Election Day is TOMORROW!
The 2016 Presidential Election is tomorrow – Tuesday, November 8 – and it is crucial for citizens to know where and how to vote. There are a number of resources– including Google’s homepage – available to help voters make sure they have this information. Iwillvote.com lets users look up election rules and requirements by state; it also lets users put in their address in order to find their specific polling location. ABC News also details voting information by state.
From voter ID laws to long lines at the polls, there can be many obstacles to voting. The YMCA is offering free child care services in many locations nationwide, and organizations like Rock the Vote provide resources about ID requirements in each state. Additionally, carpoolvote.com matches drivers with riders who need help getting to the polls. For further online guidance, visit USA.gov or call them with questions at 844-MY-1-VOTE (844-691-8683).
Accusations of Anti-Semitism in Trump’s Final Ad
On Friday, the Trump campaign released its closing campaign ad, featuring “establishment figures ‘that don’t have your good in mind’ … [including] progressive billionaire George Soros, Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein.” As the Huffington Post goes on to point out, all of these individuals are Jewish. A wide range of groups and individuals, ranging from Senator Al Franken (D-MN) to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), have criticized the ad for its anti-Semitic overtones.
The Trump campaign was quick to deny these allegations. In a statement to CBS News, Jason Greenblatt said he was “offended and concerned” by these allegations, which he considered a distraction from “real anti-Semitism and hatred.” Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of ADL, blasted the ad for “conjuring painful stereotypes,” even if this effect was unintended.
Trump Campaign Rejects Ku Klux Klan Endorsement
Last week, The Crusader – a Ku Klux Klan newspaper – ran an article endorsing Donald Trump for president. The article, written by Klan director Thomas Robb, indicated Trump would move the country back towards its roots as a “White Christian Republic,” which, according to Robb, is “what made America great in the first place.”
In February, Trump was slow to denounce an endorsement from Klansman David Duke, who is running for Senate in Louisiana. Although the campaign has since clearly distanced itself, when Duke first linked his political agenda to Trump’s, Trump said he would “have to look at the group” before condemning them.
As described by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Ku Klux Klan is “the most infamous – and the oldest – of American hate groups,” known for its violent history off attacks on black Americans, Jews, immigrants, and LGBT individuals.
SEPTA Strike Ends Ahead of Election Day
Today marked the end of the six-day Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority strike, as SEPTA and the Transport Workers Union worked out a tentative five-year agreement Monday morning. The strike, which centered around disagreements over the pension plan, health care costs, and scheduling, threatened to hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had it lasted through the election, as lack of transit could have made it more difficult and time consuming for more democratically leaning voters to get to the polls.
While Pennsylvania as a whole is considered a swing state and the more rural areas tend to vote Republican, cities such as Philadelphia are highly liberal: according to the LA Times, in the 2008 and 2012 elections, there were wards in which the GOP nominees “did not receive a single vote.” While it is unclear whether the strike would have hurt voter turnout, USA Today states that the subways, buses, and trolleys affected by the strike “provide almost 1 million rides each weekday.”
Rolling Stone Liable for Defamation
Last Friday, a federal court in Virginia found the Rolling Stone, its parent company Wenner Media, and its reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely civilly liable for defamation with actual malice against former University of Virginia Associate Dean Nicole Eramo. The lawsuit centers around an article published nearly two years ago, titled “A Rape on Campus,” in which the magazine recounted a horrific account of rape and administrative inaction at the University of Virginia. Questions about the veracity of the story were raised almost immediately.
Since the story was first published in 2014, it has served as a prime example for those who are more inclined to question the stories of alleged rape victims. Others have used it to examine the important balance between taking survivors seriously and taking steps to ensure they are telling the truth. Last Friday’s verdict is unlikely to put the story to rest: in addition to Friday’s verdict in favor of Dean Eramo, there is a pending lawsuit against the magazine by the fraternity implicated in the article; a lawsuit brought in New York by three individual fraternity members was dismissed.