18.5.2016: Voting woes & party foes
Including the latest results from Oregon & Kentucky, there has been a total of 48 contests in the Democratic Primary. There are 9 remaining contests with the District of Columbia wrapping things up on June 14.
Source: NYT. *Narrow-margin wins indicate it was a near tie with the resulting delegate allocation being a difference of 2 or less.
This entire primary process has been marred by incessant accusations of election fraud, most notably in Arizona, New York, Maryland & Kentucky. In Arizona, voters' registrations seemingly changed overnight and primarily affected Independents who had swtiched to Democrats in order to participate. Thousands of voting records were purged in New York, predominantly in Brooklyn. Baltimore de-certified its results to review irregularities. Out of 120 counties in Kentucky, 31 or 26% reported election fraud. Bill Clinton illegally campaigned for his wife outside polling places in Illinois, New York & Massachusetts. Of course, Clinton won in all of these states. Exit polls in many states differed significantly from reported results.
If it was easy to vote in the primaries, Sanders would have already cinched the nomination. While I believe that the Clinton campaign has some hackers and party insiders skewing results, the general dwindling of American democracy hasn't happened overnight.
In 1965, LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act into law to prevent racial discrimination in the voting process. In 2013, the Supreme Court basically ruled the VRA to be irrevelant & outdated. Since its effectual inefficacy, some states, Arizona & Texas for example, have reduced & reallocated polling places and introduced voter ID requirements. These actions disproportionately affect blacks, latinos, and poor people. I don't understand how the Supreme Court can naively, or perhaps conspiratorially, declare racism a non-issue in a country where Donald Trump gains support from uneducated sheep by scapegoating Mexicans & muslims.
Furthermore, closed primaries, superdelegates, corporate campaign donations & the 2-party system itself contribute to the disenfranchisement of all American voters. These developments could largely go unnoticed because the public had become so blasé about politics. People didn't bother registering to vote. Of registered voters, less than half went to the polls. Of registered voters, more than 40% identified OUTSIDE the 2 main parties and instead registered as Independent, Green, etc.
Enter Bernie Sanders. Sanders has inspired millions of people to (re)enter politics. Millions changed, or at least attempted to change, their party affiliation solely to vote for him. This resurgence in participation has accentuated the undemocratic characteristics of our 'democracy.'
It's time for the 2-party system to end. Every general election poll shows Clinton & Trump nearly tied and many 'supporters' are only voting for one out of contempt for the other. Contempt for the system is now creating space for additional parties. With the media attention (though nothing compared to the free publicity Trump receives every time he opens his mounth, but that's for the 'Medien' section) Sanders has garnered thus far, he would be a successful third-party candidate. I hope he says screw the system & runs on an Independent or, in a collaboration with Jill Stein, Green party ticket. The second-time Green party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, is starting to breakthrough mainstream media barriers and has more than doubled her support base since 2012. Stein & Sanders have essentially the same platform and I especially like Stein's inclusion of food-process reform and investment in active & public transportation as part of the overall overhaul of our healthcare system. Both candidates will put "people, planet, and peace over profit" (Jill 2016).