Trading Votes


While the news in this story on C/Net is good, the very fact that this suit ever had to happen is an outrage. To quote from the Reuters copy: "A U.S. appeals court ruled on Thursday in favor of a Web site that enabled Gore and Nader voters to swap their votes in the 2000 presidential elections.
San Francisco resident Alan Porter set up a discussion forum,, two weeks before the 2000 election pitting George W. Bush against Vice President Al Gore and third-party candidate Ralph Nader.

That site and others allowed citizens to swap Gore votes in states where Bush was likely to win anyway for the Green party candidate Nader. A Nader supporter in a state with a closer contest would then pledge to vote for Gore in return. Swaps of votes for other candidates were also theoretically possible."

But California's Secretary of State Bill Jones threatened to shut the site down, and Porter sued. What possible grounds could Jones have had? How can we call it "our vote" if we can't execute it–or not–for any reason and in any manner we choose?

NEXT: Toy Guns for Tots

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  1. How can we call it “our vote” if we can’t execute it–or not–for any reason and in any manner we choose?

    Including, for example, selling it to the highest bidder?

  2. At least there is something intellectually honest about selling one’s vote to the highest bidder. Although I am far from a left leaning activist who believes that elections are bought and sold, I can’t help but believe that there is at some level a type of quid pro quo between candidates and their contributors.

    Given the nature of our winner take all system used in most states to determine the number of electoral votes, it seems reasonable that people be protected by the first amendment.

  3. Selling your vote supports SUV’s!

  4. Voting for the guy who promises to cut your own taxes the most is pretty much selling your vote to the highest bidder, as far as I can see. All the more reason why we shouldn’t vote.

  5. Screw Nader. If it weren’t for him we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  6. Lefty, you’d like to suspend the Constitution as much as Ashcroft would. It doesn’t matter how many popular votes a candidate got. what matters is how many ELECTORAL votes he gets.

    Get over it. Gore lost. Fair and square, then tried to STEAL the election with the help of an illegal ruling by partisan judges.

  7. Yeah. Scalia and his two sons who worked on the ruling were partisan. No matter which way you cut it, the Supremes didn’t belong in that state election process.

    Suspend the Constitution my ass. Look around and see what’s happening.

  8. Lefty, so you’re OK with the Florida supremes completely rewriting election law when they had no legal basis or to do so? Are you OK with other judges rewriting election law whenever its convenient too?

    The ruling of the US Supremes wasn’t terribly good, but their hand was forced by the aptly acronymed SCoFla.

    Robert’s point also seems oddly out of place… if taxation=theft, then is it really bribery if one gang of thugs offers to steal less from you than the other gang?

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