(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Voter suppression got Trump elected in 2016. Third party voting was one factor, but not the critical factor. This was the first Presidential election not under the supervision of the Voting Rights Act, and Republican officials took full advantage of this lack of oversight to disenfranchise thousands of voters. Voters who couldn’t vote elected Donald Trump.
Below is a table with vote totals from four states, which Trump won electorally in 2016. Vote totals were taken from official state canvasses, completed in December 2016, after all provisional ballots had either been counted or found ineligible.
They show that 3rd party voters (Johnson & Stein) voted in numbers exceeding the DJT – HRC margin, but that in most cases, the number of voters prevented from voting far exceeded these numbers.
Pundits: Stein didn’t cost Clinton the election
Political pundits such as 538’s Nate Silver , WSJ’s Tau, and TheHill’s Jeffries point to Gary Johnson’s taking equally from Clinton and Trump, and say that there is no realistic scenario in which Stein voters cost Clinton the Presidency.
If only 90% of the extra Stein voters had voted for Hillary while the rest voted for Trump or stayed home, Michigan is the only state that would have flipped. In none of these scenarios did Jill Stein voters cost Hillary Clinton the presidency.
It’s harder to say who Johnson hurt more since he tended to pull more evenly from both sides of the political divide.
It’s difficult to count uncast votes, but there were clearly thousands of them as a result of the voter-suppression measures.
Voter ID laws were passed in these (and many other) states which disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of poor, elderly, students, and people of color. This was intentional – and done in order to keep Democrats from voting.
|State||Jill Stein||Gary Johnson||Hillary Clinton||Donald Trump||Margin DJT-HRC||Suppressed voters|
A variety of tactics were used to suppress votes. The most popular one was to implement strict voter ID laws, but voter list purges and direct turning people away at the polls, scaring them away with bogus threats to invoke jail time for unpaid traffic tickets, and polling place closures in Democratic neighborhoods were also strategically used.
Besides the four states documented here, American Progress has documented voter suppression in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas. Colorado is an all-mail-ballot state (Thank you, Angela Giron!) and so we have one of the safest elections in the country, as well as one of the highest voter turnout (ballot turn-in) rates.
1 In Michigan, American Progress states:
Poll workers in Michigan incorrectly told voters that they needed to show identification to vote. While Michigan does have a voter ID law, it does not require an ID to vote; instead, voters have the option of filling out an affidavit swearing to their identity. There are no hard data on how many Michigan voters were improperly turned away for lacking an ID. In Michigan, exit polls also didn’t match computerized vote totals.
2″Voter turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest levels in 20 years and decreased 13 percent in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives.300,000 voters in Wisconsin lacked the strict new voter IDs to vote. This kept black people and students from being able to vote, in many cases.
3Pennsylvania may have manipulated votes directly – exit polls did not match recorded vote totals. Pennsylvania was the state that put Trump over the 270 vote total. It was also the state that Trump called for vigilante poll watchers, and for which officials bragged about suppressing the Democratic vote.
4 Floridians will get a chance this November to repeal the Jim Crow-era law that prohibits felons from voting even after their sentences are served. However, the 1.5 million Floridians affected (1 in 4 African American males) will not be able to vote in 2018.
Blaming “Jill Stein Voters” for Donald Trump’s victory, and all the damage he has caused to our democracy, allows Democrats to remain caught in a vicious circular firing squad of blame and prevents moving forward. It also marginalizes the millions of voters who mobilized for progressive ideas.
Since I was asked via comment about the “methodology” leading to the determination that these hundreds of thousands of votes were suppressed, I would ask people to click the links to see. In most cases, voter suppression was determined by a Federal judge who said that the voter ID laws were clearly designed to suppress minority voting. In some cases, these laws have been overturned. In many, they have not. This is why I continue to bring this up. If we are to get our democracy back, we have to get all hands on deck to empower all voters to vote. We need to vote ourselves, encourage and register others, support public officials who support free and fair elections.
Here in Colorado, we have had two Republican Secretaries of State who have railed against Colorado’s election reforms: same – day registration, mail-in ballots, etc. At the same time that they have been complaining to the base, they have been eager to take credit for making Colorado the safest state to vote, and with one of the highest voter participation rates in the country.
Our current Secretary of State, Wayne Williams, eagerly jumped on the Trump train when he was asked to provide voter data to the “Crosscheck” database. Crosscheck is a transparent attempt to purge voter rolls; yet Williams cooperated wholeheartedly.
We need to elect Jena Griswold as Secretary of State, and to keep Colorado as the state with the election system that the rest of the country wants to emulate.