#NeverTrump Vote-Trading App Pairs Florida's Jill Stein Supporters With Clinton Supporters in Blue States | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


#NeverTrump App Pairs Florida's Third-Party Voters With Blue-State Clinton Supporters

As election day (and the possibility of ending up with an orange-faced, pussy-grabbing baboon as president) nears, a new Tinder-like app is bringing Hillary Clinton and Jill Stein supporters together. It's called #NeverTrump, and it pairs Hillary Clinton supporters in blue states with Jill Stein supporters in swing states so they can swap votes to ultimately prevent a Trump presidency.

After Al Gore lost the 2000 election by 537 Florida votes, the app is honing in on Florida's third-party voters.

On message boards, a Florida man named Brian posted: "Democratic socialist will vote for Clinton in exchange for a Stein vote in a very blue state. I am staunchly liberal and want to vote for Jill Stein, but I'm also not willing to risk Trump winning Florida by a single vote."

A New York woman named Veronica commented: "I will vote for 3rd party in NY if someone in swing state will vote Hillary, I'll even get my husband and daughter too as well, that's 3 for 1!"

Though it seems like a good idea and a handful of South Florida Stein supporters are open to trading their votes, members of the Florida Green Party staunchly oppose it.

"The Florida Green Party firmly opposes vote trading," says Silvie Suri, cochair of the Broward Green Party. "This tactic does not align with our values or electoral strategy."

Adds South Florida Jill Stein campaign team leader David Portier: "If one cannot vote for what he/she believes but instead is coerced into condoning the lesser evil, then there is no free election and the two-party system will never end."

Vote trading started 16 years ago during the 2000 election. Gore supporters in red states like Texas felt their votes were meaningless, while Ralph Nader supporters in swing states didn't want to cause a Bush presidency. So a constitutional law professor named James Raskin proposed vote swapping, and a dozen vote-trading websites sprouted up, like VoteSwap2000.com, NaderTrader.com, TradeVotes.com, and VoteExchange2000.com.

Since it is technically illegal to trade a vote for "any money, gift, service, or other valuable consideration,” the legality of the practice was called into question, and attorney generals in five states sent the sites threatening letters. But a 2007 court case was brought forward by VoteSwap2000.com, and judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that vote trading is “clearly protected by the First Amendment.”

The #NeverTrump app is simple enough. After launch, it asks a series of questions to determine location and political preference. Then it grants a user access to a chat room with thousands of Clinton, Stein, and even some Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin supporters.

Clinton supporters in "safe states" like Massachusetts and California propose voting for whomever the third-party voter in a swing state like Florida or Ohio would vote for — sometimes even promising two or even three third-party votes for one Clinton vote in a swing state.

Vote trading is just one more way to prevent an outspoken demigod from taking control of the highest office in the land.
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Jess Swanson is a staff writer at New Times. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami’s School of Communication and wrote briefly for the student newspaper until realizing her true calling: pissing off fraternity brothers by reporting about their parties on her crime blog. Especially gifted in jumping rope and solving Rubik’s cubes, she also holds the title for longest stint as an unpaid intern in New Times history. She left the Magic City for New York to earn her master’s degree from Columbia University School of Journalism, where she spent a year profiling circumcised men who were trying to regrow their foreskins for a story that ultimately won the John Horgan Award for Critical Science Journalism. Terrified by pizza rats and arctic temperatures, she quickly returned to her natural habitat.
Contact: Jess Swanson

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