suppression, Rep. Veasey also said the following.

“All of these things that…are going on out here is discriminatory, it’s suppression. It’s a page we don’t want to turn back to in this country where it [suppression] wasn’t just turned down, it was encouraged.”

Another method of voter suppression that has gotten a lot of chatter in recent days is the Crosscheck system reports Huffington Post. It’s a system that is seen as controversial by many states, Florida has completely abandoned it. It’s viewed as controversial as it tends to target minorities, which can be discriminatory.

Crosscheck is being touted as a voter suppression method that aided Trump, or as one investigative journalist calls it, “how the election was stolen.”

Crosscheck is a system where votes are purged, or citizens are removed from voter rolls according to the Huffington Post. The list is compiled by officials and people are removed from the list if they are alleged to have been registered to vote in one more state. It is said to remove the possibility of voting twice, but for many citizens it removes the possibility of their vote counting at all.

Huffington Post says “an astonishing 7.2 million” were purged on Election Day. Huffington Post also reports that the man behind Crosscheck is Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is also now a member of the Trump transition team. In addition to the Crosscheck list, a list of registered Muslims is also reportedly being developed for future elections.

Investigative journalist Gret Palast has been studying the Crosscheck system and voter suppression in the United States for years. His work has appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine this September in an article titled “The GOP’s Stealth War Against Voters.” He has also done a documentary on the topic called, “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits.”

Palast recently talked voter suppression data with Truth Dig.

Talking to Truth Dig about his thoughts on the 2016 election results, Palast said the following.

“Let me just give you some numbers here. So what we have is, for example, a Trump margin of victory in Michigan of 13,107. The crosscheck purge list in Michigan is 449,922. …I figure about, from my experience, the absolute minimum number of removals is only about 12 percent. But 12 percent of 449 – 450,000, you’re talking 50,000 people, almost all voters of color, overwhelmingly. Arizona: 85,257 is his margin. The crosscheck list: 270,000.”

Palast says only approximately 12 percent of votes get purged from a crosscheck list, and this is enough to create a red shift for Donald Trump to victory in key swing states.

Exit polls had Hillary Clinton ahead in North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, on election day, meaning, she should have won all of those states. And if she had, she would have won as The Inquisitr previously reported. But, election results for 2016 did not reflect that data. She lost every one of those states by very small margins, which, Greg Palast says is due to voter suppression.

Palast says crosscheck is only one method of voter suppression and says in Pacific Free Press that exit polls are “historically deadly accurate.” There is little chance of voters not giving exit pollsters the accurate information on who they voted for, because exit polling is done anonymously, negating an incentive for someone to say they voted for Hillary Clinton when they didn’t.

Palast was interviewed for an article in the London Economic on the subject, and posted it on his blog. In that interview he highlights the discrepancies between exit polls and elections results.

“And here for example in North Carolina we have the exit poll raw data at 2.1% favoring victory by Clinton, yet she loses by 3.8% in the final count. In Pennsylvania 4.4% victory suddenly became a 1.2 % loss; Wisconsin: 3.9% victory becomes a 1% loss; Florida: 1.1% victory becomes a 1% loss.”

Palast also explained the red shift from the exit polls by noting that exit polls can only ask a voter how they voted, and “what they don’t ask and can’t is” if their vote was actually counted.

Voter suppression is something the Congressional Democrats are definitely aware of, and will continue seeking oversight for, as voter suppression in future elections is a pressing concern. It is not too late for Democrat or Republican citizens to contact their Congressional leadership and voice their concerns over whether or not their vote was actually counted in the 2016 election results.

[Feature Image By J. Scott Applewhite/AP Images]

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