Voting papers don't arrive for US politics professor

University of Auckland lecturer, Dr Maria Armoudian, is frustrated that her voting papers for today's US election never arrived. Photo / Facebook
University of Auckland lecturer, Dr Maria Armoudian, is frustrated that her voting papers for today's US election never arrived. Photo / Facebook

An American professor working in New Zealand is frustrated after her voting papers for the US election failed to turn up.

Maria Armoudian has been living here for two-and-a-half years and is working at the University of Auckland as a lecturer in politics and social sciences.

Dr Armoudian said the process for voting in June's primary election went smoothly, but this time her papers have not arrived.

The registrar in Los Angeles County, where she is registered, did not even have her New Zealand address, despite having successfully sent papers just five months ago.

Time is ticking but she's hoping the various links that she has been sent by friends overnight will help her cause.

Armoudian said the American Embassy could not help as it was in Wellington, and the US Consulate, in Auckland, did not have the appropriate technology.

As for the election, she described it as one of the "ugliest" that she had seen.

"It has also been one of the most unusual elections I have seen in my lifetime. The candidates, they're so different and yet both of them are suffering from a bit of unpopularity."

As for how America ended up with Trump and Clinton as its final choices, Armoudian believed the media had played an unwittingly strong part in seeing Trump do so well.

"In this election Donald Trump was using Twitter but he would tweet things that were so outrageous all of the mainstream media picked it up. But then that amplified this to such a degree that he was getting all kinds of free publicity and simultaneously it was validating for some people that felt that way.

"It made it okay for them to be overtly sexist or racist because it was being published in the mainstream media."

She said it was an inadvertent result after likely finding his views "amusing, entertaining and outlandish".

The publicity, along with the large number - 17 - of other Republican candidates simply "diffused" the votes, which eventually fell in Trump's favour.

Although many hours of voting are left, Armoudian felt there was an early indication of a Clinton victory.

"But that doesn't necessarily mean she would win. People can lie to pollsters. My sense is now with the turnout the way it has been going in the early voting, watching who is going to vote, who has enthusiasm it just looks like these are Hillary Clinton supporters."

And who was Armoudian going to vote for?

"I can't vote for Donald Trump. There's no way I could vote for Donald Trump."

But if Trump doesn't win, it doesn't mean there won't be trouble - he could demand a re-count, file a lawsuit or there could be violence on the streets.

"A lot of things could happen. I'm hoping that it's a clear enough victory that he doesn't have those opportunities."

She described the voting process, from New Zealand, as "cumbersome".

"It seems like there should be a simpler way to do this. It's a little bit frustrating."

- NZ Herald

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