The Power of Persuasion

November 4, 2016

What influences the outcome of an election? Well, for starters, the presidential candidates beliefs, leadership abilities, and plans for the country right? But believe it or not, a lot of other things influence the outcome of an election too — some that may not seem so obvious like bad weather. It’s too cold and snowing; I’m not going to walk to the polling station! Here are a few things that may influence the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential election. Can you think of others?

The F.B.I. and Emails

When an investigation is closed, it’s closed. But sometimes an investigation can be reopened if new evidence is discovered. That seems reasonable, right? But what if the investigation was of a presidential candidate and the new evidence is presented days away from Election Day? Raises a red flag, doesn’t it? Two weeks ago, the FBI announced that they had discovered new emails connected to Hillary Clinton that could reopen an earlier investigation into her use of a private email server (a big no no when it comes to a federal employee — she was Secretary of State after all and part of top secret communications!). The timing of this announcement and the fact that it was publicly announced without much detail, has made people like Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid believe that F.B.I. Director James Comey violated the Hatch Act.

What’s the Hatch Act? The Hatch Act was created in 1939 to prevent federal employees from directly supporting candidates, and therefore possibly influencing the election.

So what now? This announcement has definitely raised eyebrows — we’ll just have to wait and see if it does something more.

Swing States: Voter Fraud & Intimidation

We’re willing to bet that you’ve heard the words “swing states” a lot these past few weeks. But what are they exactly and why are they swinging? Good question. Swing states are states where both Democrats and Republicans have similar levels of support from voters and therefore the outcome of the election for that state can swing either way. Get it?

But swing states seem to be an even hotter topic than usual this election. Why? Two words: Voter fraud (ex. voting when you don’t have the right to vote). Since swing states can sometimes determine an election, concerns of voter fraud have led to a call for poll monitoring. So, will poll monitoring intimidate people from actually voting and turning in their ballots? That’s to be seen, but the Democratic party seems to think so.