By: Maggie Attridge
The 2016 Presidential election has been heating up for a long time. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, both frontrunners for their respective parties, have been in the spotlight lately, Trump for blaming Clinton for being blamed for voting manipulation and delegate counts.
Trump has repeatedly called the way delegates are selected for the Republican National Committee (RNC) a “scam” and “disgrace”. This, along with many other things, have left strained relations between the billionaire businessman and leaders of the Republican Party. In the primary elections, each state gets to choose how they select their delegates. Many states hold an open or closed primary, where others opt for a caucus.
Colorado is just one example of the inconsistencies in the primary voting process. The Colorado Republican Party changed the state’s voting ways in August of 2015, from a presidential straw poll to a multistep caucus process. The Cruz campaign took notice and campaigned vigorously in the Centennial State, swiping all 34 delegates up for grabs. Trump slammed the RNC about the results, saying, “The Republican system is unfair, unjust, and they should create a fair system based on votes — not a system like they have now that is based on politics as usual.” The Trump campaign also threatened to sue the RNC after the primary in Louisiana, stating, “Just to show you how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the State of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz-Lawsuit coming.”
The Democrats have also been dealing with mounting complaints from their own frontrunner, former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders supporters have been reporting trouble voting for the candidate, taking to social media to express their anger about how the system is “rigged”. According to Bernie supporters on the social media site Reddit, the New York primaries on April 19th was another example how the voting lines were incredibly long, and Sanders supporters were harassed at the polls if they wore shirts supporting the democratic candidate. Many Sanders supporters were also confused about the ballot in New York, which read, “Delegates to the National Convention, Vote for any Seven.” One women reported via tumblr, “the sheet said vote for seven delegates, but Bernie only had five, so I had to choose two of Hillary’s.” CNN reported that the New York Attorney General’s office had over 1,000 complaints on primary day.
The election still has a long way to go, with primaries in Maryland on Tuesday, April 25. If Sanders and the other presidential hopefuls can last until the conventions this summer, there is sure to be chaos in the meantime.