As the vote recount is impatiently awaited by many, president-elect Donald Trump has continued to raise questions of voter fraud, most recently tweeting, “In addition to winning the electoral debate in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally” (Keyes 2016). Nobody has been able to find evidence of a single illegal immigrant casting a vote -let alone millions slipping into the system- that would support this claim.
Preceding the 2016 presidential election in the United States pollsters worldwide comfortably sat back after declaring that the country, without a doubt, would be seeing its first Madame President. Much of the strength in these predictions came from a firm belief that (now) President-Elect Donald J. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric would motivate Latino voters, especially in the important swing-state of Florida, to mobilize behind the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton.
This past summer I had the incredible opportunity to spend half of my summer working in Sololá, Guatemala. The municipality is located in the Western highlands of the country, and I was specifically staying around the beautiful Lake Atítlan in the town of San Juan La Laguna. When my intern team’s boat landed in San Juan’s dock, I remember being a bit apprehensive – I had been forewarned that the town was more in tune to its Maya roots and that it would be a much more traditional experience than the other parts of Guatemala we had visited.
This past week the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Latin American Studies was excited to host a discussion led by its director Scott Morgenstern titled “Latinos & the US Election.” The presentation explored Latino voting trends, how they are influenced, and - what everybody is wondering about - its potential impact on Tuesday’s election. The following is a summary of dialogue that ensued.
On January 31st, 2012, Chile passed a law changing the vote from compulsory to voluntary, while at the same time expanding the register, allowing every citizen over the age of 18 to vote automatically, without the need to be registered. This contrasted with the previous mechanism, a registration system that was voluntary, but once citizens were inside they were forced to vote in every election, albeit under a weak threat of a pecuniary sanction.
Peruvian presidential, vice-presidential, congressional, and Andean Parliament elections will be held on April 10, 2016.1 Similar to the previous 2011 election, it is predicted that this election will go into a runoff election in early June because none of the candidates will win a majority of the vote. To win in the first round, a candidate will have to win 50 percent of the vote.2