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August 08, 2007

9th US Circuit Court of Appeals says vote-swapping web sites are legal

Vote exchange web sites are protected under the First Amendment, sez court.

Web sites such as (now-defunct) voteswap2000.com and hotnaderlove.org (I made that up) popped up to facilitate "vote exchanges" between states.

Theory went, you live in a state where a certain outcome is sure, like maybe Texas is gonna go 67% for Ron Paul in the Republican primary (I read internet polls and I see the inevitable). So you could "exchange" your vote in the other primary with a voter in Ohio, promising to vote for their candidate that is sucking wind, say, oh I don't know, John Edwards... if they vote for your guy (Ron PAUL!) in their primary.

No way to enforce it, obviously, it's all based on internet "good will".

Anyway, state of California got all pissy and threatened criminal charges (and the sites shut down, but filed lawsuits). Federal district court sided with the California SecState, but this week the 9th said California's threats of criminal action violated the 1st Amendment (ruling here).

If you can trade votes, can you sell them?

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on television, but if there's a frustrated Edwards fan out there, make me an offer.*

H/T: Retired Geezer, aka Man of Substance

* this is not really a solicitation to sell my vote, it is a lame-ass joke. Very lame. I can't even remember my polling place.

** note to legal: other morons may make jokes about this too in the comments. They're jokes. Ok?

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posted by Dave In Texas at 09:55 AM

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