First we have to wonder if vote exchanging is legal, and it appears that it probably is:
Then a brief segue to "the Computer Ate My Vote campaign". (Link Dead)
Now, if you desire to vote for a third party, but are going to vote for "the lessor of two evils," then please find the system that best fits your needs. In that respect, below is a review of all known Vote Swapping, Pairing, Budding, Triangulating, and Exchanging systems. None of them are one size fits all and each has a particular niche of vote exchanging it is trying to fill. The quotes below are directly from their sites, slightly edited, and attempt to summarize their ideology and methods. Absentee ballot information is included afterwards.
Alive and active in 2004:
Triangle Vote Movement (Link Dead)
The instigator of TriangleVote.org threw a hissy fit and shut it down. Attempts are ongoing to revive it, so keep posted as we get further information in.
- "You're not satisfied with either Bush or Kerry. But you don't want your vote to be wasted." "Match on a local basis so that pairs can meet and vote for a third party together. Each person sees that the other fulfils their side of the bargain, so that neither Democrats nor Republicans suffer any disadvantage."
- "Sign up, register to vote by absentee ballot, meet up with another voter nearby you to vote."
- "If you'll abandon that Democrat, I'll dump this Republican, and we can both vote for the candidates we'd really like to support?"
- "Working out the trust issue is just something you'll have to do for yourself."
VotePair.org or "NaderKerry.org" (Link Dead) or VoteSwap 2004 or VoteTrader.org or "NaderGore.org" (Link Dead) (All feed into VotePair)
- "Vote pairing facilitates strategic voting by allowing John Kerry voters in Bush and Kerry strongholds to pledge to vote for Ralph Nader (Independent/Reform Party) or David Cobb (Green Party). In turn, Nader and Cobb voters in swing states pledge to vote for Kerry."
- "Voters who pledge on the site will be paired with another participant via email."
"Defeat Bush Again" (Link Dead)
- "Vote Swapping is the KEY to defeating Bush in 2004..." "'Vote Swapping' makes the 'Nader Factor' a moot issue!"
- "If a match is found, you will then be shown a list of potential vote swappers with whom you can select to swap your vote with."
"GreensForKerry.org" (Link Dead) or "ChangeIn04" (Link Dead)
- "We support a vote pairing program and are currently researching legal options.
- "Stay tuned."
Alive, but no real 2004 activity:
Dead as of September 2, 2004:
- Nader Trader
- Nader Traders
- Nader Gore
- VoteSwap 2000
- Winchell's Nader Trader
- Winchell's Nader Trader
- Win Win Campaign
Absentee Ballot Information:
Texas (Ballots are issued by County):
"To vote by mail, you must first apply for a ballot. We must receive your application no earlier than 60 days before election day and no later than the close of business 7 days day before election day. If the deadline falls on a weekend, the last day to submit an application is the preceding Friday. If the deadline falls on a state or federal holiday, the ballot must be received on the preceding business day."
To be eligible to vote by mail in Texas, you must:
- be 65 years or older;
- be disabled;
- be out of the county on election day and during the period for early voting by personal appearance; OR
- be confined in jail, but otherwise eligible.
- Hays (http://elections.co.hays.tx.us/)
- Travis (http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/bymail.asp)
- Williamson (http://www.co.williamson.tx.us/elections/index.html)
For Texas Counties not listed, fill in your county's name and go to http://www.co.COUNTYNAME.tx.us/ , find either Voting, Elections, or the County Clerk section, then something like "Application for Ballot by Mail." Each County is slightly different, but follow the same general pattern.
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