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Replay Program

Politics

Gaming the election by ‘trading’ votes

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

Politics

Gaming the election by ‘trading’ votes

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COMING UP:Gaming the election by ‘trading’ votes

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> In the current two party political system, candidates outside the major parties are often seen as spoilers, siphoning votes from Democrats or Republicans. But for those who wanna follow their heart and vote for a third party candidate, and not inadvertently help elect, say, Donald Trump, a few new services are designed to enable just that.
00:00:19
Sites and apps like Trump Traders facilitates vote swapping between voters in key battleground states and so-called safe states.>> We find two people in safe states who will cast their votes for your preferred third party candidate and in return you cast the swing state vote for Hillary.>> But is that even legal?
00:00:35
Reuters legal correspondent Joseph Ax says yeah. It is.>> So the practice of vote trading actually began in 2000 with Nader's campaign. They were called Nader's Traders or Nader Traders. But obviously it didn't work out that well for Al Gore that year. But in the wake of that election, the ACLU and some other groups brought court cases seeking to get declarations if that's actually illegal practice.
00:01:02
And so in 2007, the ninth circuit US court of appeals out in San Francisco found that, yes, in fact, vote trading is legal. It's a protective form of free speech under the U.S. Constitution under the First Amendment.>> So far tens of thousands of voters, the vast majority seeking to prevent a Trump presidency have signed up on various vote swapping exchanges in advance of election day.
00:01:24
Trump Traders co-founder John Stubbs said he learned a lesson from Ralph Nader's effect on the 2000 presidential election in Florida. Which Gore famously lost by only 537 votes.>> If those sites had been successful in switching just 538 more people, Al Gore would have been President. And that fact, I think showed the power that these exchanges could potentially have.
00:01:49
>> Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson together are drawing nearly 7% in opinion polls, far more than normal for these parties. With the race tightening in certain swing states, that's enough to raise the spectre of another Nader style outcome in 2016.>> All right now, take