Seven Years Later: Vote Swapping Web Sites Were Legal

from the just-in-time-for-a-new-election dept

Back during the 2000 election you may recall there was a third party campaign from Ralph Nader. There was some concern from Democrats that Nader would siphon votes away from Gore. Not to get into a political debate about this (and while I know it won't happen, I'll ask that the commenters avoid getting political too), but some websites were set up to facilitate "vote swaps" where (mostly) people in swing states would agree to vote for Gore in exchange for someone in another state voting for Nader. The idea was that this way Nader would still collect enough votes to make a "statement" while Gore wouldn't lose crucial votes in the swing states. Except that a bunch of politicians started jumping up and down that these sites were illegal. Now, it would be one thing to claim that vote swapping itself was illegal, but to say that the sites were illegal seems like a stretch. It only took seven years, but an appeals court has finally agreed that the sites are perfectly legal. Of course, it's a bit too late for the sites in question, who shut down when it was first announced that they might be illegal. This is actually the second time the appeals court has ruled on this case, as it had sent it back to the lower court back in 2003, but apparently it took this long for the case to bounce back down and then back up again. So, uh, if anyone feels like setting up a vote swapping website for 2008, it appears that you're not breaking any laws.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: vote swapping


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread


  1. identicon
    BTR1701, 8 Aug 2007 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: I would prefer ..

    > Places like the Dakotas and Alaska
    > would get no attention at all and would
    > feel under-represented

    They already are under the current system. How many campaign trips do you see presidential candidates taking to Alaska or Hawaii or North Dakota? How much advertising do they buy in those states? Not much. The least populous states are routinely ignored during every presidential election.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat

Warning: include(/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_promo_discord_chat.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/share/pear:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395:/home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/..') in /home/beta6/deploy/itasca_20201215-3691-c395/includes/right_column/rc_module_promo.inc on line 8
Recent Stories
.

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.