Voters Are Trying To Trade Their Votes

November 4, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

In America’s system of democracy the President is elected based on the number of states that vote for them. Therefore a few states that swing between candidates from election to election play an outsized role in determining who the next President will be. This election has also been historic in that the two main candidates are the least liked in history, causing many voters to vote for “third-party” candidates who have no hope of winning the election. Zachary Crockett wrote about services that see an opportunity in this electoral confusion:

  • NeverTrump is an app where Clinton supporters living in states that Clinton will almost certainly win, agree to vote for a third-party candidate, in exchange for a swing-state voter voting for Clinton.
  • Another website goes a step further and offers two third-party votes for every swing-state voter who agrees to vote for Clinton.
  • This way the voter who can’t stand the thought of voting for Clinton, but who also doesn’t want Trump to win, can ensure that their voice is being heard without inadvertently helping an even more disliked candidate.
  • There are reasons to vote for a third-party candidate even if they won’t win the election. If the candidate garners 5% of the overall vote they become eligible for federal campaign funds for the next election.
  • The voting itself is done on an honour system – although in the states where it is legal, a voting booth selfie could be used to validate that the right vote was cast.
  • This isn’t the first time. Back in 2000, when Gore and Bush were running neck and neck, similar websites popped up and attracted thousands of voters. But they were ultimately shut down for legal reasons.
  • Since then a legal challenge to that judgment has been successful and it is now believed that such services are lawful.
  • Supporters of the services argue that all they’re doing is creating a platform for voters to come together and discuss their political preferences – in the same way that a political party does.

Read more fascinating details on Vox.