The 2016 presidential election has been divisive to say the least, especially when considering the rise of two controversial candidates. With the election a little more than a week away, pertinent new information has been released regarding the democratic candidates. Because this information is so sudden and inflammatory, it will likely shape voter turnout and election results in ways that are difficult to predict.
In a surprising turn of events, Hillary Clinton’s correspondence via email with her closest aide, Huma Abedin, is being investigated by the FBI in the case against disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner for alleged inappropriate communications with an underage girl. Hillary Clinton has no connection with the case, but her proximity to Huma Abedin, Weiner’s wife and Clinton’s most trusted aide, warranted the investigation of Clinton’s private server.
The FBI did not disclose their investigation of Clinton’s private server to Congress for 11 days, then FBI Director James Comey released a brief and confusing letter which raised more questions than it solved. “I really worry that, in this particular instance, that the FBI director has made an error in judgement in releasing that letter which really says nothing,” says Alberto Gonzales, former U.S. attorney general. Very little information has been released regarding Clinton’s private server, but the FBI’s investigation will continue as Weiner’s case develops.
Volunteers at the San Francisco Hillary Clinton Campaign Office remain optimistic of Clinton’s success in the upcoming election. “Out of every single person in the United States, [Clinton], by far, has the greatest qualifications […] Media has portrayed her as being cold. She visited this office a week and a half ago and I couldn’t say anything more different,” said Byron Hurlbut, a full time fellow and volunteer digital organizer of San Francisco, who is taking a gap year before attending Harvard next fall.
The volunteers were also united by a mutual frustration with Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump. Volunteer Coordinator Samuel Wantman is genuinely concerned for the quality of life for minorities if Trump is elected. “My dad fought in World War II and my family is Jewish, so I heard a lot about the Holocaust growing up, and one of the greatest questions I had was, ‘Why did all those people stay in Germany when Hitler got elected?’ All those thoughts are coming back during this election, if I would stay in America if Trump were elected,” said Wantman.
Volunteer Julie Uota, who supervises the phone bank, shared similar worries regarding Trump’s candidacy. She expressed that she was motivated to work on the Clinton campaign because of Trump’s behavior. “I actually voted for Bernie, but I came here because of some of the rhetoric that Trump was using, and as someone who is Japanese-American and had my family sent to an internment camp, there’s a side that I’m going to be on,” she said.
Prior to the release of this information, polls leaned toward a Clinton win, but in the wake of this new information on the candidate just days before the Nov. 8 election, the results are increasingly difficult to foresee.
Photo Credit: Pawin Sae Chen/ Foghorn