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Religious Tolerance logo

Politics in the U.S.

The craziness of the U.S. 2016 election season:

Some electors ask for security briefing.
Replacing missing Justice on the U.S.
Supreme Court. The Electoral
College's vote is counted. Donald
Trump trumps Hillary Clinton.
Abandon the Electoral College?
The final popular vote was certified.

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Part 14 of fifteen parts

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay

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Vote symbol 2016-DEC-13: 99 electors ask intelligence briefing prior to their vote:

Fifty five electors, consisting of 53 of the 232 Democrats and 1 of the 306 Republicans, asked for an intelligence briefing by intelligence director James Clapper concerning interference with the election by Russia. By later that day, the names of 45 additional electors had been added to the request letter. 1

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2016-DEC-18: Contenders for the vacant seat on the U.S. Supreme Court:

Associate Justice Atonin Scalia died on 2016-FEB-13. This reduced the number of Justices on the High Court to eight, thus raising the possibility of the Justices might vote on a case with a 4-4 split. When that happens, the decision of the lower court remains in effect. It is the Constitutional responsibility of the President to nominate a replacement Associate Justice. President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, who is currently the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. It then became the Constitutional responsibility of the Senate to hold a hearing and decide whether to approve or reject the nomination. The Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold a hearing and thereby set a new record for a delay in selecting a replacement Justice. Their hope was that a Republican president would succeed President Obama. Their gamble paid off.

There are rumors that President-elect Donald Trump has selected a number of possible replacements for Justice Scalia. Allegedly leading the pack are:

  • Diane Sykes, 58, a federal judge in the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals. She was once married to Charlie Sykes who has hosted a conservative talk radio program on WTMJ for 23 years, is retiring at the end of 2016, and has strongly opposed Trump. He has written a book tentatively titled "How the Right Lost its Mind." 2

  • William Pryor, 54, a federal judge in the 11th U.S. Court of Appeals. He had earlier equated same-gender sexual activity with bestiality, and referred to the Roe v. Wade decision of the High Court which made early abortions available to women nationally as "the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history." He defended these beliefs during his appointment to the appellate court in 2004. 3

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2016-DEC-19: The Electoral College's vote is counted:

The electors met at their state capitols on DEC-19, voted, and sent the results to Washington sometime later in the month. On 2017-JAN-06, the current Vice President, Joe Biden, will open the documents before a joint session of the new Congress. The total votes from all the states will be counted again to confirm the vote.

As data became available on DEC-19, CBS News updated their web site at:

About 8 PM ET on DEC-19, with the arrival of data from Hawaii, the final count was 304 electoral votes for Trump and 227 for Clinton. Clinton receive 2.83 million more popular votes than Trump, but Trump will be inaugurated as president at approximately noon local time in Washington DC, on 2017-JAN-20. Seven electors switched their vote from from the candidate who won the popular vote in their state to another candidate. They are called "faithless electors." Five were "faithless" to Hillary Clinton; two to Trump. For those presidential elections between 1952 and 2012, there never had been more than one "faithless" elector in any given presidential election.

  • David Mulinix (D-HI) voted for Bernie Sanders instead of Hillary Clinton.
  • Three voters in Washington State voted for former Secretary of State, Colin Powell instead of Hillary Clinton.
  • One voter in Washington state voted for Faith Spotted Eagle instead of Clinton. Faith is from the Yankton Sioux Nation. She was prominently in the news opposing the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • In Texas, instead of voting for Trump, Christopher Suprun (R-TX) voted for John Kasich and another Texas elector voted for Libertarian Ron Paul. 4
  • In Maine, a Democratic elector voted for Bernie Sanders. The vote was considered out of order and was retaken. The elector voted for Clinton.

On 2016-DEC-22, Former president Bill Clinton was an elector in New York state. He voted for his wife. Interviewed by reporters, he said:

"You know, I’ve watched her work for two years. I watched her battle through that bogus email deal, be vindicated at the end when Secretary Powell came out. She fought through that. She fought through everything. And she prevailed against it all but at the end we had the Russians and the FBI deal and she couldn’t prevail against them. She did everything else and still won by 2.8 million votes." 5

Also on DEC-22, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said:

"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election. He is determined to score a point against me which he did. But [he] also undermine[d] our democracy. 5

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2016-DEC-19: Public support to abandon the Electoral College and using the majority popular vote to elect the president:

A McClatchy-Marist poll found that:

  • 52% of registered voters believe that future presidents should be elected by popular vote.

  • 45% prefer that the Electoral College system be preserved. 6

Results by political affiliation were:

  • 78% of Democrats prefer to elect presidents on the basis of the popular vote.

  • 67% of Republicans prefer to retain the Electoral College.

  • 52% of independents prefer to retain the Electoral College.

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, issued a statement saying:

"It’s the second time in the last five presidential elections that the winner of the popular vote does not assume the presidency. No wonder there is controversy over the method of selecting a president." 6

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2016-DEC-20: The final, certified, popular vote was released:

The final tally was released, one day after the Electoral College selected Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States.

Although Hillary Clinton lost the race because of the Electoral College vote, she won by a margin of 2,864,974 votes over Donald Trump in the popular vote. This is a margin of 2.1% of the total popular vote.

Ed Kilgore, writing for New York Media, said that:

"Clinton’s margin significantly exceeds that of the most recent victim of the Electoral College, Al Gore in 2000, who won the popular vote by a mere 543,816 [votes]." 7

Kilgore referred to Donald Trump as "the luckiest" presidential candidate in history, and Hillary Clinton the unluckiest. It would have taken only a miniscule number of voters to have switched from Trump to Clinton in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconson, in order for Hillary Clinton to have won in these three states and become president. That would have required a shift of 77,744 votes which is less than 0.06% of the total number of votes.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Kyle Cheney, "Almost 1 in 4 Electoral College Dems demanding intel briefing," Politico, 2016-DEC-14, at:
  2. book cover C.J. Sykes, "How the Right lost its mind," St. Martin's Press (2017-OCT-03). To be available in hardcover and Kindle formats. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store
  3. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, "Sources: Two judges are top contenders to replace Scalia on Supreme Court," The Blaze, 2016-DEC-16, at:
  4. Julia Boccagno, "Which candidates did the seven "faithless" electors support?," CBS News, 206-DEC-21, at:
  5. Rebecca Shabad, "Bill Clinton reflects on his wife's loss after Electoral College vote," CBS News, 2016-DEC-16, at:
  6. Leigh Munsil, "Poll: Majority of Americans believe popular vote, not electoral college, should decide elections," The Blaze, 2016-DEC-19, at:
  7. Ed Kilgore, "The Final, Final, Final Results for the Presidential Popular Vote Are In," New York Media, 2016-DEC-20, at:

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religiously-motivated conflicts > Specific religious conflict event > 2016 U.S. election

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Copyright © 2016 & 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-DEC-21.
Latest update : 2017-JAN-17.
Author: B.A. Robinson

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