Things That Matter

Guatemala’s Groundbreaking Decision To Allow U.S.- Based Citizens To Vote Could Change The Way We Cast Ballots In The Near Future

Voting in every single election is a crucial part of voicing your concerns about how your country is run. It’s also the perfect time to dictate change, especially with presidential elections.

There’s so much corruption in Latin American — and in the U.S. — that the only way we can make a difference is by voting corruption out. That’s exactly what is taking place in Central America.

Elections are taking place in Guatemala and for the first time ever, 60,000 Guatemalans living in the U.S. will be able to cast their vote.

Credit: @Forbes / Twitter

“At least 60,000 were eligible to vote in Los Angeles, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C., all home to large numbers of Guatemalan emigres,” the Associated Press is reporting.

Aside from voting for a new president, Guatemalans will be able to vote for a new vice-president, 158 congress members, and 340 mayors. Guatemalans living in the U.S. will only be able to vote for the president and vice president.

These elections are extremely important as the three previous presidents have been charged with corruption.

Credit: @BoscoJI65 / Twitter

“There is a belief that instead of advancing in these four years of government, we’ve gone backward,” Marco René Cuellar, 39, told the New York Times. “We’ve lost our way as a country, but we should not lose faith in the democratic process we have.”

Furthermore, the next president can help bring peace to the country and end the mass exodus that is going on in Guatemala.

Credit: @WSJ / Twitter

Since 2016, more than 90,000 Guatemalans have been deported from the U.S, NPR reports, and thousands more make the trek back due to lack of work, violence, and poverty.

While voting is taking place now, the second round of voting will happen in August.

Out of 19 presidential candidates including a former First Lady and an indigenous woman, it looks like Guatemala will have a female leader.

Credit: @Reuters / Twitter

According to the Times, “Sandra Torres had captured more than 22 percent of the vote, followed by four-time presidential candidate Alejandro Giammattei with 16 percent.” They also report none of the candidates will secure 50 percent of the votes or more so that 22 percent is looking really good for Torres.  

READ: Here’s How These Huaraches Are Helping Guatemala’s Mayans Fight Pollution

As Kanye West Drops Out Of The Race, Here’s A Look Back At His 11-Day Campaign For President

Things That Matter

As Kanye West Drops Out Of The Race, Here’s A Look Back At His 11-Day Campaign For President

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Update July 15, 2020: According to a senior member of Kanye’s campaign, the rapper has officially suspended his campaign for president as it became increasingly obvious he’d face difficulties getting the several state’s ballots.

It’s official: Kanye West suspends his campaign for President of the United States.

After 11-days of intrigue and anxiety, Americans finally know that there will not be a Kanye West presidency – at least not for the foreseeable future. The Grammy-award winning rapper has suspended his 2020 campaign for president, according to a senior campaign member.

On July 14, a member of West’s campaign team confirmed that, even after amassing a 180-person campaign team in Florida, West would no longer be running. “He’s out. All our stuff is canceled,” Steve Kramer, a member of West’s campaign team told New York Magazine’s Intelligencer. “I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye…Any candidate running for president for the first time goes through these hiccups.”

It’s no secret that West faced an uphill battle in his quest for the Oval Office. He entered the race extremely late as a member of his own independent party he called the “Birthday Party.” And even as he announced his candidacy, he had already missed the deadline to register for the ballot in six states: North Carolina, Texas, New York, Maine, New Mexico, and Indiana.

However, Kanye West’s 2020 run for president was apparently more legit than many expected.

Many threw doubt on Kanye’s campaign from the very beginning – he had long expressed interest in running for the presidency but never followed through. But this time seemed different since he was intending to run this year. And now the extent of his seriousness is clearer than ever.

West had amassed a 180-strong campaign team and his team had been spending a lot of time trying to get on the Florida and South Carolina ballots specifically. However, to appear on Florida’s ballot, the campaign has until July 15 to collect 132,781 required signatures.

Even though West never had a real chance at winning the presidency, he did have a chance to greatly influence the outcome of the 2020 election. Just this week, a poll revealed that West had the support of about two percent of voters overall if he were to run against Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Although this was a small margin, if that percentage came out of either candidate’s pool of voters, it could have created enough of a divide.

News of West’s campaign came as family members expressed concern about his mental health.

According to TMZ, West is not currently on his medications and has a major bipolar episode about once a year. The family is contributing West’s Forbes interview, where he said Planned Parenthood was doing the Devil’s work and admitted to his support of President Trump. The family, however, expect West to calm down soon and return to his normal.

Original: When will 2020 finally come to an end along with all of its shenanigans? That is the question so many are wondering after yet another not so surprising bombshell of an announcement from Kanye West – who in a tweet this weekend announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Sure, Yeezy has often times claimed to be planning a run for president. He’s said it in 2014, 2015, and 2019. What makes this time different? He says he’s running for this year – 2020 – with the election just months away.

Many are rightfully skeptical of West’s announcement but even if the rapper isn’t totally serious, his simple announcement could have serious consequences on the actual election.

Kanye West celebrated the 4th of July by announcing his intention to run for President of the United States.

It’s official, Kanye West is running for President. Allegedly. His announcement came in the form of an out-of-the-blue tweet amid the 43-year-old’s promotion for his new single, pictures of him with Elon Musk (who has voiced his support for a West presidency, FYI) and promotion of the Gap X Yeezy collaboration.

He tweeted: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” followed by the hashtag #2020vision.

Now, this is far from the first time that Yeezy has revealed his intentions to join the presidential election at some point in the future.In fact, just last year the rapper said he planned to run for the presidency in 2024: “When I run for president in 2024, we would’ve created so many jobs that I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk.”

So no one should be surprised that West has once again announced a potential run. But we are. And it’s largely because he says he’s planning a run for this year – 2020 – with the election just months away.

However, West hasn’t yet fulfilled any of the legal requirements to launch an actual candidacy.

Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Despite his hastily announced ‘candidacy,’ West has yet to fulfill a single requirement to actually run for president. So his tweet was rightfully met with scepticism, given that we are only four months away from when Americans are supposedly heading to the polls.

If West was serious about running, he’ll have to do so as an Independent – which is still technically possible. But deadlines for those intending to run in several states have already passed. However, there is still time to register in some states, but for Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Maine and North Carolina the deadline has passed. For the majority of other states, the deadline is August.

According to the BBC, West does not appear to have registered his name with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for November’s election. The closest name the FEC database shows is a candidate called “Kanye Deez Nutz West”, who filed their papers with the Green Party in 2015 under the address “1977 Golddigger Avenue, Suite Yeezus” and appears to have raised no money.

Even though he hasn’t legally started his campaign, even a potential candidacy could have a major impact on the 2020 race.

Credit: Dimitrious Kambouris / Getty Images

Over the years, Kanye has appeared to show support for both democrats and republicans since his rise to fame. He once denounced Republican president George W. Bush, famously accusing him of not ‘caring about Black people’ during the tragic Hurricane Katrina. However, in recent years, he has declared his support for Trump, both verbally and symbolically, by wearing a Make America Great Again red cap and holding meetings with Trump.

So as far as what a Kanye West presidency would like like…is anyone’s guess.

However, an even bigger concern is the rapper’s planned candidacy and how it could potentially help Trump’s bid for reelection. Anyone who may have voted for Trump in the past but is now on the fence, could see in Kanye a middle ground between Trump and Biden, Many fear a repeat of Jill Stein’s candidacy in 2016 that many say helped push the election in Trump’s favor.

Some fear that some torn between voting between Trump and Biden would instead make a protest vote for West – which could again throw the 2020 election to Trump. Even if West isn’t an official candidate on the 2020 ballot, many fear that people could write in his name.

Even though many expect his candidacy to be a publicity stunt, the Internet exploded with amazing memes.

Social media users have reacted both with shocking and hilarious tweets following the rapper’s tweet.

Many viewed West’s announcement as a publicity stunt just meant to add fuel to the dumpster fire that is 2020.

The year started off with record-setting Australian brush fires, an Amazon jungle burning to the ground, then came Coronavirus and a global pandemic and the continued murder of unarmed Black men by U.S. police forces followed by a massive movement for racial equality – 2020 has been one hell of a ride. And many think Kanye may simply be trying to get his name in the calendar of events.

Could the White House be a set for the Kardashian’s hit reality show?

Even though Donald Trump has basically already turned the White House into a reality TV set, the Kardashian’s could make it a real deal. They’re hit TV show is now in its 18th and allegedly finally season, but a chance to film in the White House could definitely help reignite the franchise.

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

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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.