It was recently revealed that Democrats have been
engaging in a shady
scheme of trading their votes in solid Gore states for Nader votes in
swing states. Gore supporters in States like Maryland and the District
of Columbia, which Gore will win easily, are trading votes with Nader
supporters in votes like Oregon and California, where Naderís appeal
could draw enough votes to give their electoral votes to George Bush. The
overall point is to elect Gore while assuring Nader of enough votes to make
the Green Party a viable third party in the next presidential election. In
order to qualify for matching federal campaign dollars, Nader will have to
draw five percent of the popular vote, and it doesnít matter where those
votes are cast. If Nader supporters in Oregon are assured that their vote
for Gore will not cost Nader overall support, they can eat their cake and
have it too.
The website where this bartering is going on is http://www.nadertrader.com.
This Greens and Democrats can go to this URL to get information on how they
can trade votes. The site carries a statement that this is a legal venture,
but this is problematic. John Gotti thought that racketeering was legal,
but the feds had a different idea.
Is this vote selling? Well, if you get something of value in return for
your vote, it is vote selling. Even though the compensation in this case is
not monetary, it is inarguably true that votes are being bought and sold.
The California Secretary of State has moved to have the site shut down,
because of legal and constitutional ramifications. The United States
Justice Department has taken a wait and see position, much like its position
on Goreís fundraising calls from the White House.
Although neither campaign has endorsed this idea, neither has either
campaign condemned it. Al Gore knows all about vote selling, according to
former Wyoming Senator Al Simpson, even going so far as to sell his vote on
Operation Desert Storm on the floor of the Senate. I suspect that as soon
as the Buchananites in states like Texas and Idaho cotton on to this scheme,
Al Gore and the Democrats will be all over it like a duck on a bug. We can
anticipate claims that evil Republicans are hijacking this election. That
will no doubt bring a prompt response from Justice. Until then, letís
remember that if God had meant us to trade votes on the Internet, He would
never have given us the ballot box. His will be done.
Dwight Patel serves on the Board of the Association of Concerned Taxpayers
© Dwight Patel, 2000
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