The number of presidential votes now stands at 135.5 million and is still growingas states like California keep processing their ballots. What’s clear is Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more ballots than anyone in American history who did not become president—over 2.5 million. But the problem of rigged American elections goes deeper than the antiquated Electoral College, which makes a mockery of a nationwide contest in which more than 60 million people voted for the top two candidates, yet the race was decided by 106,000 votes in three states (27,000 in Wisconsin, 11,000 in Michigan, 68,000 in Pennsylvania).
Republicans employed their do-everything strategy to complicate and create barriers to voting in Democratic epicenters, as most visibly seen by 14 states that adopted new laws restricting voting since 2014. Did tougher ID requirements in Wisconsin tip the balance from Clinton to Trump? In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where turnout was down by 58,000 votes from 2012, and where local officials said the new tougher ID law was partly to blame, Clinton got 66 percent of the votes this year. Could those mostly missing-in-action Democrats have made the difference? Perhaps, except some voters who backed Obama before said they didn’t like anyone this year and didn’t vote, or they voted for Trump.
The same questions are raised about Detroit, Michigan, where Wayne County’s turnout fell by 70,000 votes this year compared to 2012. Whether it was voter suppression tactics, a candidate who lacked the emotional appeal of her predecessor, states that were mostly ignored by both candidates during the lengthy campaign, unexpected high turnout in the white-majority rural areas—hacking vote count apparatus—or some mix of these (and other) factors, Trump is set to take the presidential oath in January—pending recounts.