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For many Americans, Tuesday night’s live coverage of the 2016 presidential election proved as not only an end to a tumultuous campaign season, but an utter shock and call for protest.
Despite having 395,050 less popular votes than Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Donald Trump won the race to The White House with 290 electoral votes—62 more electoral votes than Clinton and 20 more than the required 270 to secure the presidency.
However, after a campaign riddled with violence, racist and sexist rhetoric and a resounding declaration of white supremacy in the slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ much of the African-American community is anything but overjoyed at the announcement of ‘President-elect Donald Trump.’
With 80 percent of black men and 94 percent of black women having cast a vote for Clinton on Election Day, it is clear who was the more preferred candidate within the African-American community.
And here at the University of Mississippi, groups allocated for the support and progression of African Americans are reeling in disbelief and preparing for the next step in their protocol.
Though Jaylon Martin, vice-president of the university’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), can’t speak on the organization’s plan of action just yet, he said the black community is worried and will have a lot to deal with for the next four years.
“I’m honestly pretty disappointed in the country that Trump received so much support, but I’m not surprised in the slightest,” Martin said. “I think his presidency will lead to a lot of people getting more bold in their racism. [Mississippi] may lose much of the progress it has made.”
Black Student Union president Terrius Harris said the 2016 election results should serve as a wake-up call for all African-American people.
“Now, more than ever during my lifetime, we must stand up for our rights and fight the good cause to hold our president accountable for his actions and furthermore hold the institution and republic accountable as well,” Harris said.
Harris said the outcome of this election was driven by the media and white America, for the push of a particular candidate and a revengeful “white-lash” in response to the 2012 reelection of President Barack Obama.
“As I sit in deepened confusion and in search of hope during these dark times, I respect the process of the American election process, but I loathe those who voted for hate,” he said. “I think it is very clear how this will affect us, as we have already witnessed swastikas engraved in residence halls on campus and violence like the burning of the black church in Greenville take place. This new president-elect whose campaign was built in hate, will drive hate and further divide our country as violence continues.”
As for what’s next for BSU, Harris said the organization will continue to do what it has been doing.
“We will teach our members what it means to be black in this society, we will equip them with the knowledge to be successful and never back down in the face of adversity, and we will fight the good fight alongside them as we take care our ourselves and each other,” Harris said. “However, right now we will focus on everyone’s mental stability and health awareness, because you cannot be a good leader if you do not take care of yourself. It starts with ourselves, then we move together, because only through individual efforts that are united under one common goal can anything ever be reached.”
Democrats from Lafayette County all came together at the Lyric to watch the 2016 presidential election coverage but were disappointed and saddened with Republican candidate Donald Trump’s win.
On Wednesday Nov. 9 in the early hours of the morning it was announced that Republican candidate Donald Trump won the presidential election against Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump won with 279 Electoral College votes against Clinton who only had 228 Electoral College votes. 31 Electoral College votes are still available and Clinton won the popular vote by about 200,000 votes so far.
“I felt really confident. I never even entertained the thought that Trump would really come close. I follow a lot of pollsters and everything seemed to suggest that Hillary was going to win at least handily, if not in a landslide, so I’m just honestly stunned to see that America has voted the way they have,” Cristen Hemmins, chair of the Lafayette County Democrats, said. “I can’t even wrap my head around it.”
Hemmins has been working toward this night for several months. She has campaigned, sold Clinton memorabilia and organized different events to help raise money and awareness for Clinton in Lafayette County. She was saddened and in disbelief that Trump surged ahead of Clinton.
A large screen was hung over the stage and took up a large portion of the space between the ceiling and the stage. Throughout the night CNN’s live election coverage played on the screen so attendees could watch the coverage or eat, get a drink or take photos in the photo booth.
There were about 250 people who came to the Lyric to support Clinton. Supporters ranged in age from 2 months old to seniors and all sported Clinton memorabilia. There were so many Clinton supporters at the watch party that people had to sit on the floor, the empty bar top and had to stand around the edges of the room.
“I think we just wanted to be more of a community . . . because the fact that Trump is this far is in and of itself scary, so I think we just needed more people around us,” Ole Miss student Ike Hill said.
Hill came to support Clinton along with many other students and they were visibly upset as the Electoral College votes were announced and Trump took the lead.
Smile Y’all Photo Booth set up the photo booth in the entrance to The Lyric and attendees could take pictures with Clinton signs, funny glasses and animal masks. The attendees could take their pictures and walk away with their photo strip in hand.
The Lyric was full of tables that were covered with red, white and blue tablecloths. Bunches of balloons in red, white and blue adorned the tables and bars. American flags were hung around the building with a giant American flag covering the entire back wall of the stage.
Attendees could purchase alcohol at the bars or food from Canoodle by Oxford Canteen. The menu was special for election night and consisted of a fried bologna and egg hoagie, Over the Wall Mexican Green Chili Pork Tacos, Left Wings with cucumber seaweed salad and more.
Local performer Jimbo Mathus kept the crowd entertained with his singing and guitar playing while the crowd was waiting to hear if Clinton would get the electoral college votes from Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania as well as a few others. Mathus sang three songs including “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie with the crowd joining in with him.
Throughout the night the election got more nerve-wracking and the crowd became more emotional. The crowd showed strong emotions when a state was announced to have voted for Clinton or Trump and everyone would stand up and cheer for Clinton and boo at Trump.
As the night wore on it became clear that Clinton was going to lose the election after she lost key swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania. The crowd started to leave the closer Trump got to the 270 Electoral votes needed to win. The Lyric closed around midnight and the crowd had to leave without the final election result, even though it was obvious that Clinton was far behind Trump at that point.
“This election is different because it taught me that there’s a large chance that my country wasn’t ready to nominate the most qualified candidate in the history of our nation over an incompetent bigot, simply because she was a woman,” Adam Flaherty, the president of the College Democrats at the University of Mississippi, said.
Hemmins and Flaherty gave a touching speech at the end of the night about not giving up hope and that in the future they hope that a Democratic President will be elected again and Mississippi will turn blue. The audience members all looked sad and comforted each other when they realized that Clinton was most likely not going to win.
After a whirlwind election year, the results are in and Donald Trump has been voted the next president of the United States with Mike Pence as his vice president.
The Republican candidate won the 2016 election with an overall 279 electoral votes, Hillary Clinton with 228. In the 18 precincts in Lafayette County, Trump finished with 54.87 percent of votes as opposed to Clinton’s 39.77 percent.
Workers at the Lafayette County Courthouse gathered ballot results to acquire the final election outcome from the county. It was a busy Tuesday night on The Square in Oxford with a number of Election Day festivities happening including a watch party for the Lafayette County Democrats nearby at the Lyric.
Brent Larson, the co-owner of Cash Saver in Oxford and an Ole Miss business graduate, was voted School Board District one of Lafayette County. He waited with his family and chatted about the election as the final ballots were tallied for his office as well as the presidency.
“ I’m here waiting because I’m running for a position. We are just wanting those results to finally come out,” Larson said.
Larson’s children played in the courtroom while they waited. With their patience wearing after being there for several hours, a game of tag had soon ensued and paper snowballs could be seen being thrown across the room.
All spectators waited for the results in a courtroom on the second floor and the President of the Board of Supervisors, Jeff Busby, returned intermittently to update the group as more ballots were received.
“We will continue to update you all as the numbers keep rolling in and more ballots arrive,” Busby said.
It took four hours from the polls closing for the ballots from all 18 precincts to be counted, and Bush walked up and down the stairs hourly keeping the people informed.
Of the 32,899 registered voters in Lafayette County, only 17,746 of them voted, which equals 53.94 percent. 7,038 of them voted for Clinton and 9,710 for Trump.
Trump won 58 percent of votes in the state of Mississippi to Clinton’s 40 percent. 30 states ended up with a majority of republican votes while 20 states and the District of Columbia finished with a majority of Democratic votes. Republicans also won the US Senate and the House of Representatives on this Election Day.
Polls were opened from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. and the ballot boxes containing the machine counts, absentee and affidavit votes had started to arrive to the county courthouse around 8 p.m. where employees then filed them to gather the final results.
Junior nursing major Taylor Starling said that she was very surprised at the turn the election results were taking.
“I came to the Square to watch the coverage , and I honestly did not think that Trump stood a chance. None of the pre-election polls predicted this, but I just hope some good and necessary changes can be made in the next four years,” Starling said.
Once all of the ballot boxes, approximately 25 total, arrived from the 18 precincts, the information received from them was then uploaded into equipment at the courthouse, counted and consolidated into final reports. These were then sent to Jackson.
There were approximately 10 workers on the first floor of the courthouse that continued to file ballot information until the last box, which was from District 1, had arrived just shy of 11 p.m. After absentee votes were counted the unofficial election summary results were released.
In the courtroom there was about 15 people waiting for the outcome. There was neither food nor television provided in the courthouse, and many continued to check the progress of the election on their phones.
One of five district supervisors for the county, Election Commissioner Supervisor for District two Max Hipp said, “I think that the Election Day ran very smoothly. There was a very heavy flow of voters early with most of it tapering off later in the day.”
Lafayette County was full of all types of mixed emotions last night as everyone waited to hear about the status of our county and country. The courthouse was in frenzy all day and night trying to tally the votes for the members of the Lafayette community and make sure all the polling stations ran smoothly. Families waited in the courthouse to hear what the election votes would be.
After taking with Max Hipp District 2 Commissioner earlier throughout the day he had a lot to say about how the day was going. According to Hipp, “ At 10 a.m. 500-600 people had already voted at his prescient.” Many commissioners were going and coming back and forth from their stations throughout the day to make sure everything ran smoothly. “It is always issues that come up. It is mostly pretty routine. Hopefully it goes smoothly, said Hipp.” Hipp had the largest district of the day. They broke the district down with five tables and had everyone’s last name letter listed so they could see where to go. Hipp was expecting 2500 people to vote from his district yesterday. He has been working as the district commissioner for two years however, this is his seventh election.
As of 10 a.m. it was also 577 abstentee votes that had been casted, but no one is allowed to count those until the end of the night.
Debbie Black Election Commissioner of District 5 had an interesting day as well working the election. “I do not have too many thoughts for the election. It is more stress than normal, said Black.” As of noon the polls were running, “pretty smooth with a few glitches. Nothing out of the ordinary though, said Black.” This is Blacks second term working as election commission and her sixth year.
The night finally arrived at the courthouse with families and reporters waiting to hear the status of Lafayette County.
Ballots started to roll in at the courthouse around 7:30 p.m. The first group of papers came upstairs by Jeff Busby the President of the Board of Supervisors. Throughout the entire night Busby delivered the Lafayette County election results. The first group of papers was delivered to everyone waiting around 8:30 p.m. showing only six of the 18 precincts. Trump and Clinton were neck and neck with the numbers for Trump being 2818 and Clinton having 2137 votes. However, at this time this report only covered 33.33% of the Lafayette county residents.
Brent Larson and his family were one of a few families waiting for the election results to see who won Lafayette County School Board Member District One. He, his wife, and son were seen looking hopeful as he stood in the lead at this time.
County workers set up the Encoder cases before the people are allowed to cast their vote. The encoders have memory cards and from there the memory cards are put into another machine so the votes can be counted. After that the memory cards are then sent to Jackson to be recorded there as well.
The last group of papers came around at around 10:45 p.m. it showed all of the 18 precincts information. In Lafayette country Trump had won with 54.87% of this county’s vote. That is a total of 9710 votes. Hilary had 39.77% of Lafayette’s vote with a total of 7038 votes.
Brent Larson won the Lafayette County School Board Member District One. Larson had 52.76% of the vote with a total of 765 votes going toward him.
A day of mayhem in Lafayette County finally had come to a stop. As for the rest of the night everyone all over the country still waited to see who was going to become the new President of the United States.
With all 18 voting precincts in Lafayette County reporting, Republican nominee Donald Trump carried 55 percent of the vote.
Trump collected approximately 9,710 votes compared to the Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine picking up 7,038. There are 32,899 registered voters in the county, with over 17,000 voters casting a ballot in this 2016 general election. Several news outlets called the state of Mississippi in favor of a Trump win early after the polls closed at 7 p.m.
Rewinding to earlier today, precincts like the one at the Stone Center saw a steady stream of voters coming in and out of the red-tinned building, those of which included Ole Miss Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics, Ross Bjork, and Men’s Basketball Coach, Andy Kennedy. The Washington Avenue station saw its busiest time during the early morning hours between seven and nine.
“Most people that talked to me just said, ‘I just wish this election will end’,” Paige Romoser, 20, a first-time volunteer poll worker at the Stone Center said. “It wasn’t like people were excited to go out and vote for their specific candidate. People did not seem to be gung-ho about voting today.”
Alongside several other poll station workers, Romoser was tasked with verifying identification of voters, and then
While the movement of citizens in and out was smooth during the 12 hour voting period, it was not without a few hiccups. Under election code rules, when entering a voting site, one cannot wear attire in support or against a certain candidate. In 1992 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a 100-foot “campaign free zone” surrounding polling locations was not a restriction to First Amendment rights, according to USA Today.
“Today one voter came in with his two young children who had Trump shirts on,” Romoser said. “If you come in with it [a political piece of clothing] they have to tell you to leave or turn it inside out if you want to vote, and even though the kids weren’t voting they were asked to wait outside. He [the dad] cause a large scene about it.”
The children did eventually leave the polling room, and waited outside. However, this was not the only issue to arise. One woman asked to vote via paper ballot, instead of electronically, and the Stone Center did not have any to meet her legal request.
“You’re technically supposed to allow people to do paper ballots if they want to, and that caused a huge issue,” Romoser said. “She had to vote electronically, because she had already signed the book saying she was going to vote, and you have to vote after you sign the book.”
Romoser noted that she has never seen an election up close, where she had a direct hand in the process. She gained a new respect for people who choose to exercise their right to vote, and the lengths they go to make sure their voice is heard.
“The range of people I saw come in, and the people that took so much effort to make sure they got their votes in, really interested me,” Romoser said. “There were people with two sleeping babies and still voted. I didn’t realize people cared that much.”
This election process impacted Romoser in a way she didn’t expect, and garnered for her a new appreciation for the democratic voting process.
“I probably would work again during polling,” Romoser said. “It was cool to be a part of the election process though it was the most hellish 13 hours of my life.”
Voting is a personal choice and whether one does so or not is up to them and nobody else.
Brad Mayo, Chairman of the Lafayette County Republican Party said that he believes it’s everyone’s right to not vote.
“At the same time, I can’t imagine not voting,” Mayo said. “I can’t imagine having to pick one of these two candidates either.”
Maddie Stirsman, senior and journalism major at the University of Mississippi, said she did not vote because she is from out of state and did not get her absentee ballot application in on time.
“ I wish I did though because I would really like to be able to vote today,” Stirsman said. “As for what I think the results will end up like, I think that Hillary Clinton will end up winning the election.”
Sarah Bode, senior and accounting major, said she thinks all college students should vote.
“It directly effects our future and potentially our kids future, we have the chance to make a difference with our vote,” Bode said. “If taxes change that’ll effect us for when we are entering the work force.”
Bode said that students need to think forward to what kind of country we want to be working in and raising our families in.
Bode is hopeful that Trump will become the next president of the United States.
“I would say if you don’t know who you’re going to vote for to go and write somebody in that you can support, before you just don’t vote” Mayo said. “When you stay home that is not sending a message.”
University of Mississippi student Libby Summer patiently waited outside the courtyard of Resident Hall 2 and 3 along with 40 other students hours away from when the president was announced.
“I’m super scared,” said Libby Summers of Madison, MS. “Super scared, like moving to another country if Hillary wins.”
Summer was attending the watch party with friend Lauren James who is also from Madison. Together, the two watched as the ballots came in showing that Trump and Hillary were neck in neck.
“It’s going to be really close,” said Lauren James. “I personally don’t want either one of them in office but if I had to choose I would much rather Donald Trump be in there than Hillary Clinton.”
As the ballots came in, students awaited the final results with anticipation. Overlooking the watch party was James Duncan, a security guard from the Campus Police Department
“I’m just here to make sure everyone here is safe,” said James Duncan. “I can’t really say who is going to win, but from what I can tell it’s going to be pretty close.”