In an effort to help Democrats in key swing states, while also giving Green Party candidate Ralph Nader a chance to reach the all-important five percent of the national vote, a technical writer from Washington, D.C., recently launched VoteExchange.com.
The site allows supporters of Nader and Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic nominee, from different states to discuss politics and potentially exchange votes to both boost Gore to victory and allow Nader to achieve the level of support that the Federal Election Commission requires for a party to receive crucial campaign funds in the next presidential election.
Many Gore supporters are concerned that Nader’s strength in swing states could threaten Gore’s candidacy, if Bush is able to garner pluralities in these states. Since liberal Green Party voters would be more likely to support Gore than Bush in a two-person race, some Greens and Democrats fear that votes for Nader could be enough to tip the election to the conservative Republican.
VoteExchange.com, as well as similar sites that have surfaced such as Nadertrader.com and WinWinCampaign.com, allow potential Gore voters in states with overwhelmingly Democratic or overwhelmingly Republican majorities to “trade” their vote with a swing state Nader voter.
In this manner, some members of the Green Party hope to accomplish their mission of attaining five percent of the popular vote, while not hurting Gore’s chances of winning.
Ryan Horn ’02, president of the College Republicans, doubted the program’s potential for success. “I think that it’s not going to be as effective as people expect it to be