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Donald Trump Got Elected President and This Is How It Happened (Multimedia)

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Donald Trump Got Elected President and This Is How It Happened (Multimedia)

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Donald Trump Got Elected President and This Is How It Happened (Multimedia)

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Kasia Anderson
Deputy Editor
Kasia Anderson is a deputy editor at Truthdig. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1997 with a degree in English literature and sociology, she worked as a Web journalist in San Francisco until 2000,…
Kasia Anderson

Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech flanked by family members, allies and Vice President-elect Mike Pence early Wednesday morning. (NJ.com via YouTube)

Here is Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer’s morning editorial on the outcome of the election:

The people Hillary Clinton derided as a "basket of deplorables" have spoken. They have voted out of the pain of their economic misfortune, which Clinton's branch of the Democratic Party helped engender.

What you have is a defeat of elitism. Clinton's arrogance was on full display with the revelation of her speeches cozying up to Goldman Sachs—the bank that caused this misery more than any other—and the irony of this is not lost on the people who are hurting and can't pay their bills. This is a victory for a neofascist populism—scapegoating immigrants and Muslims—and if Bernie Sanders had been the Democrats' candidate, I feel confident he would have won. We were denied the opportunity of a confrontation between a progressive populist, represented by Sanders, and a neofascist populist.

It's a repudiation of the arrogant elitism of the Democratic Party machine as represented by the Clintons, whose radical deregulation of Wall Street created this mess. And instead of recognizing the error of their ways and standing up to the banks, Clinton's campaign cozied up to them, and that did not give people who are hurting confidence that she would respond to their needs or that she gave a damn about their suffering. She's terminally tone-deaf.

So too was the mainstream media, which treated the wreckage of the Great Recession as a minor inconvenience, ignoring the deep suffering of the many millions who lost their homes, savings and jobs. The candidate of Goldman Sachs was defeated, unfortunately by a billionaire exemplar of everything that's evil in late-stage capitalism, who will now worsen instead of fix the system. Thanks to the arrogance of the Democratic Party leadership that stifled the Sanders revolution, we are entering a very dangerous period with a Trump presidency, and this will be a time to see whether our system of checks and balances functions as our Founding Fathers intended.

Make no mistake about it: This is a crisis of confidence for America's ruling elite that far surpasses Nixon's Watergate scandal. They were the enablers of radical deregulation that betrayed Franklin Delano Roosevelt's contract with the American people in the wake of the Great Depression. The people are hurting, and regrettably, Trump was the only vehicle presented to them by either major party in the general election to register their deepest discontent. The Trump voters are the messenger; don’t demonize them in an effort to salvage the prestige of the superrich elite that has temporarily lost its grip on the main levers of power in this nation.

Thankfully, the Clinton era is over, and the sick notion that the Democratic Party of FDR needed to find a new home in the temples of Wall Street greed has been rudely shattered by the deep anger of the very folks the Democrats had presumed to represent. That includes working-class women, who failed to respond to the siren song of Clinton, whom the democratic hacks offered instead of a true progressive like Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Yes, we need a female president, but not in the mold of Margaret Thatcher.

Now, take a look at commentary by other Truthdig staffers, as well as contributors Bill Boyarsky and Bill Blum, about the night Donald Trump got elected president.

11:43 p.m. PST: And there you have it: Donald Trump will become the next president of the United States. Hillary Clinton has reportedly called Trump to concede the election, and running mate Mike Pence and Trump himself are addressing the crowd at Trump headquarters. Watch their speeches below.

11:21 p.m. PST: Republicans have kept their majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The executive branch is still technically up for grabs as of now, but most major news outlets are expecting Trump to win it.

11:13 p.m. PST:John Podesta, head of the Clinton campaign, has told everyone in Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, where Cinton supporters were gathered to celebrate her victory, to go home.

From The Guardian:

“I know you’ve been here a long time.

“We’re still counting votes, and every vote should count.

“Several states are still close to call, so we’re not going to have anything more to say tonight.

“Everyone should head home. You should get some sleep. We’ll have more to say tomorrow.

“We are so proud of you, and we are so proud of her. She has done amazing things, and she’s not done yet.”

He says they’ll have more tomorrow.

11:08 p.m. PST:

Here's another dispatch from Bill Boyarsky:

In the television commentary on Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the pundits were enthralled with his technique, his oratorical skills and memories of the crowds at his huge rallies. The commentators also talked about discontented Americans and engaged in much breast-beating over how the media missed this phenomenon. Little was said about what he would actually do in the White House.

That is not surprising. Political commentators are fascinated with technique and would rather deal with that than anything else.

Maybe I missed something, but I sat in front of my television set from midafternoon until very late and heard nothing from the pundit panels about the Trump wall or his planned deportation of about 11 million undocumented immigrants. Both those projects are going to be big deals, and you’d think someone would want to talk about them. I assume that a President Trump will begin plans for the wall, a somewhat complex construction job. And he’ll have to figure out how to round up immigrants without proper papers and transport them back to their native lands. Airlifts? Or trucks and trains, which might evoke recollections of how Jews and others were transported in Nazi-controlled Europe or how Japanese-Americans were herded into prison camps during World War II?

There are other matters that might have been mentioned in the election night commentary. About 20 million people now get health insurance, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Trump would join with the Republican majorities in the Senate and House to repeal and replace it. I could have used some election night commentary on what will happen to these folks, especially those with pre-existing conditions who now must be covered under Obamacare. I also wanted to hear some reference to another endangered group, the roughly 47 million recipients of food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which was a great relief during the recession and the slow recovery afterward.

I didn’t want a deep discussion of these or other matters. They didn’t need to go into the weeds of policy detail. But I would have liked some recognition that the election of Donald Trump means huge changes in the country. This isn’t the circus or a ballgame. It’s American life.

Since I have been talking about the media, I should mention the polling business—or, should I say, the thoroughly discredited polling business. Never have so many experts been so wrong, except for the data freaks who designed the get-out-the-vote operations for Clinton’s campaign. Actually, the pollsters and campaign geniuses have much in common—being good at math and not much else. As someone who is not good at math, I resent the great amount of time I spent trying to understand and explain their methods. I still don’t understand “modeling,” except to know that it did not work in the 2016 election. The only poll that got the election right was the USC/L.A. Times Daybreak poll. The Times took a lot of heat from other pollsters for having Trump ahead throughout the campaign. As a Times alum, I was pleased that my alma mater got it right.

10:39 p.m. PST:

During a panel discussion, CNN's Van Jones delivered a powerful speech about the "nightmare" of a country led by a man an openly racist man and calls the election results a "white lash" against a "rapidly changing country" and a "black presidency."

10:27 p.m. PST: FiveThirtyEight's Carl Bialik says it's statistically unfounded to blame Trump's possible election on third-party candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.

As of current vote counts, the number of voters who cast ballots for candidates other than Clinton and Trump exceeds Trump’s winning margin — or lead, in races that haven’t yet been called — in many important states, including Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But don’t pin Trump’s win on those voters who eschewed the two major candidates. Not all of them would have voted for Clinton had they been forced to choose only between her and Trump. And some might not have voted at all. Far more Democrats in Florida in 2000 voted for George W. Bush than voted for Ralph Nader.

10:18 p.m. PST:

This headline from Fortune magazine pretty much sums up what's going on in the stock market at the moment: The Stock Market Has Dropped as Much as It's Allowed to Right Now as Donald Trump Nears Victory.

NBC explains:

Dow futures briefly dropped more than 800 points and bonds rallied as markets feared Donald Trump could pull off an upset and take the White House.

Just before midnight ET, S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures plunged more than 5 percent.

That was just above levels identified as "limit down" by the CME, which confirmed to CNBC that S&P and Nasdaq futures can trade above but not below those prices until 9:30 a.m., ET, when the Wednesday U.S. trading session begins.

Trade volume in eMini S&P futures was about 17 times the average daily volume, according to a note from Citi.

Investors moved into the safety of bonds Tuesday evening as traders questioned whether Democrat Hillary Clinton could still win the race. The Mexican peso fell 10 percent against the U.S. dollar.

9:51 p.m. PST:

A few results are in from the California propositions on the ballot. So far, the most widely reported is the approval of Proposition 64, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana. The Los Angeles Times reports:

The approval of the ballot measure, which led in recent polls, would create the largest market for marijuana products in the U.S. It comes six years after California voters narrowly rejected a similar measure. Activists said passage would be an important moment in a fight for marijuana legalization across the U.S.

“We are very excited that citizens of California voted to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition," said Nate Bradley, executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Assn. "Proposition 64 will allow California to take its rightful place as the center of cannabis innovation, research and development.”

Discouraged law enforcement officials said they will closely monitor implementation of the ballot measure.

“We are, of course, disappointed that the self-serving moneyed interests behind this marijuana business plan prevailed at the cost of public health, safety, and the wellbeing of our communities,” said Chief Ken Corney, president of the California Police Chiefs Assn.

9:35 p.m. PST:

Nevada and its six electoral votes have been handed to Clinton. Here's some un-presidential news from The Guardian:

A bit of good news for the Democrats – they’ve held onto retiring minority leader Harry Reid’s senate seat in Nevada, with the election of Catherine Cortez Masto, the Democratic state attorney general.

In their attempt to take the senate, Democrats have held Nevada, but picked up only Illinois so far, and failed to pick up Wisconsin, Indiana, North Carolina, and Florida. Waiting on New Hampshire, Missouri and Pennsylvania.

And speaking of non-White-House-related news, take a look at former Republican presidential candidate John McCain's victory speech from Arizona:

9:29 p.m. PST: Trump appears to be closing in on 270 votes. NBC, however, is also talking about a 269-269 tie in the Electoral College. If that happens, there would have to be recounts in several voting districts in which the vote was close, and it would probably be days before an outcome was known.

One Twitter user seems to think this theory has its silver lining.

9:25 p.m. PST:

The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald is grappling with the idea that Trump may be declared the next president of the U.S.

9:09 p.m PST:

As many hold their breath for the results in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Trump sweeps up the six electoral votes in Iowa, as projected by CNN.

8:50 p.m. PST: The Guardian is reporting "another blow in a difficult night for progressives," as Zephyr Teachout loses New York's 19th Congressional District seat to Republican John Faso. Meanwhile, Fox News has called Wisconsin for Trump, a result that many in the media are saying will make it difficult for Clinton to win.

The count is in from the West Coast, however, and California, Washington and Oregon have all gone to Clinton.

8:08 p.m. PST: Bill Boyarsky has sent his latest take on the status of the election:

The question left unanswered by this surprising presidential election is why so many people voted for a man who is not only opposed to the fundamental precepts of the U.S. constitutional system, but who is also determined to dismantle the safety net and the judicial safeguards that make their lives better.

Win or lose—and around 11 p.m. EST the matter hadn’t been completely settled—the big vote for Donald Trump shows that a substantial number of Americans are ready to ditch the programs necessary for the survival of millions of Americans—unemployed poor people, the working poor and part of the middle class. Among the losses would be abortions for women of moderate means, adequate medical care for the poor and the middle class, a Supreme Court that would nullify choice, and the turning over to hostile states many of the social welfare programs now maintained by the federal government. And there’s more. Just check the Republican bible—the slash-and-burn domestic program of House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Amid Trump’s rabble-rousing and the media’s love of his loud mouth, it’s been forgotten that along with his bragging would come a domestic program long advocated by House Republicans. They remain in charge, and no doubt Trump would support them.

I’m not even mentioning the worst part of Trumpism—his contempt for civil liberties and the fundamental guarantees of democracy, his scorn for minorities, his contempt for anyone who doesn’t agree with him. "Early Hitler," I thought, when I first watched him on television.

I learned at an early age not to close the door on elections too early. Time to watch and wait—and contemplate the future.

8:02 p.m. PST:

Truthdig columnist Sonali Kolhatkar is hosting an election night special on Facebook Live:

7:57 p.m. PST: Donald Trump has prevailed in another battleground state: Florida.

And also, this just in from the Sunshine State:

7:49 p.m. PST:

Hillary Clinton is projected to win in Virginia and Colorado.

7:30 p.m. PST: More news we'd rather lose from FiveThirtyEight: "John McCain, the incumbent Republican senator from Arizona, will keep his seat. Our model now gives Republicans an 83 percent chance of retaining control of the Senate."

7:31 p.m. PST: Trump has taken Ohio. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver has changed his projections from earlier in the evening and now shows Trump with a 55 percent chance of winning the election.

7:23 p.m. PST: As the nationwide epidemic of nail-biting continues, here's some Senate news from The New York Times:

Senator Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, who had been seen as perhaps the most imperiled incumbent Republican in the Senate, on Tuesday lost his job to Representative Tammy Duckworth, putting both of the state’s Senate seats in the control of Democrats.

Mr. Kirk, a centrist Republican with bipartisan alliances, has long walked a delicate line in a state that tends to vote for Democrats, especially in presidential election years. It is a model that has seen success in Illinois in past decades but that has grown increasingly tangled in this battering election year. Some of Mr. Kirk’s stances have appealed to Democrats and independents (he has supported gay rights, for instance), but he has risked annoying his Republican base along the way. (He said he would support Donald J. Trump if he were the party’s presidential nominee but then backed away from him.)

For more updates about Senate races from the Times, click here.

7:08 p.m. PST: Here's a dispatch from former judge, legal expert and Truthdig columnist Bill Blum:

At roughly 10:00 PM EST, it's looking more and more plausible that Donald Trump will pull off the vaunted "inside straight" to 270 electoral votes, notching Florida, Ohio and North Carolina, and possibly Michigan and New Hampshire. Unless the electoral map stabilizes soon in Clinton's direction, we as a nation are about to install a full-blown neofascist in the White House.

If you happen to be someone on the left who thinks Trump is the lesser of the two major-party evils, and that after Trump's administration flounders and fails, it will be "our turn" to take over, I have two words for you: "Ernst Thällman."

Who's that, you might ask?

Well, I'll let University of Pennsylvania political science professor Adolph Reed Jr., writing for Common Dreams and citing the American Prospect's Harold Meyerson, clue you in:

"In the early 1930s, as the National Socialists gained strength, Ernst Thällman, the Chairman of the German Communist Party, held to the line that the Social Democrats were a greater threat to the working class and to the possibility of revolution than were the Nazis. The Communists’ conflict with the Social Democrats was both not without justification and mutual. Some Communists believed that the elements of the working class who were drawn to the Nazis, e.g., those in Ernst Röhm’s Brown Shirts, could be won from them. In 1931 some sought to collaborate with the Nazis to bring down the weak Social Democrat government. In expressing the conviction that the Social Democrats were the main danger in German politics, Thällman uttered the quip that has long outlived him as a cautionary device: “After Hitler, our turn.” His point was that a Nazi victory would expose them as fraudulent with no program for the working class. What Thällman didn’t count on was their success at criminalizing and liquidating all opposition. He died in a concentration camp."

Now, I'm not saying that we're all about to be shipped off to Dachau. But we're in for some very brutal and bad days ahead with President Trump. The only questions are how bad things will get, and how long the racist, rightward lurch will last.

6:51 p.m. PST:

The tight presidential race has affected global markets, Bloomberg reports:

Panicked traders rushed to unwind bets they piled into over the last two days amid predictions Clinton would sweep to an easy victory. Futures on the S&P 500 erased all of a 2.6 percent rally from Monday and Tuesday that had stood as the third-biggest advance ever in the run-up to election day. Mexico’s peso—a barometer for investors’ perceptions of the American vote—plunged by the most in eight years, while safe-haven demand pushed the yen and gold up by more than 2 percent. Yields on 10-year Treasuries slid to a two-week low. ...

"Trump is getting a greater portion of the results than the polls showed going into tonight," said Chad Morganlander, a money manager at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in Florham Park, New Jersey, where he helps oversee about $172 billion. "This is going to be a long night and investors should be prepared for a tremendous amount of market instability over the next several hours."

6:41 p.m. PST:

Eric Trump tweeted this image from the family war room:

6:36 p.m. PST:

Atlanta-based MC Killer Mike weighed in during an impromptu political session with TMZ (we know, but hear him out) about why he's been telling African-Americans to "demand something in exchange for your vote—or stay home":

6:30 p.m. PST: ABC is projecting that the GOP will retain control of the House of Representatives.

6:20 p.m. PST: Reporter Greg Palast, who has been on the voter-suppression beat since the days of hanging chad, beamed in Tuesday from Ohio to issue a report on Democracy Now! Palast, who stars in a newly unleashed documentary on the subject, bore bad news about trouble with voting machines and voter purging in Ohio and another battleground state: North Carolina.

6:08 p.m. PST: An update from the contested state of North Carolina (via NBC News):

The North Carolina board of elections has extended voting hours at several Durham County precincts after technical problems caused lengthy delays earlier in the day,

The board voted to extend hours by sixty minutes each at the Bethesda and Cole Mill sites, and by shorter amounts at other locations. Polls were originally scheduled to close at 7:30 p.m.

A state court on Tuesday evening denied a lawsuit filed by voting rights groups asking for a 90-minute extension for all sites across the county.

Some voters faced excessive wait time after electronic poll books stopped working and the county switched to paper books. The switch also prevented the precincts from printing out new "Authorization to Vote" forms, voting rights advocates have said. They said some voters were turned away and told to come back later.

5:57 p.m. PST:

The "hold your nose and vote" thing isn't just a campaign season trope to hang headlines on—it's a full-fledged phenomenon. In fact, it has lasted through Election Day, as The Associated Press discovered Tuesday:

Americans held their noses as they picked a new president on Tuesday: More than half of voters cast their ballots with reservations about their candidate or because they disliked the others running.

That was true both for those backing Democrat Hillary Clinton and those supporting Republican Donald Trump, according to preliminary results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

After a long, hard-fought campaign, just 4 out of 10 voters strongly favored their candidate.

That's a shift from 2012, when about two-thirds of voters said they were voting because they strongly favored their candidate.

Other findings from the exit poll:

WOMEN'S ISSUES VS. EMAIL ISSUES

After all of the sound and fury over Trump's treatment of women, it turned out the issue bothered half of all voters a lot — and women were more concerned about it than men.

About 6 in 10 women were bothered a lot, compared to about 4 in 10 men, the exit poll found.

5:37 p.m. PST:Public Citizen

research director Rick Claypool put together a spreadsheet listing 37 ballot initiatives from 17 states that he is updating throughout the evening. What all the tracked initiatives share in common: corporate funding. In each instance, corporate money has been funneled into efforts to either support or defeat the initiative in question.

As of this posting, Amendment 1 in Florida had been defeated. The state with the most on the line? That would be California, with five propositions being decided on the ballot.

5:22 p.m. PST: CNN has positioned Clinton 20 electoral votes ahead of Trump. The Washington Post hasn't included all the same states in its status report, which for the moment finds Trump slightly ahead. The paper, however, pointed out that races in key battleground states are still too close to call.

Meanwhile, The Associated Press pointed out that while Trump has taken Tennessee, even that state's own homegrown candidate, Al Gore, couldn't win there in 2000.

5:03 p.m. PST: The Washington Post has filled in Oklahoma in red on its map, and the same outlet is calling Massachusetts, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Maryland in Clinton's favor. Their tally projects that Clinton claims 44 electoral votes thus far, while Trump racks up 31.

5:00 p.m. PST: More while-we-wait fodder: Wonder how all these votes get tallied, reported and certified? This article lays out how it all comes together.

4:57 p.m. PST: Trump used a familiar word in his response to the news that former President George W. Bush had not voted for him: "sad."

4:48 p.m. PST: News from the Senate races: Rand Paul's hold on his Kentucky seat is looking firm. The North Carolina contest between Deborah Ross and Richard Burr is close, with CBS reporting that Democrat Ross is besting Burr by a slim margin. Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Kentucky is also favored to win his re-election bid. Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, is projected to win in his home state, and Republican Tim Scott is slated for victory in South Carolina.

4:43 p.m. PST: Trump takes West Virginia. Ongoing election results, CNN-style (caveat emptor), are being tracked on this page.

4:36 p.m. PST: And now, a little levity: We put out a line on Twitter for suggestions about how to caption the photo, which of course went viral, of a rather ghastly looking cake made loosely in Trump's image being wheeled into Trump Tower earlier today (sadly, the cake didn't make it past security). These inspired social media users weighed in:

4:25 p.m. PST:

If it seems like more Election Day projections and exit poll results were announced earlier in the day in previous go-rounds, there's a reason, as Variety reported Tuesday:

ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, NBC, and the Associated Press are sticking with their commitment not to report results of exit-poll information in a particular state until voting has closed there. But there will be a tidal wave of data and anecdotal information flowing in throughout the day, including from a new venture that promises to give a real-time readout of the way things are trending.

This year, a group called VoteCastr has teamed with Slate to provide real-time voter information based not on exit polls but on analytics and turnout tracking. VoteCastr’s editorial director and chief strategist, Sasha Issenberg, says the service is providing information that campaigns can rely on internally. He has called the networks’ embargo on information a “de facto self-imposed gag order,” and says it only makes sense to provide this information in real time. ...

Ever since NBC News, relying on exit-poll data, called the 1980 presidential race for Ronald Reagan at 8:15 pm ET, when polls were still open across the country, the networks have been under scrutiny over when and how they call a particular state for a candidate. After that year, some members of Congress put pressure on the major networks to withhold declaring a winner until the polls have closed, and the networks have ever since adhered to keeping race projections under wraps until that time.

The issue arose again in 2004, when some early exit-poll data leaked online and was published by Drudge Report, giving a great deal of the world the idea that John Kerry was on his way to defeating President George W. Bush. Even many in Kerry’s campaign were convinced that their candidate would win.

Ever since the 2006 midterm elections, the information has been “quarantined” at an “undisclosed location,” as Joe Lenski, the co-founder and executive vice president of Edison Research puts it. His firm conducts the exit-polling information for the six news organizations, called the National Election Pool.

Only a handful of media representatives are allowed to be at the “undisclosed location” as the data comes in, Lenski says, and they have to surrender their communication devices. “No cell phones, laptops, smoke signals, nothing,” he says. The journalists can get their devices back at 5 p.m. ET; even then, the networks have released only exit-poll data about topics such as the makeup of the electorate and voter sentiment toward certain issues.

Here's the link

to Slate/VoteCastr's real-time coverage, for those who can't wait. According to their analytics, Clinton is "looking good in Florida"—but given what happened in 2000, it's probably best not to get too confident about the Sunshine State.

4:18 p.m. PST: While we're awaiting more news from closing polls around the country, here's a helpful breakdown from across the pond of the 15 states that matter most in this election, courtesy of the U.K.’s The Independent.

And for those still able to process yet another U.S. map color-coded to indicate important election-related information, have a look at this one from Politico showing the times when polling concludes in each state.

4:12 p.m. PST: It begins: CNN is projecting that Trump will take Indiana and Kentucky, while Clinton has Vermont in the bag. That gives Trump 19 electoral votes to Clinton's 3.

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

3:58 p.m. PST: A tragic piece of news from earlier this afternoon: One person was killed and several others were wounded after a "heavily armed" shooter attacked a polling station in Azusa, Calif. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Few details were released about the shooting, which occurred sometime after 2 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in the area of Fourth Street and Orange Avenue, said Officer Jerry Willison of the Azusa Police Department.

"This is a very volatile and critical situation,” he said.

Willison declined to provide the location of the shooting for the safety of the officers and the victims, he said.

Azusa police urged residents to stay out of the area and asked all residents to shelter in place.

3:53 p.m. PST:

Truthdig's own Bill Boyarsky provides some insight into the day as polls begin to close:

The large voter turnout around the country, including Latino voters, was the surprising Election Day news as the polls were closing. Some commentators noted the irony of Donald Trump possibly being stopped by a Latino wall if he loses.

Even my precinct in heavily Democratic and little contested Los Angeles had 80 people lining up before the polls opened. All day, television showed long lines in front of polling places, scenes made more dramatic by cameras shooting images from drones. Nobody knows what the large turnout means—Latinos, African-Americans and Asian-Americans opposed to anti-immigrant Trump, or angry white men without college degrees who support the loudmouthed billionaire.

But one thing it means is that this election struck a chord in America. The cynicism of world-weary commentators didn’t reflect how the country was feeling.

While waiting for returns, I checked out polling by the respected survey firm Latino Decisions. It predicted just before the election that up to 14.7 million Latinos would vote, more than in 2012. Another Latino survey found Hispanics would vote for Clinton over Trump 76 percent to 14 percent.

3:40 p.m. PST:

Some breaking news out of North Carolina, according to Reuters:

A North Carolina advocacy group on Tuesday filed a lawsuit asking that polls in Durham County be kept open until 9 p.m. after problems with electronic voting rolls there earlier in the day, according to a court filing provided by the group.

Democracy North Carolina filed the case in a state court, shortly before the state board of elections is set to decide whether voting in Durham County should be extended.

We'll provide updates as they come in.

3:32 p.m. PST: Where are the candidates right now? Let's do a quick run-through.

Donald Trump is currently in Trump Tower, which is surrounded by dump trucks filled with sand in an effort to defend against any terrorist attacks. Although many hoped he would be eating a slice of cake from his own head, the eerie look-alike dessert has reportedly been removed from Trump Tower:

Trump's campaign may be snacking on some chocolate-chip cookies, however, according to the Trump campaign's Director of African-American Outreach, Theresa “Omarosa” Manigault. She also said that Trump is feeling "real chill today":

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has reportedly "left her home in Chappaqua, New York and is headed to The Peninsula Hotel to watch results."

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian nominee for president, is getting ready for a voting party, according to his campaign's Snapchat:

And it's unclear where the Green Party's Jill Stein is at this exact moment, but her campaign is hosting an Election Night live-stream starting in just a few hours.

3:15 p.m. PST: Another update on voters facing issues at the polls, this time in North Carolina. Alternet reports:

The NAACP reports that, early this morning, “the North Carolina State Board of Elections instructed the Durham County Board of Elections to use paper poll books instead of electronic poll books. This abrupt change led to some voters being turned away from certain precincts this morning and in some precincts throughout the day.”

According to the civil rights organization, the problem has since been rectified. “Our understanding is that all precincts now have all the supplies needed to function with paper poll books and we are calling on all Durham voters to persevere in voting,” the NAACP said in a press statement. In light of this issue, the organization is calling on voters to “persevere,” including by returning to cast ballots.

In certain parts of Colorado this afternoon, the voter registration system went down. It was offline for almost half an hour, but the issue has since been resolved:

Also, an alleged case of voter intimidation has been resolved:

3:01 p.m. PST:

Brace yourselves: The first exit polls are expected to hit any minute. Before that happens, let's take a look at some other numbers.

According to the Los Angeles Times, a record-breaking 135 million people will vote in the election. However, while this number would top the 2012 election—in which 129 million peoples voted—it would not break the record for the percentage of eligible voters casting a vote.

FiveThirtyEight reports that Clinton has a 71.4 percent chance of beating Trump.

Speaking of Trump, many key Republicans are withholding their presidential votes:

Looking for a breather from all of this election coverage? Take a look at Bon Appetit's piece on how mainstream media players are going to unwind (warning: It involves copious amounts of alcohol.)

2:02 p.m. PST: Have you gotten any freebies thanks to your “I Voted” sticker? If so, you’re not alone.

Businesses across the country are giving out free items to anyone with an “I Voted” sticker. Those items include pie, breadsticks, ice cream and even “F--- Donald Trump” bagels.

As The New York Times recently reported, however, “[a]ll those giveaways are technically against the law.”

But there is one exception: transportation. “It is common for political groups, churches and others to provide voters a free lift to the polls on Election Day,” the Times notes. Indeed, companies such as Lyft and Uber are pitching in to help people get to the polls, and other ride services (like the one by VotoLatino) and free public transportation are abundant as well.

While usually the freebie comes after the vote, sometimes it works the other way around. Rapper and activist Chance the Rapper recently threw a free concert in Chicago that ended with a massive parade to nearby early voting stations:

1:42 p.m. PST:

Truthdig contributor Sonali Kolhatkar just wrapped up a live video conversation with musician Michael Franti on staying hopeful during the election. Watch the full video below:

1:33 p.m. PST:

In a brief telephone interview on Fox News, Trump said that he’s heard reports of voter fraud:

However, voters are reporting a different sort of problem at the polls: long lines and technical difficulties. ABC News reports that voters faced “routine” issues “that come every four years, like the lines, machines not working properly, and issues with ballots or voter rolls.”

It gives examples of these types of voting problems in New Jersey, Texas, Utah and North Carolina, to name a few.

Voter intimidation is also a common worry among those heading to the polls on Election Day. Truthdig’s Sonali Kolhatkar reported on a potential instance of Trump supporters purposely slowing down the voting process for others.

One Twitter user shared an alleged instance of voter intimidation in Florida, a crucial state for the Clinton and Trump campaigns:

In fact, Florida may be facing a high amount of voter intimidation, according to Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “In Florida we continue to receive a substantial amount of complaints about voter intimidation,” she told The Washington Post. In Miami-Dade County, for instance, she says there have been reports of people “yelling, people using megaphones aggressively” at polling stations.

Additionally, there have been reports of voter intimidation in Michigan:

In light of these worrisome reports, many outlets are sharing basic information on how voters can protect themselves at the polls. Check out the American Civil Liberties Union guide here.

1:00 p.m. PST: Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has released a statement in regard to today's election. He states:

The right to receive and impart true information is the guiding principle of WikiLeaks – an organization that has a staff and organizational mission far beyond myself. Our organization defends the public’s right to be informed.

This is why, irrespective of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election, the real victor is the US public which is better informed as a result of our work.

The US public has thoroughly engaged with WikiLeaks’ election related publications which number more than one hundred thousand documents. Millions of Americans have pored over the leaks and passed on their citations to each other and to us. It is an open model of journalism that gatekeepers are uncomfortable with, but which is perfectly harmonious with the First Amendment.

Assange goes on to address the criticisms of WikiLeaks—namely, that the organization has been harming the Clinton campaign. Assange states:

We publish material given to us if it is of political, diplomatic, historical or ethical importance and which has not been published elsewhere. When we have material that fulfills this criteria, we publish. We had information that fit our editorial criteria which related to the Sanders and Clinton campaign (DNC Leaks) and the Clinton political campaign and Foundation (Podesta Emails). No-one disputes the public importance of these publications. It would be unconscionable for WikiLeaks to withhold such an archive from the public during an election.

At the same time, we cannot publish what we do not have. To date, we have not received information on Donald Trump’s campaign, or Jill Stein’s campaign, or Gary Johnson’s campaign or any of the other candidates that fufills our stated editorial criteria. As a result of publishing Clinton’s cables and indexing her emails we are seen as domain experts on Clinton archives. So it is natural that Clinton sources come to us. ...

This is not due to a personal desire to influence the outcome of the election. The Democratic and Republican candidates have both expressed hostility towards whistleblowers. I spoke at the launch of the campaign for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, because her platform addresses the need to protect them. This is an issue that is close to my heart because of the Obama administration’s inhuman and degrading treatment of one of our alleged sources, Chelsea Manning. But WikiLeaks publications are not an attempt to get Jill Stein elected or to take revenge over Ms Manning’s treatment either.

Publishing is what we do. To withhold the publication of such information until after the election would have been to favour one of the candidates above the public’s right to know.

Finally, Assange addresses allegations that WikiLeaks' publications are inaccurate. "[I]f WL reacted to every false claim, we would have to divert resources from our primary work," he states. "Wikileaks remains committed to publishing information that informs the public, even if many, especially those in power, would prefer not to see it. WikiLeaks must publish. It must publish and be damned."

Read the entire statement here.

12:36 p.m. PST: Photos of Clinton and Trump voting are making the rounds on social media. First, Clinton's campaign shared this image via Snapchat of the former secretary of state casting her vote:

Meanwhile, the internet is having a field day with a photo of Trump and his wife Melania casting their own votes—in the image, it appears as though Trump is looking over his shoulder at his wife's ballot:

"The Daily Show" shared what appeared to be a similar photo of Eric Trump taking a peek at his wife's ballot:

Also, Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson has cast his vote, after campaigning around New Mexico in a Cubs hat—or as he puts it, "the underdog cap."

And, although he's no longer running, Sen. Bernie Sanders also shared a photo of himself at the polls:

12:25 p.m. PST:

Earlier, we posted a report about people lining up at Susan B. Anthony's grave to pay their respects. It appears that many voters are making an additional statement by placing their "I Voted" stickers on the late activist's headstone:

12:17 p.m. PST:

We're about halfway through the day, and news outlets are looking to exit polls for a glimpse into voters' mindsets. But how accurate are exit polls?

The NPR Politics Podcast team examines the science of exit polls with Courtney Kennedy, director of survey research at Pew Research Center, in the clip below:

12:07 p.m. PST:

Some breaking news out of Nevada: A lawsuit filed by the Trump campaign on Monday, alleging that early-voting polling places in Nevada remained open later than allowed Friday, has been denied by a federal judge.

“The suit, filed in state court, claims people who were not in line when polls closed at some Las Vegas locations were able to vote on Friday,” CNBC reports. “Nevada law allows people already waiting when the polls close to cast ballots.”

Here is a portion of Clark County Judge Gloria Sturman's remarks to the Trump campaign lawyer:

Vanity Fair adds that after finishing her statement, Sturman told the lawyer, "Thank you, sit down."

—Posted by Emma Niles
11:28 a.m. PST: At 12 p.m. PST today, join Truthdig contributor Sonali Kolhatkar for a live-streamed interview on Facebook with Michael Franti "about not letting the election depress you."

10:26 a.m. PST: After hearing the speech Michelle Obama gave in response to lewd remarks Donald Trump made on a decade-old "Access Hollywood" recording, right-wing media personality Glenn Beck, who once called the president a Marxist and racist, with a "deep-seated hatred for white people," told The New Yorker that he's come to admire the Obamas, that he considers himself a supporter of the Movement for Black Lives and that Trump's "alt-right" supporters, ideological kin of people to whom Beck spent two years fearmongering from a once-popular show on Fox News, "scare the hell out of me."

USA TODAY reports:

I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama," Beck conceded to The New Yorker. He said he regrets calling the president a racist and he said he considers himself a Black Lives Matter supporter.

“There are things unique to the African-American experience that I cannot relate to,” Beck told The New Yorker. “I had to listen to them." ...

It's been a long, strange road for Beck, who is searching for a new path. "So much of what I used to believe was either always a sham or has been made into a sham," Beck told The New Yorker. "There’s nothing deep."

10:01 a.m. PST:

9:55 a.m. PST:

More observations of the social consequences of this election.

9:43 a.m. PST:

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