Let’s say you live in a swing state and want Green Party candidate Jill Stein for president. But you really, really don’t want Donald Trump to win. Vote swapping might be your answer.
A Vox article Thursday described the phenomenon, in which battleground-state supporters of third-party candidates are making online deals with Hillary Clinton voters. The third-partiers will cast votes for Clinton win where it counts, in exchange for someone in a safe state for the Democrat casting a ballot for Stein or another third-party candidate.
It’s a win for both sides… except that the term “vote swapping” just sounds so legally questionable. It’s an important consideration, because so much trading takes place in public forums, like Facebook pages.
The practice first popped up during the Bush v. Gore 2000 presidential election, when many Al Gore voters in solidly Republican states wanted to find a way to make their votes to count. So they traded their votes with Ralph Nader supporters in swing states.
Vote-trading websites like VoteSwap2000.com, NaderTrader.com and TradeVotes.com, began to pop up as tens of thousands of voters looked into the concept of trading their votes.
It was unclear at the time how legal the practice was and several of the sites came down. One of them, VoteSwap2000.com, then filed a lawsuit. In that case, Porter v. Bowen, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided that vote trading was “clearly protected by the First Amendment.”
“The Ninth Circuit Court’s decision demonstrates that at least one court ruled that communication about how you will vote is a protected under First Amendment activity,” Douglas said. “And does not amount to vote buying.”
Douglas also said that as far as he knows, no one has been prosecuted for vote trading.
So, if you feel like swapping your vote, go ahead. But you might want to do a better job than anti-Bush voters did in 2000. Al Gore narrowly lost in Florida after a long recount, and some Democrats will never forgive Floridians who cast ballots for Nader.
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"I think Trump, no matter what anybody thinks of him, is doing a good job at trying to get these states — and all of the American people — what they need," Dennis Quaid told the Daily Beast in April 2020.
Comedian Roseanne Barr tweeted a picture of herself wearing a "Trump 2020" baseball cap with the caption, "2020 vision."
“All I gotta say is Trump 2020, bitch. Fuck I look like paying an extra 33 in taxes for Biden," rapper Lil Pump said on his Instagram story in October 2020.
Golf legend Jack Nicklaus in a statement on his Twitter "strongly recommend(s) you consider Donald J. Trump for another four years. I certainly have and have already cast my vote for him!"
Lil Wayne shocked fans on Oct. 29 when he tweeted a photo of himself with President Trump. He captioned the pic by saying that "besides what he’s done so far with criminal reform, the platinum plan is going to give the community real ownership."
NFL Legend Brett Favre tweeted, "In this election, we have freedom of choice, which all should respect. For me & these principles, my Vote is for @RealDonaldTrump."