Three and a half weeks ago, the race for the White House begun with the Iowa Caucus’, as the Democratic and Republican candidates started battling for the nomination from their respective parties. Since then, Including the Iowa caucus, the Democrats have held three elections, two of which have been caucus’, and the Republicans have held four elections two of which have been caucus’. So far out of the four caucus’ held, at least three of them have had complaints some of which raise questions of legality.
For those of you who are not entirely sure what a caucus is, then well instead of simply walking in casting your ballot and walking out again a caucus takes more time. A Caucus includes a discussion of the candidates, the picking of party delegates and then the actual voting, which involves registered voters walking to the specific part, or side, of the room that designates the candidate they support, then a head count is done to determine which candidate has the most support.
The American election caucus is often described as one of the last true forms of democracy in action. It has often been pointed to as a point of American pride, that here is clear evidence that Americans love their country so much that they will spend a whole day and night getting their political voice heard.
It is important to point out at this point that I am not accusing anybody, or campaign, of political or voter fraud! So don’t sue me just fix the system. And yet in both Democratic caucus’ so far there have been complaints, and earlier this week in the Republicans Nevada caucus there were more complaints.
On 1 February the election kicked off with the Democratic Iowa caucus. It becamethe most tightly fought caucus, or primary, in many people’s lives. In fact it was so close it came down to several coin tosses, and the vote was split 49.9% for Clinton and 49.6% for Sanders. However, throughout the night there were complaints of confusion and miscounting throughout the districts. One such incident was actually caught on camera by C-Span at Polk County. You can see the level of confusion in the video below.
For those of you not entirely sure what is going on here, well basically there is a lot of confusion about the vote counts and whether or not it included the people who left, or not, and the actual count is uncertain. Then despite multiple protests by Sanders supporters a recount nor review is carried out. For a more in-depth summary of this incident I highly recommend this Reddit thread.
The next Democratic caucus took place in Nevada, and as you can guess there was just as much confusion and shady dealings in Nevada as there were in Iowa. Footage emerged on Youtube not long after the Nevada caucus of these shady dealings and confusion, which you can see below.
In the video above, you can hear quite clearly that unregistered voters are being encouraged to enter the caucus, and not to worry about registering. Then a voice in hushed tones tells the first voice not to say it too loud, and to do it quietly. Unsurprisingly that is not allowed. You must be registered to vote!
Now moving on from the Democrats, and onto the Republican. Earlier this week Donald Trump convincingly won the Nevada caucus. However, uncertain dealings and confusion were ever present. Reports came, in throughout the caucus, of horrendous organisation, mass confusion, and even of caucus officials handing wearing Trump merchandise, as you can see below.
Not one but two ballot collectors wearing TRUMP t-shirts at this caucus site in Vegas. pic.twitter.com/DgwyL6eNpL
— Richard Wolffe (@richardwolffedc) February 24, 2016
Whether or not this had an effect on the final outcome of the caucus is unlikely, given the size of Trump’s victory in Nevada. Yet this still adds to the point that there is too much chance of caucus’ going wrong and for votes going unaccounted for.
This article is just a few examples of shady dealings and the chaos seen at these caucus’! There are many more examples out there. As I said earlier, I am not writing this to accuse anybody of political or voter fraud! I am writing this to try and push for change in the US election format.