Preview: What You Need to Know About the Presidential Election

An overview of the candidates and the relevant information for tomorrow night’s election

By: Brady Coyle, Staff Writer

PC: Stephen Melkisethian/ Flickr

PC: Stephen Melkisethian/ Flickr

If you thought the historic 78-day campaign during the 2015 Canadian federal election was too long, it will come as a relief to know tomorrow night brings an end to the more than year long, three-ring circus that has been the American presidential election.

Most of us will not be voting, however this should not lead us to believe the results of the 58th presidential election will not have global consequences. Here is what the polls are saying and one final overview of the candidates on the eve of the vote.

The Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, is currently leading by four points in CNN’s poll of polls – the average of all national scientific polls – despite a campaign plagued by two major scandals. Her private email server was the first.

Working as Secretary of State, Clinton used a private email server, as opposed to a State Department email account, which goes through the secure federal server. There were allegations that this private server violated State Department protocols and federal law, for both its recklessness with confidential information and for making proper federal record keeping near impossible.

In July 2016, a report was released in which the F.B.I. stated that Clinton’s handling of confidential information was “extremely careless,” however did not recommend Clinton be brought up on charges.

“The emails [are Clinton’s biggest challenge] because it has been over two years now and we are still talking about them,” said Matt Goble, an LU student and avid follower of the presidential race. “It [the emails] showed a lack of responsibility… that makes American people wonder if she will be this careless as President.”

The last two weeks have seen the re-opening of the email investigation. While investigating former congressman Anthony Weiner in a separate case, the FBI has uncovered emails from Weiner’s estranged wife Huma Abedin, the vice-chair of Clinton’s campaign. These emails are suspected to be linked to the Clinton email investigation. The investigation will not be concluded until after tomorrow night.

Clinton’s second point of controversy has to do with the Clinton Foundation. The foundation is a charitable organization created by Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Accusations came to light that donations to the foundation from certain organizations and government bodies created conflicted interest with Clinton’s job as Secretary of State.

It is true that signing off on particular deals coincided with donations to the foundation, upwards of $2.3 million from foreign governments. There have never been any charges for this however, as there is no proof of guilt. There is also the fact that many government organizations sign off on these deals, not just Clinton.

These two issues have been a focal point throughout the campaign, but when it comes to public scandals, Clinton cannot hold a candlestick to the Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump.

“I think these scandals are unfair,” says Goble. “Americans are comparing them as equivalent but they are not. It’s apples and oranges.”

During this campaign, Trump has come under fire for the tapes released of him speaking openly about sexually assaulting women, for his 3 a.m. Twitter rampage calling a former Miss Universe winner “disgusting” and urging followers to check out her sex tape – which does not exist – and for calling Clinton a “nasty woman” in the final presidential debate. And that was just his October.

“If any presidential candidate in the history of the United States had sexual assault allegations against them, there is no possible way they could win,” says Goble.

Since declaring his presidential campaign he has characterized Mexican immigrants as “rapists and criminals”, called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, refused to release his tax returns, expressed desire to punch protesters in the face and openly challenged democracy by being unclear as to whether he will concede the presidency if Clinton wins tomorrow’s vote.

Yet still, this presidential race is neck and neck.

There are Americans who find both nominees so untrustworthy and dislikeable that they will not be showing up to vote on Election Day. However, it is important to remember that there is more at stake than just the presidency tomorrow.

“There is so much on the ballot this year,” says Goble. “About two thirds of the senate is on the ballot and there is congress. These seats will have gun law, climate change, and energy implications.”

Whether Republican or Democrat, hopefully American citizens exercise their right to vote tomorrow, as the results of this historic election will need the entire country’s voice.

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