Politics in the U.S.
The craziness of the U.S. 2016
Measures on the ballot beside
Results of the
Possible impact on the Supreme Court:
Part 5 of fifteen parts
2016-NOV-08: Other measures on the ballot:
Gun control-related measures appeared on the ballot in four states.
- In Maine and Nevada, measures would require universal background checks for the sale of firearms, including private transactions. In Maine, Question 3 was apparently narrowly defeated by 52 to 48%. Nevada's question 1 was apparently narrowly approved.
- In Washington state, a measure would allow judges to prohibit temporarily a person's possession of guns if requested by the police, family, or household members who feel that the gun owner was "exhibiting mental illness, violent or other behavior indicating they may harm themselves or others." With a partial partial counting of ballots, this measure appears to have been passed.
In California, Proposition 63 would prohibit large-capacity ammunition magazines. Also, some people would be required to pass a background check to purchase ammunition. 1 It passed 63% to 37%.
Measures related to pot usage appeared on the ballot in nine states. Voters in five states apparently have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. About one in four Americans will now have access to marijuana. Voters apparently approved:
- Proposition 205 in Arizona;
- Issue 64 in California;
- Question 1 in Maine;
- Question 4 in Massachusetts;
- Question 2 in Nevada.
Voters in four states voted on 2 allowing access to medical marijuana or expanding its medical use. Voters apparently approved:
- Ballot Issue 6, a constitutional amendment in Arkansas;
- Constitutional Amendment 2 in Florida.
- Initiative 182 in Montana.
- Statutory Measure 5 in North Dakota.
Voters in three states voted on the death penalty. Apparently:
- In California, voters rejected Proposition 62 which would have abolished the death penalty in California. The status of Proposition 66 which would reduce the execution waiting time after sentencing is unknown.
- In Nebraska, the Legislature passed a law in 2015 that abolished the death penalty. Referendum 426 was passed by the voters overturned the act so that the death penalty will be restored.
- In Oklahoma, voters passed State Question 776 which permits execution by a wider range of methods. Drugs that kill people are becoming difficult to obtain, and the state asked for more options. One common proposal is to execute people by placing a hood over their head that is filled with a gas like Nitrogen or Helium that deprives the victim of Oxygen. This causes almost immediate unconsciousness and subsequent death.
Voters in Oklahoma voted on State Question 790.
During 2012, a six-foot tall Ten Commandments monument was installed at the Statehouse. The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma launched a successful lawsuit to have it removed. The state Supreme Court ruled that its presence violated the state Constitution. The Republican-controlled state government placed State Question 790 on the ballot. It would have changed the state Constitution so that the monument could be restored. A preliminary vote count, with 1640 precincts reporting, indicates that the Question failed with a vote of about 57% to 43%.
Finally! Preliminary results of the presidential vote on NOV-08 emerged:
At about 6:30 AM Eastern Time on the morning of election day, NOV-09, CNN reported early results that the two main candidates were essentially tied in the popular vote. They both received 47.6% of the vote. Donald Trump received 58,795,306 votes while Hillary Clinton received 58,774,458 -- a difference of 0.03% in favor of Donald Trump.
By 9 AM, more votes had been counted. Clinton pulled ahead of Trump by 59,206,100 votes vs. 59,060,091 -- a difference of 0.24% in favor of Hillary Clinton. However, because of the Electoral College, and its sensitivity to the geographical distribution of the votes across the U.S., Donald Trump was on track to receive an estimated 289 votes in the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton received only 218 votes . 3 270 votes are needed to win.
By 5 AM on NOV-10, still more votes had been counted. Clinton had obtained 59,926,386 votes compared to Trump's 59,698,506 votes. She obtained 227,880 more votes than he did; 47.7% of the total vote, vs. 47.5%. She was a clear winner of the popular vote! 3
On 2016-NOV-13, Hillary Clinton had received 60,981,118 votes compared with Donald Trump's 60,350,241 votes. (47.8% vs. 47.3%). But Trump received 290 Electoral College votes vs. Clinton's 232, and so will become the next president during 2017-JAN.
This is the second time in the last two decades when one main candidate won the election, but the other main candidate became president-elect due to the the Electoral College vote. Both times, the Democratic candidate won and the president-elect was Republican The previous time was in the year 2000, in the contest between Al Gore (D) and George W. Bush (R). Gore won over a half million votes more votes than Bush, but Bush became president.
The 2016 results may give new impetus to the scrapping of the Electoral College and substituting the election of presidents directly by the popular vote. After all, the essence of a democracy is that the rulers are elected by a majority or plurality of the popular vote. 4
Webmaster's comment [bias alert]:
I often wonder what would have happened if the electoral college had been abandoned before the year 2000, and presidents were elected by popular vote, like other U.S. politicians. George W. Bush has said that he was following God's instruction when he launched the invasion of Iraq. If Al Gore (D) had been installed, he might not have heard the same instructions, and perhaps a half million deaths might have been avoided. 5
Years ago, this web site conducted a pilot study into the reliability of prayers to God when a person with an active prayer life tries to assess His will. It appears that prayer just doesn't work. Two people with opposing beliefs can pray to God to assess His will, and apparently receive opposite messages back. This phenomenon has been observed at some national assemblies of Christian denominations where a controversial topic is being discussed, the debate becomes intense, and the moderator has asked the delegates take some time off to pray to assess God's will. But when the delegates return after prayer, the same delegates repeat the same arguments. Few if any have changed their mind. Apparently both sides believed that they received confirmation of their original beliefs.
Reactions to the vote:
Russian President Putin said that he wants to restore full relations with the United States. He said that President-elect Trump:
"... spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the US and Russia. As I have repeatedly said, that is not our fault that Russia-US relations are in that state. Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully fledged relations with the US. I repeat we understand this will be difficult but we are ready to play our part in it." 5
Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess grandmaster and author of a book "Winter is Coming," ominously tweeted:
"Winter is here."
The former presidential candidate in Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, asked fellow Mexicans to remain calm. He added a video to his Facebook page in which he said that Mexico:
"... is a free, independent, sovereign country. It is not a colony, it is not a protectorate, it does not depend on any foreign government."
Gerard Araud, France's ambassador to the U.S. tweeted:
"After Brexit and this election, everything is now possible. A world is collapsing before our eyes. Dizziness."
"Brexit" is a reference to the result of the public vote during 2016-JUN in the UK. By a small majority, they voted in favor of leaving the European Union.
Theresa May, the UK Prime Minister, congratulated president-elect Trump:
"... following a hard-fought campaign. Britain and the United States have an enduring and special relationship based on the values of freedom, democracy and enterprise. We are, and will remain, strong and close partners on trade, security and defense. I look forward to working with President-elect Donald Trump, building on these ties to ensure the security and prosperity of our nations in the years ahead."
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, said:
"I hope the choice of American people will be well in terms of freedoms and liberties as well as the developments of the region. I'd like to personally -- and for my nation -- interpret this positively and wish him a successful future." 5
Earlier, a newscaster on the Japanese state-run TV service, NHK, said that:
"If Trump becomes president, Japan along with other countries, are very unsure of what will happen to the economy."
As if to echo that remark, the Nikkei stock market plunged by 1,000 points when Trump's victory became clear. 5
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Gun control measures expected to win in four states," Reuters, 2016-NOV-08, at: http://www.reuters.com/
Sharon Bernstein, "Voters could legalize marijuana for quarter of all Americans," Reuters, 2016-NOV-08, at: http://www.reuters.com/
"2016 election results," CNN, 2016-NOV-09, at: http://www.cnn.com/
Nichole Gaouette, et al., "Donald Trump victory shocks world, pleases Putin," CNN, 2016-NOV-09, at: http://www.cnn.com/
Kerry Sheridan, "Iraq Death Toll Reaches 500,000 Since Start Of U.S.-Led Invasion, New Study Says," Huffington Post, 2014-JAN-23, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on
Original posting: 2016-NOV-11
Latest update : 2016-NOV-13
Author: B.A. Robinson