Things That Matter

From DC To Iowa, Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Yesterday’s Primary

With all that’s going on across the country – between a national health crisis and social unrest in response to the continued murders of unarmed Black men – you’d be forgiven for forgetting that we’re still in the middle of an election year. In fact, we’re still in the middle of a primary season. I know, it seems like 2020 has already dragged forever but we still have a ways to go.

Thankfully, despite all the challenges the country is facing, millions of voters still stepped out yesterday to let their voices be heard in the primary process.

In D.C., people lined up to vote despite protests, a pandemic, a city-wide curfew, and threats of police violence.

Credit: Stuart Garibaldi / Facebook

I anticipation of continued anti-police brutality demonstrations, all of D.C. was under a 7 p.m. curfew for a fifth consecutive day. However, Mayor Muriel Browser pointed out on social media and in interviews that residents would be allowed to cast ballots no matter the hour as long as they were in line before 8 p.m. Essential workers and journalists are also exempted from the city’s curfew.

More than four hours after polls closed for D.C.’s primary election, some District voters throughout the city were still waiting in line to cast their ballots, as the June 2 primary stretched into June 3.

In one part of the city, Ward 4, more than 100 people remained in line to vote as of 11:15 p.m. According to several elections volunteers however, most people at the polling center were sticking it out and “people are really positive and patient.”

The precinct is one of many across the city where people waited upwards of four hours to vote.

Police allegedly threatened D.C. voters who were in line to vote, despite being exempt from the city’s curfew.

The Mayor’s order made it very clear that as long as you were in line to vote before the 8 p.m. poll closing time, you would be able to cast your vote no matter the hour. Basically, anyone who was out past the 7 p.m. curfew to vote was exempt from the curfew order.

But according to some reports, some police didn’t seem to know or care about this exemption. Many took to Twitter to share that while waiting in line, police were harassing them and demanding they return home.

Meanwhile, in Iowa, Republicans finally drove racist and anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King from office.

King’s defeat was the top headline in Tuesday’s primaries. The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the GOP establishment lined up in support of his challenger, Randy Feenstra.

King’s defeat doesn’t necessarily mean a progressive candidate will take his place. Most pundits expect his Iowa district to remain in Republican control come the general election in November – Trump carried the district by nearly 30 points in 2016.

But getting rid of King is a win for all sides. He had a history of hate rhetoric targeting Black and Latino communities. But only after a New York Times interview in January 2019, in which the congressman questioned why the terms “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” were offensive, did he finally lose the support of GOP leaders.

In 2013, in response to proposed immigration legislation, King said this of migrants, “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds—and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Yesterday’s primaries also revealed challenges states face in the upcoming general election caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic presents states with two immense challenges: how to deal with the wave of mail ballots from voters who don’t wish to travel to their polling place in person, and how to accommodate those who do show up and follow the necessary medical precautions.

Yesterday, lines stretch on for hours. So states need to figure out how to safely accommodate the increase in voters and provide them with social-distant ways to vote.

Obviously, it’s fantastic that Americans are voting in record numbers. We need everyone to vote to be able to achieve the kind of change that we want and need to see in this country. But all of this means that come November, America may not know who wins the presidency on Nov. 3.

Here Are Some Of The Women Of Color Being Considered For VP By Biden Campaign

Things That Matter

Here Are Some Of The Women Of Color Being Considered For VP By Biden Campaign

Dustin Chambers / Getty Images

Despite everything happening, the U.S. is still in an election year and former Vice President Joe Biden is on the search for a running mate. So far, most of his list are women of color and political pundits think it is the best move.

Senator Tammy Duckworth

Sen. Duckworth is currently a senator representing Illinois. The Thai-American woman served in the Army following in the steps of her ancestors who have fought in every major conflict since the American Revolution. Sen. Duckworth received a purple heart while on a tour of duty in Iraq as a helicopter pilot for the U.S. Army after she lost both legs in an attack. Duckworth then went into politics being elected to the House of Representatives representing Illinois’s 8th Congressional District from 2013 to 2017. In 2017, Duckworth was elected to the Senate.

Representative Val Demings

Rep. Demings currently represents the 10th Congressional District of Florida. She took office in January 2017 and has held the seat since. Before serving in the House of Representatives, Rep. Demings was a police officer in Florida. She even served as Chief of the Orlando Police Department from 2007 to 2011. Some have considered her law enforcement background a positive but Black Lives Matter protesters have attacked her record claiming that Rep. Demings didn’t do enough to fix policing issues in Orlando during her tenure as chief.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Mayor Bottoms has risen to national fame since the COVID-19 and George Floyd protests in Atlanta caught the nation’s attention. Mayor Bottoms has been mayor of Atlanta since 2018. Before being the 60th Mayor of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms was a member of the Atlanta City Council for 8 years. In 2019, Mayor Bottoms spoke out against President Trump’s xenophobic actions and declared Atlanta a welcoming city to refugees and migrants seeking shelter.

Former United States National Security Advisor Susan Rice

Rice served for 3 1/2 years as President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser during his second term. Prior to that duty, Rice was appointed by President Obama to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in 2008. During her time in the U.N., Rice accomplished a lot, including raising LGBTQ and women’s issues to a global priority and led the Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran and North Korea in response to their nuclear programs.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham

Governor Lujan Grisham, who can trace her ancestry in New Mexican back 12 generations, has been a very popular politician from the Land of Enchantment. Gov. Lujan Grisham won her 2012 and 2014 elections to the House of Representatives 59 percent to 41 percent each. In 2016, she won election to Congress 65.1 percent to 34.9 percent. While in Congress, the congresswoman served as the chairwoman for the Congression Hispanic Caucus before resigning to take office as New Mexico’s governor.

READ: During A Livestream Event, It Definitely Sounds (And Looks) Like Joe Biden Let Out A Giant Fart

The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Entertainment

The Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of Allowing States To Punish Electoral College

Stefani Reynolds / Getty

News straight from the Supreme Court might just mean a more fair election this 2020. According to reports, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing states to reprimand members of the Electoral College should they break a pledge to vote for their state’s popular vote winner for presidential elections. The decision comes heavily on the heels of the looming election season.

The decision was sparked after 10 of the 538 presidential electors made their own decisions in 2016 and voted for candidates other than the one they’d pledged to vote for.

Up until Monday, only 32 out of the 50 states as well as the District of Columbia had laws that discouraged “faithless electors.” At that time, none of the states had ever actually reprimanded or removed an elector based on their vote. The Supreme Court decision came with a 9-0 count.

“Today, we consider whether a State may also penalize an elector for breaking his pledge and voting for someone other than the presidential candidate who won his State’s popular vote. We hold that a State may do so,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote.”The Constitution’s text and the Nation’s history both support allowing a State to enforce an elector’s pledge to support his party’s nominee — and the state voters’ choice — for President.”

In 2016, three presidential electors in Washington state voted for Colin Powell over the popular votes push for Hillary Clinton. Another voted for anti-Keystone XL pipeline activist Faith Spotted Eagle. At the time, Washington’s Supreme Court upheld a $1,000 fine.

In Colorado, during the 2016 election, Micheal Baca attempted to vote for John Kasich instead of Clinton but his vote was rejected. He was removed and replaced and referred for a potential perjury prosecution. No charges were filed, however. According to CNN, Baca “filed suit, and ultimately won when the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals held that while the state does have the power to appoint electors, that does not extend to the power to remove them.”

Oddly, Frodo Baggins, the beloved hobit from the Lord of The Rings trilogy became a part of the court’s historical record during oral arguments.

According to reports, Justice Clarence Thomas used Baggins as an example “The elector who had promised to vote for the winning candidate could suddenly say, ‘You know, I’m going to vote for Frodo Baggins. I really like Frodo Baggins.’ And you’re saying, under your system, you can’t do anything about that,” Thomas asked.

During the case, Justice Kagan went through the history of the Electoral College and spoke about the presidential election of 1796. The election was the first contested presidential election in the United States and saw John Adams come in first and Thomas Jefferson second. “That meant the leaders of the era’s two warring political parties—the Federalists and the Republicans—became President and Vice President respectively. (one might think of this as fodder of the new season of Veep),” Kagan wrote.

Kagan also referenced Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “Hamilton” nothing that “Alexander Hamilton secured his place on the Broadway stage—but possibly in the cemetery too—by lobbying Federalists in the House to tip the election to Jefferson, whom he loathed but viewed as less of an existential threat to the republic,” she wrote. Justice Thomas agreed with Kagan writing “nothing in the Constitution prevents States from requiring Presidential electors to vote for the candidate chosen by the people.”

Here’s hoping this new change in the Supreme Court ruling ensures a better election outcome.