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HC Wake-Up Call: Trump Wakes to Unfriendly House, Voters #StayInLine to Cast Their Ballots & Voter Help Hotline Receives Record Number of Calls

Good morning, Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

President Trump Wakes to an Unfriendly House of Reps

President Donald Trump will wake to a slightly different Washington D.C. As Republicans kept control of the Senate, Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives, unleashing a succession of legal and political challenges for the Trump administration.

“I want to look at all the things the president has done that go against the mandates of our Founding Fathers in the Constitution,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), who is poised to take control of the powerful House Oversight Committee, said. “We need accountability, transparency, integrity, and honesty from this Administration.”

Democrats campaigned on the call to have stronger checks and balances on the Trump administration, and Cummings’ committee has already compiled a list of 64 subpoenas and inquiries that it would like to revisit and look into, as the requests were previously denied by the committee’s Republican leadership, ABC News reports.

via Wikimedia Commons

The Democrats’ majority will also allow them issue subpoenas and demand records and testimony from federal officials. The most notable use of that power, however, is the ability to ask the Internal Revenue Service to turn over Trump’s tax records for review.

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee have been frustrated with Republicans’ decision to focus the Russia investigation of the FBI’s mishandling of the investigation rather that the Trump campaign’s alleged connections to Russia. Democrats now intend to seek testimony from more than 30 witnesses, including Trump family members, regarding questions they have about the Trump campaign’s activities.

“We will take our oversight responsibilities seriously, both with respect to the intelligence agencies under our charge but also with respect to any work left undone in the Russia probe by the majority,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said.

Democrats also plan to explore questions regarding the Trump Organization’s finances, the alleged use of Trump properties by Russian oligarchs to launder money and the Trump campaign’s relationship with the data firm Cambridge Analytica.

Republicans, however, have said that if Democrats were to take control, they would overstep their bounds.

Democrats “have proven beyond any doubt that their sole aim is to run an endless investigation against the administration in hopes of pinning some imaginary horrific crime on them,” Jack Langer, a spokesman Rep. Devin Nunes, who is currently the House Intelligence Committee Chairman, told ABC News prior to the election.

“They will start doing everything in their power to oppose, resist, impeach, obstruct this president,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), a Trump ally, told ABC News.

“I’m not looking for retribution, life is too short,” Cummings said. “While we are dealing with whatever may come in the storm of Trump, I have to keep in mind that there are people who have to live day to day.”

Voters #StayInLine to Cast Their Ballots

One thing is for sure, voters came out by the droves to make their voice heard in the 2018 midterm election. And voters were still waiting in line to cast their ballots when polling places were getting close to closing up for the day. But celebrities and public figures were encouraging voters to #StayInLine and wait until they could cast their vote.

The hashtag #StayInLine became a trending topic on Twitter on election night, and everyone from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga were pushing for voters to make sure their voices were heard, ABC News reports.

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton encouraged voters in “Georgia and elsewhere who are waiting in long lines to vote” to remain in line because voters have “the right to vote as long as [they’re] in line when the polls close.”

Lady Gaga called on voters who were in line to #StayInLine, adding that “Every vote Counts!”

Leonardo DiCaprio told voters to wait and provided a number where voters could “confirm [their] polling place and go vote while there is still time.”

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted that the midterm election was a “VERY close election” and encouraged voters to #StayInLine.

“No Matter the length of the line, the weather or challenges, please stay in line to cast your vote. Your vote matters. This is our Time. Let’s make history!” Common wrote on Twitter, and provided a series of phone numbers to call for voting assistance.

The New York City Mayor’s office tweeted out an important reminder to voters, saying, “You cannot be refused your right to vote if you’re in line by 9 PM.”

So if you waited in the long lines in order to cast your ballot, thank you for your commitment to #StayInLine and for making a difference!

Voter Help Hotline Receives a Record Number of Calls

Volunteers from the Election Protection headquarters of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law told ABC News that the have been receiving non-stop calls from voters over the past weeks.

“As of around 11:30 a.m.[EST on Tuesday morning], we have received about 10,000 calls,” Kristen Clarke, President of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said on Election Day. Clarke said the organization’s 20 call centers opened at 6 a.m. [EST].

“This is absolutely our biggest midterm election protection effort ever,” she continued.

Voters had to deal with a plethora of issues when trying to cast their ballot. Voter registration issues in Georgia, voting machine problems in Texas and uncertainties over identification requirements in North Dakota were some of the issues that the volunteers heard about from voters.

via Twitter Moments

“Thousands of people calling,” Laura Grace, who manages a call center, said. “We’ve had twice as many calls so far than we had in 2014. We’re seeing a big increase in voters that want help to vote.”

Clarke said that they had more than 4,000 lawyers helping to answer phones during this election.

While these calls show that new laws and restrictions have made voting more confusing and complicated, it’s good that voters didn’t let that stop them and pushed to get the help they needed in order to make sure their voice was heard this election.

What to look out for…

Now that the 2018 midterm election is over, we can all take a collective sigh that that’s over. In other news, Riverdale’s flashback episode airs tonight, November 7th, on The CW.

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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