Welcome to the Voting Revolution

By Courtney Chase in Beaverton, Oregon, who describes herself as "just your average Oregon Democrat. Not a politico or a pundit, just a citizen and a voter."

Being home sick leaves a lot of time to watch daytime TV. I was watching the 12 o'clock news on KGW and saw a very interesting story (which they don't have posted on their website - at least not yet) that I thought Blue Oregonians would find interesting:

From the ashes of the 2000 election has arisen an interesting concept in voting - strategic voting, or "vote swapping."

What is vote swapping? Excellent question.

It's incredibly simple:

Let's say we have a voter in a swing state, such as Oregon, that is an avid Nader supporter who, even though Nader's not on the ballot, wants to vote for him anyway. On the other hand, they understand the possible ramifications of throwing their support behind Nader (i.e. away from Kerry) in this incredibly important, incredibly tight election - especially in a state that Gore won by a mere half a percent in 2000. They then pair up with a Kerry supporter from a safe state - California, Massacussets, etc. The safe-state voter would vote for Nader, the Oregon voter would vote for Kerry and voila - nationwide, each candidate gets the same number of votes, but state-by-state, there's less of an impact on the outcome giving Kerry an edge when it comes to reaching that coveted 270. It's a win-win situation for all of us who stand left-of-center.

However, this begs some ethical questions (not for me, I dig the idea) and some people, including the California Republican Party Chair, Duf Sundheim, claim that it's not legal (once again, can't find an online article, just saw it on KGW news).

I'm interested to see what people think about this and, for those of you who plan on supporting Nader come November 2nd (now in the form of a write-in), would you be willing to swap your vote to help prevent a Bush victory - knowing that Nader would still get your vote, it just wouldn't be in Oregon? And perhaps somewhere that he's actually on the ballot?

Additionally, though I'm pretty sure it's legal, is it ethical?

For more details or to swap your vote, check out the Vote Pair website.

Comments

  • Pat Hayes (unverified)
    (Show?)

    Hi Folks....ethical/schmethical, given the debased characters running the party apparatus and the candidates I'm not sure that ethics properly figures in the equation. Anyway, we're capitalists so affixing value to a good or service is our patriotic and moral duty! It's an interesting idea that, at the very least, would be fun to try. Apparently someone has already tried to offer his/her vote on eBay but the auction was terminated before getting a true picture of the value of the offered vote. Some enterprising grad student could have a great thesis paper and make a buck or two by charging, say, 10 cents per transaction on a web site.

  • (Show?)

    If I recall from four years ago, it's not legal to offer someone money to vote - but you can trade your votes in a value-free transaction.

    Incidentally - in Oregon, you can't give someone anything of value for their vote. In California, though, you can give someone a gift for voting - but not for voting a particular way. (I remember handing out coupons for a free dozen donuts to anyone that voted in South Central L.A.)

    Of course, that begs the question: Is sex something of value - and regardless, can you trade it for a vote? See Votergasm.com.

guest column

connect with blueoregon