Hillary Clinton’s popular vote lead over Donald Trump expanded yesterday with several states reporting new totals as they continued to count absentee, mail-in, and provisional ballots.
The exact number of ballots that are still uncounted is unknown because some states don’t release that information to the public.
California has the most transparent count, by far, of any state, and it posts details about its count with frequent updates several times daily. It still has two million ballots to count. Out of its 58 counties, Alameda, Colusa, Del Norte, Glenn, Inyo, Lassen, Sierra, and Siskiyou are the only ones reporting 100% completion.
In North Carolina, a legal battle is brewing over the counting of provisional ballots as Governor McCrory trails his Democratic opponent, State Attorney General Roy Cooper, by 6,498 votes. The state’s Board of Elections meets this morning to consider McCrory’s request for help with stealing the election by throwing out as many provisional ballots as they can.
Let’s do the numbers before proceeding to the details about this developing scandal. With the new totals reported as of this morning by Arizona, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington State, Clinton’s lead is 1,750,672 and she’s on pace to have a 2.4 million vote lead when California completes its count.
The table of state-by-state vote totals is posted at Google.
The numbers were compiled from the vote totals reported by each state’s Board of Elections and they are subject to change.
Note: In Pennsylvania, the state where rural angry white voters went all in for fracking, the vote totals that were formerly listed for Mifflin County have been replaced with a count of zero for all candidates. Stay tuned for more information about that if and when it becomes available
The electoral college contradicted the popular vote only 4 times in US history, but never with a lead as big as Clinton’s. Given the shenanigans in North Carolina and the lack of transparency in other states, there should be an investigation. This is not business as usual. Imagine the mess if the Supreme Court had to rule on the election with only 8 judges!
In North Carolina, a federal court intervened on behalf of disenfranchised voters during the early voting period just before the election. The court provided preliminary relief to voters who registered at DMV offices that failed to properly provide the required voter registration services. The state claimed that it had no record of registration for them. This is a violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, also known as the “Motor Voter.” law,
The problem was widespread and the court ordered North Carolina’s counties to give provisional ballots to every voter who affirmed that they registered at the DMV, unless the DMV had the voter’s signature on a form declining voter registration services, as required.
Compliance with the court order means that the county Boards of Election have an unknown number of provisional ballots which they began to process, as expected, after the election.
Meanwhile, Governor McCrory lost a close contest to his Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, and it was assumed that the provisional ballots would lean more heavily in Cooper’s favor, and possibly eliminate the need for an automatic recount.
During the count, a number of ‘protesters’ appeared before the county BOEs with allegations of voter fraud by individuals who they said were ineligible due to felonies and other matters. In every case, the county BOEs rejected these challenges because they weren’t factual or they were quickly proven to be untrue.
After the first protests were rejected, the county BOEs were flooded with hundreds more protests that appeared to come from a ‘mill’ that was stamping them out with a ‘cookie cutter.’
On November 18, the deadline for counting the provisional ballots, McCrory’s campaign manager asked the state BOE “to take jurisdiction” of the matters before the county BOEs and to resolve them quickly.
Roy Cooper quickly stepped in to warn the state BOE that it was headed for trouble and he included exhibits to show that the protests received by the county BOEs were illegal and possibly fraudulent. That’s serious coming from a state Attorney General.
The state BOE called an Emergency Meeting on Sunday November 20, where Josh Malcolm, the Board’s Democratic member dropped a bombshell. The 'mill' that was stamping out cookie cutter’ challenges. naming hundreds of voters as ineligible was the state Board, itself.
Specifically, the Board’s Information Technology Director, accessed the state's database to gather information that he used to fabricate challenges against voters which he sent to the county BOEs. The other Board members at the meeting admitted that they knew about his actions and absolved themselves of any responsibility.
There was friction between Malcolm and Rhonda Amaroso, the Board’s Republican who tried to excuse what was done until he explained to her that citizens have a right to due process before being found ineligible to vote. For that reason, the voter must be notified before a protest can be sent to the county BOE.
At that point, Amaroso hijacked the meeting for 20 minutes with a rant about her primary concerns. She said that the meetings she has to attend as a member of the Board, take far too much of her time, mostly because Malcolm, the Democrat, drones on for hours at a time. She acknowledged that the problematic matter McCrory dumped in the Board’s lap wouldn't be resolved quickly and she wanted everyone to know that it completely ruined her Holidays for this year. So much for the statutory responsibility to ensure free and fair elections in the state.
The Board voted to hire outside legal counsel and to meet with McCrory and Cooper today, Tuesday November 22, for a hearing before making a decision about the Governor’s request.
The citations for this story can be found at these links:
McCrory’s letter to the state BOE:
Cooper’s letter to the state BOE:
The Board’s side of the story in press release about the preliminary court injunction and how it affected the county BOE processing of provisional ballots.
A link to the audio recording of Sunday’s emergency meeting and other supporting documentation.