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Eleven thousand complaints were filed with the Department of Justice about violations of the right to vote in the 2000 presidential election. How many will be filed for 2016?

Bush vs Gore, Trump vs Clinton: Voting Rights Violations in U.S. Presidential Elections

Did you know that about 11,000 complaints were filed with the U.S. Department of Justice about violations of the civil right to vote after the 2000 presidential election, where Democrat Al Gore won the popular vote but Republican George W. Bush was declared president-elect by the Supreme Court?

hillary clinton donald trump two-party systemHow many complaints are currently being filed with the Department of Justice about violations of the civil right to vote in the 2016 presidential election, where Democrat Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but Republican Donald Trump was declared president-elect by the electoral college? Here is the link to file your complaint about voting irregularities.

The Crisis, a magazine published by the NAACP, lists some of complaints from the 2000 election, when the Supreme Court halted a recount of the ballots cast in Florida. The press ignored the following abuses of the civil right to vote and did not investigate:

  • Plantation, FL, where a school that had been a black voting precinct for years was demolished three weeks before election day without voters ever being informed about an alternative site.
  • Miami-Dade County, FL, where 47 precincts with a substantial Haitian-American population were denied Creole translators although that assistance had been previously promised and ballots were available in Spanish.
  • Why the names of some black voters were not on the voting rolls when they had just voted in the September primary.
  • Why some black voters whose names were on the voting rolls were turned away nevertheless.
  • Why some ballot boxes were not picked up until days later, and one in Miami was even found in a Sheraton hotel room.
  • Why polls closed with people in line who had shown up before the 7 p.m. deadline.

The Crisis also cites a Guardian report of police roadblocks in Florida preventing black voters from reaching the polls.

In the 2008 presidential election, The Crisis reports, “Ohio voters were sent false, official-looking letters that stated that had they been registered to vote by an organization like the NAACP they would not be able to cast a ballot…because they were ‘illegally registered to vote.'”

How many of these and other types of violations of the civil right to vote occurred in 2016? The Department of Justice (DOJ) wants people to report any and all violations using the form linked above.

Are you curious about the rest of those approximately 11,000 violations of the civil right to vote in the 2000 presidential election? You can request this information from the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You can email your request to Nelson D. Hermilla, Chief, FOIA/PA Branch, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice. His email is: CRT.FOIArequests@usdoj.gov.

Include the following information in your email request:

  • Describe in sufficient detail the records you seek to enable Department of Justice personnel to locate them with a reasonable amount of effort.
  • State in what form you want the information. Do you want it emailed to you? Or mailed to you?
  • State why you want the information. For example, to bring to public attention the inner workings of our democratic government in dealing with violations of the civil right to vote.
  • State how you will pay for the time and labor to fulfill your request, or request a fee waiver because of the importance of the information for the public.
  • If you are a journalist or other member of the press or media, state this fact in your request.
  • For more information you can visit https://www.justice.gov/oip/make-foia-request-doj and https://www.foia.gov/how-to.html

Also, a 106-page summary report from the Department of Justice about those approximately 11,000 complaints is available as a PDF download.

If you want to file a Freedom of Information Request for this or other information, you had better do it quick. The sitting president decides what information is available, or not, to the public under the Freedom of Information Act.

About Lynette Yetter

Lynette Yetter is the author of the books "72 Money Saving Tips for the 99%" and "Lucy Plays Panpipes for Peace, a novel." Lynette is a permanent resident of Bolivia and a graduate student in the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program at Reed College.

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One comment

  1. Dr Joseph S Maresca

    All of the points mentioned in the above are well taken. The Electoral College itself may have been a compromise between the North and South to provide fairer representation in the voting. At the time, a candidate for POTUS needed to campaign in just a few northern states to win an election. By extension, that circumstance meant that the south was virtually shut out entirely from the electoral process. To correct that situation, the Electoral College evolved as a compromise.

    In this election, a number of factors impacted the outcome and there were valid complaints on both sides. Potus-Elect Trump decried the 11 million illegals living in this country and the disadvantage to him from that unpredictable factor in the actual voting. In addition, the media was decidedly in the corner of Mrs. Clinton.

    Mrs. Clinton had issues too. Examples were the ongoing email investigations, as well as, the very public statements by the FBI Director. A portion of the electorate wanted to see a presidential choice other than Clinton or Bush.

    Potus-Elect Trump won the election by bypassing the media on Twitter and campaigning rigorously in states which were a “close call”. The formal Presidential Debates were interesting and the question of who won depended upon whether or not you were a supporter. The undecideds waited literally to the very end.

    Mrs. Clinton had other choices too. The Secretary General position at the United Nations was open. This position would have presented a good opportunity for her to expand the current resume from the US political landscape to the United Nations.

    There is no perfect way to choose a POTUS except by utilization of biomarkers like fingerprints. Soon enough, high technology will enter into our voting systems producing either a more accurate voting platform or one that intrudes on person privacy in ways that are unconstitutional. The future will hold the answer.