The 2016 Presidential Election – Illegal Practices at Polling Locations

It seems that in the 2016 Presidential election, more “dirt” can be dug up on both candidates than we would ever have though possible. Regardless of whether you support Trump or Clinton (or neither, for that matter) there are some rules when it comes to polling locations, some differing from one state to another. Of course there are some things, such as voting twice, that could leave you facing criminal charges regardless of what state you’re in.

Recently in the news, a 55-year-old Iowa woman was charged with a Class D felony after she allegedly voted twice in the general election. Des Moines resident Terri Lynn Rote was charged with first-degree election misconduct, and released after posting a $5,000 bond. Rote alleges that the polls are “rigged,” and said she was concerned that her first ballot would be changed to a vote for Clinton. Rote is obviously a Trump supporter. No doubt Rote isn’t the only person in the U.S. who has attempted to vote more than once, given the contentious nature of the election.

According to an article at The Washington Post, a poll has revealed that 43% of Republicans feel that some have voted using the names of registered voters who have passed away, while more than a third think vote totals are being manipulated by election officials. A full 60% of Republicans believe that illegal immigrants are voting, however political scientists have debunked these claims circulated by the Trump campaign in recent days. In the end, will the result of the election be legitimate? It’s difficult to tell given the fact that more than half of Democrats and a reported 84% of Republicans suspect voter fraud.

Another “hot topic” it seems in the 2016 Presidential polling is that taking of “selfies” in voting booths. In the final days leading up to November 8th, many states have made it illegal to take selfies in the voting booths or share photos of ballots. In fact, as of November 2nd a New York Times article revealed that following an extensive review of the array of ballot selfie laws across all U.S. states; more than a third prohibit sharing of photos of ballots. At the time, this included 18 states – and one more state has joined the list this week, California.

An article in USA today revealed that singer Justin Timberlake voted in Tennessee before publishing a ballot selfie, not knowing that what he was doing was a misdemeanor offense in the state punishable by potential jail time and fines. According to the article, he is not under investigation for his legal slip-up.

In Michigan, the topic has been somewhat debated up until now. On Monday October 24th, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids overturned a ban prohibiting voters from taking ballot-box selfies, saying that the state’s prohibition was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech. The following Friday, Neff’s ruling was reversed by the U.S. Court of Appeals Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati. Now, Michigan is one of many states banning selfies of ballots. Even more confusing is the fact that whether or not taking selfies in the voting booth is legal is unclear in several states.

Thus far this has been one of the most bizarre Presidential election campaigns in history. Is the system “rigged” as Donald Trump has claimed on numerous occasions, and what will the outcome be? One thing’s for certain; come Tuesday, many of us will be sitting on the edge of our seats as we watch the future unfold before our eyes.

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One response to “The 2016 Presidential Election – Illegal Practices at Polling Locations”

  1. Sven says:

    No selfies? What will happen when we are all wearing contact lenses that allow us to read articles on the net and record what we see (like the failed Google glasses)?

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