Monthly Archives: December 2018

Why Deep Blue New York Is ‘Voter Suppression Land’

Vivian Wang in the New York Times: “Despite its reputation for sterling progressivism, New York has some of the most restrictive election laws in the nation. It is one of just 12 states without early voting. No other state holds its federal and state primary elections on different days. Voters who want to change their party affiliation must do so more than a year before the election, a rule that famously left Ivanka Trump unable to vote for her father in the 2016 Republican primary. “

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Breaking News: New York Projected To Lose 2 Congressional Districts after 2020

Kimball Brace of Election Data Services, Inc, a leading national redistricting, consulting and election administration firm, projects that new York State will lose 2 congressional districts after the 2020 census based on new Census Bureau state population estimates. This is the first time since 2012 that New York is expected to lose more than one congressional district.

For the complete report, go to http://www.electiondataservices.com

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On Census Preparations, State Lags While City, Advocacy Organizations & Business Community Move Ahead

In the Gotham Gazette, Samar Khurshid tells us about city, state, private sector and business plans for Census 2020: “The census, the federal government’s constitutionally required every-ten-year count of residents of the United States, forms the basis for each individual state’s electoral representation, both locally and at the federal level, determines levels of federal funding states receive each year, and underpins dozens of human-facing programs carried out by state and local governments. Officials and advocates in New York City have already begun to marshall resources as they prepare for the nearly two-year effort that lays ahead, but the state has yet to pick up its feet despite a looming deadline.”

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What If Trump Loses But Refuses To Leave The White House?

By JERRY H. GOLDFEDER  and LINCOLN MITCHELLDEC 03, 2018 | 5:00 AM  

What if Trump loses but refuses to leave the White House? We have to start to contemplate the possibility
Will he know when to get off the stage? (JIM WATSON / AFP/Getty Images)

With the midterm elections now in the rear-view, we continue to have this nagging thought: If President Trump appears to be headed toward defeat in his presumed bid for re-election, which is he more likely to do: Give a graceful concession speech, and resume his wheeling-dealing life, or claim that the election was stolen from him and refuse to move out of the White House?

Some may call this neurotic speculation. Unfortunately, the facts compel us to consider that the second option is a definite possibility. The first option, which has been the choice of every American President defeated for reelection, runs counter to Trump’s personality and distorted view of our constitutional democracy.i

In 2016, when he thought he would lose, Trump threatened to reject the outcome as “rigged.” This year, in support of Florida senatorial candidate Rick Scott and a slew of other Republicans, the President bellowed about “fraud,” “stolen elections” and the like — all but guaranteeing that a Democratic victory would not be accepted as legitimate by his followers.

We have never seen this level of attack on the legitimacy of our elections from the White House. In 1960, then-Vice President Richard Nixon had every reason to believe that Sen. John Kennedy’s supporters fixed the outcome in Illinois and Texas, but, nevertheless, gave short shrift to Republican election lawyers who wished to pursue litigation on his behalf. Nixon simply conceded.PAID POSTWhat Is This?

Similarly, Vice President Al Gore undoubtedly felt that the Supreme Court’s ruling against him in 2000 was not justified, but congratulated Gov. George W. Bush nonetheless. President Gerald Ford similarly accepted defeat gracefully upon losing his race by a very close margin.

Indeed, in every election since 1800, when President John Adams lost a bitter race to his own vice president, Thomas Jefferson, presidential losers — whether or not they actually believed in the outcome — stepped aside. Armed forces have never been called out to protect the White House; supporters of a losing candidate have never stormed the barricades.

Vehement feelings were expressed; marches and protests occurred. But, unlike so many other countries, peaceful succession has always prevailed.

There is no doubt Trump will soon start raising the specter that the 2020 election is going to be rigged against him, thus attempting to lay a dubious legal groundwork for his refusal to leave office if he is defeated.

After all, if he loses, it is highly unlikely that he would retire to a life of philanthropy or building houses, as former Presidents have done. Instead, he and those closest to him may face years of litigation on issues ranging from their relationship with Russia to a variety of questionable real estate dealings. For Trump, the best — and perhaps only — way to avoid the wheels of justice turning against him is to remain in office. In that context, it is very possible that Trump will conjure up whatever rationale is required to hold onto office.

Can’t happen here? In politics, as in most of life, the unimaginable can become real very quickly. All we need to do is take a quick look around the world at other countries as parliaments and courts have been upended by autocrats.

The first step in ensuring that this nightmare scenario does not occur is to understand its possibility. Our constitutional democracy’s survival may depend upon it.

Goldfeder is an election attorney and adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School. Mitchell teaches in the political science department at Columbia University and is the author of several books, including “The Democracy Promotion Paradox.”

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