Democracy Now!

Voting

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  • One of the more mysterious parts of the Mercer family’s political orbit is Cambridge Analytica. The data firm claims it has psychological profiles of over 200 million American voters. The firm was hired by the Trump campaign to help it target its message to potential voters. The Mercers have bankrolled the company and placed Steve Bannon on its board. We speak to The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer.

  • As confirmation hearings begin for Neil Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court, we look at his record on voting rights and speak with Ari Berman, senior contributing writer for The Nation. His recent piece is headlined "In E-mails, Neil Gorsuch Praised a Leading Republican Activist Behind Voter Suppression Efforts."

  • Following President Trump’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, Vermont senator and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders responded forcefully to Trump’s speech. We air part of Sanders’ response last night and speak to his former advisor, economist Jeffrey Sachs.

  • Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds, who worked with Coretta Scott King on her memoir, recalls why King opposed Jeff Sessions.

  • President Trump is calling for a "major investigation" of voter fraud, as he continues to stand by his lies about the 2016 election despite the fact that his claims have been widely debunked by experts. Trump falsely asserted that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton because 3 to 5 million unauthorized votes were cast in the election. Trump claims a 2008 study published by the Pew Research Foundation supports his "belief" of widespread voter fraud. However, according to Politico, there is no 2008 Pew study saying any such thing. There is another study—published in 2014 and since widely debunked—that mistakenly claimed 14 percent of noncitizens said they were registered to vote in 2008 and 2010. Brian Schaffner, one of the academics behind the survey that led to this study, told CNN Trump is misinterpreting the study, calling Trump’s claims "absurd" and "not even plausible." For more, we’re joined by Brian Schaffner, who recently co-wrote a piece in The Washington Post titled "Trump wants to investigate purported mass voter fraud. We pre-debunked his evidence." We’re also joined by Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.

  • Today marks President Obama’s last full day in office. On Friday at noon, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in Donald Trump as the country’s 45th president. On Wednesday, in his last press conference as president, Obama defended his decision to commute the sentence of Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, and condemned the Israeli occupation. He also warned Trump that he will not stay silent if he sees what he called the nation’s core values at risk. To look back at Obama’s legacy and what lies ahead with the new administration, we speak to Eddie Glaude, chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. He is author of several books, most recently, "Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul."

  • Resistance to many of President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks who face Senate confirmation hearings in the coming weeks entered a new phase Tuesday when NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and five other civil rights leaders were arrested during a sit-in at the office of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, demanding he withdraw his name from consideration for attorney general. Trump’s pick has drawn widespread outrage because of Sessions’s opposition to the Voting Rights Act, support for anti-immigration legislation and history of making racist comments. Fresh from his arrest, we are joined by Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP, who is also a longtime human rights advocate, civil rights lawyer and minister.

  • A Wisconsin judge is set to decide if a recount of the state’s presidential vote can proceed. We speak with Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who has requested recounts in three states where Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. But Stein has faced obstacles in all three states. Today’s hearing in Wisconsin comes after two pro-Trump groups, the Great America PAC and the Stop Hillary PAC, filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop the recount process. Meanwhile, in Michigan, a judge has already halted the recount. Another hearing will be held in Pennsylvania today to decide if a recount there can begin.

  • On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered Michigan’s Board of Elections to stop the state’s electoral recount. U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said he would abide by a court ruling that found that former Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein could not seek a recount. Goldsmith concluded, "A recount as an audit of the election has never been endorsed by any court." Stein has pledged to continue to push for a recount. Michigan is one of three battleground states where Stein had demanded a recount. The other two states are Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. President-elect Donald Trump narrowly defeated Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton in all three states. For more, we’re joined by John Bonifaz, attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. He was one of a group of leading election lawyers and computer scientists calling for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

  • "American Elections Will Be Hacked.’" That’s the title of a recent article in The New York Times by our next guest, the leading cybersecurity and privacy researcher Bruce Schneier. Schneier warns, "Our newly computerized voting systems are vulnerable to attack by both individual hackers and government-sponsored cyberwarriors. It is only a matter of time before such an attack happens." Schneier is a security technologist and fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and author of the book "Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World."

  • "Fewer people voted in this election than voted in 2012," notes Juan González, journalist and Democracy Now! co-host, but he argues that data from Latino Decisions shows the Latino turnout was actually higher than 2012 in Florida and other key states. Many precincts, including Miami-Dade, saw almost twice the turnout for Clinton than Obama. "They knew exactly what was at stake," González says.

  • The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads the popular vote by hundreds of thousands of ballots, but she lost the Electoral College to Republican Donald Trump. The last time this type of outcome occurred was in the 2000 Bush vs. Gore presidential race. Meanwhile, electoral reform initiatives are underway to get states to adopt the National Popular Vote bill. The legislation could transform the way we elect the president of the United States. Under the compact for a national popular vote, states across the country have pledged to award their electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote. If enough states sign on, it would guarantee the presidency goes to the candidate who wins the most votes across the country. The compact will kick in only when enough states have signed on to reach a threshold of 270 electoral votes. We are joined by John Koza, chair of National Popular Vote.

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