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Vote Swapping Illegal?

By skim123 in MLP
Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 08:57:12 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

An earlier k5 article introduced VoteSwap2000, an site where Nader voters in swing States could swap their vote with a Gore voter in a State where Gore has a lock. Anywho, VoteSwap2000 has been shut down. From the main page on VoteSwap2000: "We have just received word from the California Secretary of State that offering to "broker the exchange of votes" is a violation of California state law. Therefore we have turned our software off in order to be in compliance." According to this article: "the attorneys general of both Texas and California are warning vote-swap Web sites—which help Nader backers trade ballots with Gore supporters—that they are treading in dangerous, and possibly illegal, territory. Two of the Web sites reportedly shut down under the threat of prosecution."


I am no legal expert and wonder how legal a vote swapping system is. Is it illegal for one to swap votes, illegal for one to offer the service of swapping votes, or both? It seems like instructions on how to swap votes shouldn't be illegal. I dunno, is bringing together people to commit a crime an illegal act in itself?

Anyway, these sites have been shut down because they violate state law (or so the attorney generals say). So, perhaps for 2004, someone should setup VoteSwap2000 in a different country. I can't see how the law makers could come after the individual voters. Any thoughts on the legality of this, or what, if anything, officials could do if these sites were setup in foreign countries?

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My opinion on VoteSwap2000 being shut down
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Vote Swapping Illegal? | 25 comments (25 topical, editorial, 0 hidden)
Vote swapping (2.50 / 2) (#1)
by gblues on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 01:51:34 AM EST

The only reason vote swapping is even remotely attractive is because of the braindead way the US voting system works.

Presidents are not elected via popular vote. At least, not directly. Each state is allocated a number of electoral votes, and those votes are cast in proportion to how the election turned out in that state.

I'm in Oregon. Let's pretend Oregon has 10 electoral votes (I doubt it does, but this is just a for-instance). Let's say Gore gets 40% of the popular votes, Bush gets 30% of the popular votes, and Nader gets 30%. Once all the ballots have been tallied, Gore would get 4 electoral votes, Bush 3, and Nader 3.

The problem is that different states have different numbers of electoral votes. So if you're in some minor state that has very few electoral votes, it becomes attractive to "swap" your vote with someone who's in one of the major states.

In effect, the candidates still end up with the exact same popular vote numbers (assuming all the swappers keep their promises). But those numbers are now distributed differently--and with the electoral system, it's the distribution, not the popular vote, that makes all the difference.

And that's why voteswapping should be considered, for all intents and purposes, illegal.
... although in retrospect, having sex to the news was probably doomed to fail from the get-go. --squinky
Electoral votes (4.00 / 5) (#3)
by phantomlord on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 02:05:42 AM EST

Gore would get 4 electoral votes, Bush 3, and Nader 3.

This is currently only implemented in, I believe, 3 states. In the other 47 states, all the electoral votes go to the same candidate. Ie, in your case of Gore getting 40%, Bush 30% and Nader 30%, Gore gets 10 electoral votes while Bush and Nader get 0. Also, the number of electoral votes in each state are based on the number of members of congress that represent them (which are based on population demographics - thus the need for a census). There is one vote for each senator and representative. ie, all states are guaranteed 3 electoral votes (2 senators + 1 rep) and there are a total of 538 electoral votes (271 needed to win).

[ Parent ]

Vote swapping... (3.00 / 1) (#4)
by skim123 on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:06:27 AM EST

The only reason vote swapping is even remotely attractive is because of the braindead way the US voting system works

I agree that the electoral system is a little out-of-date, it made sense at one time, but I don't think it makes as much sense anymore. Regardless, should vote swapping be legal? Is it legal? Would you participate in such an activity?

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
I wouldn't swap my vote. (3.00 / 1) (#9)
by Sheetrock on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 05:13:16 AM EST

The way I'm going to get the most benefit out of our voting system I can, broken as it may be, is to learn about the candidates using all the resources I have access to, mentally select the one that is most representative of my viewpoints, and head down to the polls Election Day to vote for him. My opinion is that the biggest flaws in our system are voters who don't fully research the people they vote for ("Well, he's pro-choice and I'M pro-choice -- that's all I need to know!") and voters who try to manipulate the system through strategic voting.

Our system wasn't designed to work properly for any other scenario than the one I described above. I feel that attempts to exploit it through vote swapping (or worse, vote selling!) are only going to make things worse than if everyone who planned on voting educated themselves about the candidates and chose the one they think is best.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I think that the most cynical and undemocratic thing I've ever heard was the phrase "A vote for Nader is a vote for Bush." Don't let anybody ever tell you your vote is wasted.

[ Parent ]

Strategic Voting okay sometimes? (3.00 / 1) (#15)
by interiot on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 11:23:45 AM EST

My opinion is that the biggest flaws in our system are ... and voters who try to manipulate the system through strategic voting.

During 18 of the past 20 years, the House has been controlled by the opposite party than the president. Some view this as a good thing because it results in a more balanced government. Some even view this as intentional by the voters because the gap in the House is so wide and the corrolation is so high.

Do you really think that this sort of strategic voting is counterproductive or bad for the country?


(for the record, the Senate has been opposite only 14 of the last 20 years)

[ Parent ]

Status quo == good (none / 0) (#18)
by skim123 on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:33:45 PM EST

During 18 of the past 20 years, the House has been controlled by the opposite party than the president. Some view this as a good thing because it results in a more balanced government

I view it as good because less gets done, the present permeates. That is good. Spending billions of borrowed dollars on new programs is dumb. We need to stop "progressing," as political speak would put it.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Sometimes, I guess. (none / 0) (#21)
by Sheetrock on Thu Nov 02, 2000 at 01:25:59 AM EST

Theoretically this type of voting makes sense if you're trying to hang on to the status quo or get laws passed that both Republicans and Democrats can agree with. But what it really means is that you're voting someone into office because of his/her party affiliation -- not necessarily because this is the best candidate for the job! The differences between the two major parties are becoming less relevant each year, anyway, and they've managed to agree on some pretty stupid things (DMCA).

Sometimes the candidates just suck and the only thing you can do is vote the party, but I hardly think that the party affiliation is as important as a good set of values and beliefs that I share. Sometimes you can tell the beliefs by the party (and politicians with values rarely make it this far) but it's hardly a substitute for sitting down and investigating each candidate.

[ Parent ]

conspiracy (4.00 / 4) (#2)
by phantomlord on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 01:59:45 AM EST

I dunno, is bringing together people to commit a crime an illegal act in itself?

IANAL, but I would presume this would fall under conspiracy to commit a crime. In this case, I would assume that crime to be election fraud. There's no guarantee of the other party voting the way they are supposed to and in our private ballot system, no way to verify it. Besides, vote swapping isn't the best way to fix the system, giving out electoral votes based on percentage of state vote would be.

Why can 100,000 votes in one state win 8 electoral votes while 2 million votes in another gives 0 votes? Take me in NY, with 2 million more registered democrats, thanks to one city, the vote of most of the 62 counties (54) is ignored - and thus my vote is largely meaningless for non-local races since I usually vote Republican or Constitution party (when available).
An interesting tidbit:
NY upstate - 2,566,764 republicans to 2,315,563 democrats
NY city - 522,581 republicans to 2,645,103 democrats
IOW, the democrats in NYC control the entire state despite the fact that their policies have destroyed the upstate economy (thanks Mr Cuomo), consistantly delayed our budget over non state matters (rent control) costing us millions, etc. Kodak, Xerox, etc have moved a large amount of their operations elsewhere and companies like Bausch and Lomb are merging and moving out taking most of the good jobs with them. Yeah... unemployment is down in upstate NY because 1) we've had thousands of people leave every year for better jobs 2) people are taking lower paying jobs. NYC only cares about what they can get from the rest of the state and it's utter crap that upstate has to suffer for their whims. If we can't get a percentile electoral system, the best thing to do is try to get NYC to become it's own state because they're completely disconnected from everyone else here(as a matter of fact, implementing both would be the best thing). FWIW, yes I understand I'm advocating quite a bit... but I'm currently looking into a 2002 run for state assembly to try to push things forward.

I'm assuming here (2.50 / 2) (#5)
by TheDude on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:21:41 AM EST

That vote-swapping is illegal due to the supposed anonymous-ness of voting itself. No one is supposed to know who someone votes for - that's the way the voting system is supposed to be in this country. If you know someone's voting for Gore, and you vote for Harry Browne because of this, it's gotta be illegal in some sense. I never understood why this was even attempted in the first place - it just doesn't follow the anonymous-voting rule of this country. How could it not get struck down?

--
TheDude of Smokedot
Drug Info, Rights, Laws, and Discussion
Visit #smokedot on irc.smokedot.org

Uh (3.00 / 1) (#6)
by skim123 on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:47:29 AM EST

just doesn't follow the anonymous-voting rule of this country

I think you have the right to an anonymous vote, not an obligation. For example, various political candidates have explicitly stated that they voted for themselves, yet they faced no jail time. I have every right to stand atop the tallest hill and proclaim, "I am voting for Gore!" (although, ironically, this would be a lie).

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Discussion on Slate (3.75 / 4) (#7)
by Miniluv on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:48:07 AM EST

This very concept, before the sites launched, was suggested by several commentators on Slate recently. Yes, it's illegal, they all agreed on that, the same as vote auctioning is illegal.

As for the reasoning, they all seemed to suggest it depends on your view of voting. If you vote your conscience, which is great and admirable, you will not want to swap votes. Vote swapping is for the strategic voter...someone who wants to achieve as many of their goals as possible, and tends to believe the ends justify the means.

I myself see them both as legitimate view points, and I don't yet have a considered opinion on whether co-ordinated vote swapping should be legal. I'm definitely against removing the anonymity of the vote...I do not care to consider the day I may be killed/threatened/etc due to my voting my conscience. I still remember a picture from an old Time magazine of a man somewhere in Asia getting harpooned outside a polling place for voting against the sitting government...I will never forget that picture. Ever.
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

Followup (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by interiot on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 08:52:29 AM EST

The link to the story is here, or in the 10/24 edition of the "High Concept" department if that doesn't work.

The article mentions the laws against selling your vote are state laws. So, this discussion may be different for each state, or completely not relevant to a state or two.

Second, such laws seem rather silly. In court, the plaintiffs might be able to prove that the defendent entered into a deal with another party, but it can never be proved which way the defendent voted because the law guarantees anonymity. A voter is always free to vote the way s/he wishes, no matter the number or nature of agreements made with 3rd parties. Since such agreements are entirely irrelevant, they shouldn't be outlawed.

Thirdly, I'd be curious to know what Mr. Browne's opinion is on the matter, since it could be argued that it's about two adults consensually agreeing to swap votes and no force has been initiated.

[ Parent ]

Trading is illegal, but that's not going on (none / 0) (#22)
by jovlinger on Thu Nov 02, 2000 at 01:45:47 PM EST

Look. If I convince you to vote nader, and you convince me to vote gore, that's just political discussion, not only legal, but protected. If I were to buy your vote, thats dealing in votes and should be illegal (mainly 'cause I can have more dollars than votes).

So as long as the swapping is decided on a one-to-one basis, it's political discussion. The site can hook people up and let them decide for themselves whether to go through with it, and I can't see a problem with that. The problem comes when the site starts arbitrating and telling people how to vote. Then they're trading in votes and that is bad, cause they can lie.

Mind you, std IANAL applies

Johan

[ Parent ]

I can't wait... (2.14 / 7) (#8)
by sakico on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 03:51:05 AM EST

...until this election is over, when all of those who seriously support the Green Party will drop out of sight for another three years and a bit.

I mean, really. Go away! Go chain yourselves to some trees somewhere where you can worship the Goddess in peace. (And out of the way of sane people)

People say "I support the Green Party so that they can get Federal funding in the next election." Why? So that the Green Party can get 10% in the next election? And 15%, maybe 20% in the one after that? (The loony left never gets more than 20%. Face it.) Way to go, Sierra Club. You've given the Republicans perpetual presidency.

If you really want to support a third party, try to vote them into Congress/Senate. Ever heard the term "Grassroots"? Voting for Nader does absolutely nothing for everyone but the man himself.

Voter's oath (4.50 / 2) (#10)
by Defect on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 07:22:30 AM EST

Vote swapping is in direct violation of the Vermont voter's oath, which one must agree to when signing. Is Vermont the only state or one of the only that requires such oath to be taken before voting?

the oath reads as follows

"You solemnly swear (or affirm) that whenever you give your vote or suffrage ... you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge ... without fear or favor of any person"

I had no objection to the oath because it makes a damn lot of sense. Vote swapping just seems to be making a mockery of the election. I have no problem voting for whom i want, it just so happens that now it is one of the major players (the smarter one).

The problem with the bipartisan structure is shown with the voteswapping idea, people just think that they're throwing the vote away if they don't vote rep or dem, and those who are throwing their nader vote away by voting for gore because they couldn't "swap" aren't really thinking things through enough.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Re: Voter's oath (3.00 / 1) (#14)
by interiot on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 09:48:29 AM EST

you shall judge ... without fear or favor of any person

"without fear" is essentially guaranteed because of the guarantee of anonymity, so bribes and whatnot are useless.

"without favor" can mean a wide range of things, as is explored in other posts. You agree with Vermont that it should mean:


you will do it so as in your conscience you shall judge

those who are throwing their nader vote away by voting for gore because they couldn't "swap" aren't really thinking things through enough.

This is an ethical stance that can not be put into law because it's not possible to determine if a person has violated the stance. Nobody can know a person's intent when they are voting.

[ Parent ]

Questionable Quotes (2.50 / 2) (#11)
by interiot on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 08:25:22 AM EST

Firstly, just because it's illegal in California doesn't mean that it's illegal at the federal level.

Second, there have been a few quotes in online stories lately. A Salon article has a short quote (thanks potsy). After briefly explaining the system, it ends with this statement:

    The Justice Department reportedly has declared the vote-trading plan legal.

This MSNBC article tries to explain that a bit more:

    A spokesperson at the U.S. Justice Department, which investigates potential instances of voter fraud, said it is, since the sites "serve as a clearing house. There is no pecuniary exchange, and it is an agreement amongst private parties, no legal violation there in terms of violation fraud. It definitely is an innovative campaign technique, to say the least."

Who are these spokespeople? Just because an anonymous spokesperson used the word "pecuniary", are we to assume they're a legit official?

Federal law about voting says that it's illegal for a voter to be coerced into voting a certain way (is there are specific clause about bribery?). Apparently, bribing someone is considered coercion. It's possible that vote trading is not considered coercion if it's consensual. IMHO, that's a bad line of reasoning because money, swaps, and campaign debates are all forms of external forces that push a voter to vote a certain way. Certainly not all external forces are bad.

Voting versus instructions (3.33 / 3) (#13)
by ajf on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 09:07:35 AM EST

It seems like instructions on how to swap votes shouldn't be illegal.

There was a strange case here in Australia a few years ago, where a man (whose name I've forgotten, unfortunately) was telling people that they could vote 1,2,2,2,2 if they thought four of the candidates were equally unworthy of a vote (rather than the "correct" 1,2,3,4,5 preferential vote). This was apparently a deliberate loophole introduced so that if a person who made an honest mistake in writing 1,2,3,4,4 instead of 1,2,3,4,5 their vote would be counted so long as the result was decided without counting fourth preferences.

He was charged with some breach of the electoral act. The vote was considered legal, but telling people that it was legal wasn't. *shrug* Anyway, as a result of his going to court, more people found out about this quirk than would have if it was just one man's personal campaign.

I guess this doesn't really have anything to do with this story. :-) Except, maybe, "laws about voting are weird".



"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
Illustrating the Flaw (4.00 / 2) (#16)
by reshippie on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 11:30:34 AM EST

IMHO, it's not a question of whether or not it should be legal. The fact that people are making use of these sites shows that there is a fundamental flaw in the way the American Voting system is set up.

It's about time people started making some noise about how messed up the Electoral College is.

I live in Massachusetts, a state that almost always gives it's votes to the Democratic candidate. So basically, however I vote, Gore will win my state. In states like Oregon, we don't know who will win that state, so every vote counts. This means that my vote is less important that a vote from someone who lives in Oregon.

For whatever reason the Electoral College was set up, it has outlived its usefulness. Now it is a hinderance to true democracy.

Those who don't know me, probably shouldn't trust me. Those who do DEFINITELY shouldn't trust me. :-)

Why vote swapping is illegal (4.50 / 4) (#17)
by Caranguejeira on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 11:47:22 AM EST

In the U.S., the "Electoral College" system is rather skewed in the favor of a bi-partisan political landscape. Each state has a fixed number of electoral votes that count toward the total of 538 possible votes. Some states have more votes than others, based on the number of senators and representatives they have in Washington. This, in turn, is based on the population of that state. So naturally some states become "key" states because they can influence the greatest number of electoral votes. This is where the candidates spend most time campaigning.

The election of 1800 was a problem because the candidates tied in the Electoral College. In those days, the runner up became the vice president. The House then had to decide who the next president would be. Hence the 12th amendment that specifies that the President and VP must run as a team. This worked fine until there was a third canditate who threatened to score a significant portion of the electoral votes, namely Ross Perot in 1992.

Now, Ross Perot did get a lot of popular votes, but not a single Electoral vote. This is because that, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the individual states' electors must cast _all_ of their electoral votes according to the popular vote. So if Clinton's popular vote in a state was 35%, and Bush's was 33% and Perot's was 32%, then all of that state's electoral votes would go to Clinton. Had the elections been the result of popular vote only, the outcome could have been drastically different (i.e. the House may have ended up voting for the new president).

Green Party voters (including Nader) know that the next president will be either Gore or Bush. Their main goal is to provide the 5% necessary vote that Nader needs to receive Federal funding for his next campaign. They would also like to influence the election of the next president. And if it has to be between Bush and Gore, apparently they would rather see Gore. This is because a lot of them are disenchanted Democrats that realize that by voting Nader, they are tipping the Electoral vote in Bush's favor - the Republican.

By trading the Nader vote in a "key" state with a Gore vote in a "non-key" state, they can ensure that Nader gets his 5% while not tipping the Electoral Vote significantly. Basically big-city types promising to vote for Gore if their backwoods buddies vote for Nader.

This is a pretty obvious and blatant way to rig the vote, which is why many states prohibit vote swapping. It's not exactly fair to those voters who play along with the Electoral system, even though we might view it as flawed.

As a side note, the Electoral College was not always as it is today. The founders of the nation were afraid of the "Tyranny of the People," and so the Electoral College was devised as a buffer between the the uneducated masses and the selection of the President. The Electors didn't even have to cast their votes according to the voice of the people in their state.

Re: Why vote swapping is illegal (3.00 / 1) (#24)
by interiot on Thu Nov 02, 2000 at 06:22:11 PM EST

Your point, as I understand it, is: the Electoral College exists because of laws, so if you don't like it, change the laws rather than trying to circumvent them.

(the following argument assumes my 21 words mean the same thing as your 520 words. If I'm wrong, ignore the rest of this)

First of all, civil disobedience is acceptable to some people.

Second of all, it's very hard to get anything about the voting process changed. The current voting process is what got the current officials to power, and the only way they want it changed is in small ways that are likely to increase the votes for them relative to their opponent. (eg. a change that might allow 4 candidates to get matching funds is bad for republicrats)

Some current examples of voting process changes: redistricting during next term is making both parties fight a lot more over control of congress. Another is campaign finance reform, which is something the candidates talk about, but are trying to phrase it in political-speak to soothe voters into thinking the next president will do something, when he's really not.

[ Parent ]

Re: Why vote swapping is illegal (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by Caranguejeira on Mon Nov 06, 2000 at 05:18:26 PM EST

(the following argument assumes my 21 words mean the same thing as your 520 words. If I'm wrong, ignore the rest of this)

Essentially, yes. But I find historical discussions interesting and enlightening. :)

First of all, civil disobedience is acceptable to some people.

I realize that; people commit murders all the time for reasons they think are perfectly fine. That's not civil disobedience? Where do you draw the line?

I have an idea: let's make two groups of people. A group that obeys the laws, and a group that doesn't. That's easy enough. Maybe the group that doesn't obey has a higher horse than the group that does, so it's OK if they break the rules.

Second of all, it's very hard to get anything about the voting process changed.

If the electoral vote were to contradict the popular vote, you would see the voting system instantly changed, guaranteed.

The damned funniest thing is that Americans believe that they live in a democracy. I have news: the U.S. constitution guarantees a republican form of government. That means we live in a republic. A republic is designed so that government is not elected directly by the people.

The framers of the constitution were afraid of the exact thing that people are trying to do with this vote swapping. They were worried that a minority candidate would break up the popular vote and create a weak government. So yes, the electorate system offers less choice by _design_. They didn't want people with radical views in office. So the major parties have to extend their platform to appeal to more people by avoiding wacko ideas about government.

Otherwise, you get people who favor civil disobedience electing presidents. Or people who like to talk about "freedoms" they think they have.

And if their web site gets taken down, why, they've been "wronged."

Basic rule of statistics here. If you only have two choices, the basic majority wins. You get a president that most people voted for. If you have 10 parties on equal grounds, you get a candidate that possibly only 15% of the people voted for. Most of the nation didn't vote him in. Hence a weak government.

Those who are doing this vote swapping thing are trying to break what the constitution guarantees. They are trying to get their "minority" candidate into the race because they see the current system as non-democratic (duh!). If they succeed (which they will not), they could splinter the popular vote and get someone elected who is not in the favor of the majority (majority meaning over 50% of the population). This is what they referred to as Tyranny of the People. This is why Ross Perot, with 19% of the popular vote, got 0 electoral votes.

[ Parent ]
Nader anybody? (1.00 / 1) (#19)
by wildmage on Wed Nov 01, 2000 at 04:50:57 PM EST

I live in Oregon (swing state) so I think I'm obligated to vote for Gore. Does anybody that doesn't live in a lop-sided state want to vote for Nader for me. I'd like to vote for Nader, but I can't in good conscience tip the electoral vote towards Bush.

-------------
Jacob Everist
Memoirs of a Mad Scientist
Near-Earth Asteroid Mining

Quick fact about the Electoral College (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by Miniluv on Thu Nov 02, 2000 at 01:23:02 AM EST

Quoted from a recent Op-Ed piece in a local newspaper supporting the abolishment of the electoral college was a statistic about the last "loser" president. That is, the last candidate who lost the popular election, but won the presidency anyhow. It was 1888, and the candidate was Benjamin Harrison, but a lot of folks are worried this may happen again this year, most likely in favor of GWB.

It was also nice to see a moderate political commentator come out strongly in favor of Instant Runoff Voting, a system apparently near and dear to the hearts of many K5ers, myself included ever since I heard about it. The piece was in the Chicago Daily Herald.
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'

MLP (2.00 / 1) (#23)
by interiot on Thu Nov 02, 2000 at 06:00:30 PM EST

MLP...   The ACLU is trying to get the restraining order against Nader-Trader dropped. (CNet article here)

It seems like the argument is that the vote swapping isn't an enforcable contract because voting is private. So, the site is just political commentary on how the Electoral College thing sucks, so taking the site down is akin to censoring political commentary.

That's a heckuva stretch, but it's interesting anyway.

If the case were taken to the supreme court level, perhaps they could get a precedent set that says that state laws against bribing voters are dumb because it's impossible anyway. That seems like a little less of a stretch.

Vote Swapping Illegal? | 25 comments (25 topical, 0 editorial, 0 hidden)
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