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.
Filed Under: vote swapping