Virtual Presidential Primary Complete With Traditional Vote-Rigging Allegations

from the the-more-things-change... dept

Apparently, the political activist group has decided to hold a “virtual Democratic primary” to help them decide whether or not the organization should come out directly supporting a particular candidate for President. The problem is that many candidates see the vote as being “rigged” for internet friendly candidate Howard Dean. We’ve spoken about Dean’s internet campaigning efforts before. The other candidates say that the primary is unfair because a MoveOn employee spent some time working for the Dean campaign, and they recently sent all registered MoveOn users an email urging them to vote for Dean. MoveOn claims that the top three contenders each got to send out an email, and it was just that Dean’s went out first. Of course, I wonder why they let just the top three contenders do so. It would seem much more fair to let them all send out a campaign note – or to let none of them do so. As for the employee, MoveOn says they loaned out one employee to Dean’s campaign to pass on his expertise about organizing activists online – and that they would gladly loan him out to the other campaigns as well, if they were interested. It sounds to me like this is more of a campaigning/marketing issue than one of “vote rigging”. Dean was quick to court the online savvy voters, and thus he’s likely to do well in online popularity polls. For the other campaigns to complain about this just shows that they didn’t realize the importance of embracing the internet and its ability to let them connect directly with voters. While it would be nicer if MoveOn has an “across the board” policy with respect to the campaign emails, overall, this doesn’t seem any different than if a candidate were complaining that one of his competitors was getting more votes in the state of California because he spent more time campaigning there. You get back the votes you campaign for. Dean campaigned online, and now he’s getting those votes. Besides, this isn’t really a “primary”. It’s just a vote to see who MoveOn will recommend its members give money to.

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