[EM] Cartoon about single-mark ballots

Jan Kok jan.kok.5y at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 15:47:50 PDT 2016

On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 3:11 PM, VoteFair <ElectionMethods at votefair.org>

> On 9/23/2016 1:08 PM, Jan Kok wrote:
>> On Fri, Sep 23, 2016 at 11:56 AM, VoteFair <ElectionMethods at votefair.org
>> <mailto:ElectionMethods at votefair.org>> wrote:
>>     On 9/19/2016 12:00 AM, Jan Kok wrote:
>>     >  Before you publish that article, please check out VotePact.org
>>     Even if two people agree to cast ballots that cancel each other out,
>>     that's still leaving the decision up to the other voters in that
>> state.
> I don't understand your point. Whether you and another person vote for
>> Clinton and Trump, or make a pact and vote for Stein and/or Johnson
>> instead, the election is still decided by the other voters in the state.
> Dilution.  Why dilute the votes?
> As an analogy, why put both sweet and sour into the same pot of soup in
> hopes of balancing them out to be neutral?

Sorry for being so dense, but I still don't understand your point.

It seems to me that Clinton and Trump are the sweet and sour, when some of
us want neither. Why get into a contest, dumping more sweet and sour into
the pot?

If you like either Clinton or Trump better than any other candidate
regardless of electability, then go ahead and vote for Clinton or Trump.
Vote Pact is not for you.

Vote Pact is for people who would prefer some other candidate over both
Clinton and Trump, but feel compelled to vote for the lesser evil to keep
the greater evil from winning. Find your opposite, then each of you vote
for who you really want.

> I am not opposed to your underlying desire to find a way to make things
> better.  I just cannot imagine the logistics of your approach working for
> more than a handful of people.
> Another point that Robert Bristow-Johnson points out: vote trading of any
> kind is illegal.  I recall that vote-swapping sites were shut down after
> they popped up in the Gore-Nader-Bush election.  (I don't remember if it
> was the Supreme Court who made that decision.)  I think that if your site
> got to be too popular, it would be shut down as illegal.

It's not my website. I just think it's a great idea, an idea that could
have a huge, positive impact if it became widely known and practiced.

As for legality, I think laws against it are unenforceable, as a practical
matter. How can you prevent people from filling out absentee ballots

The website helps to spread the idea, but without the website, anyone can
still promote and discuss the idea on public forums.

(more below)

Yes, continue to pioneer, and push against unfairness.  But be willing to
> change course as needed.
> Richard Fobes
>> The exception would be if enough people used the Vote Pact idea that
>> Stein or Johnson won. But that would be a good outcome from your point
>> of view, right? Otherwise, why did you enter into the vote pact?
>>     Participating in your VotePact approach requires finding someone to
>>     trust.  And the trusting not only applies to trusting who the person
>>     will actually vote for, but trusting that the person is not also
>>     making a similar arrangement with yet another voter.
>> This is addressed at http://www.votepact.org/about/ under "The Issue of
>> Trust." You can get absentee ballots, fill them out in each other's
>> presence and mail them together. Or you can go to the polls together and
>> check each other's ballots before turning them in.
>>     In other words, it's really, really hard to find someone you trust
>>     who also has the opposite political preference.
>> In a swing state, it shouldn't be that hard to find your opposite. As
>> for trust, see above.
>>     Expressed as a Venn diagram, the overlap between someone I trust and
>>     someone who has the opposite political view is empty.
>>     Here's part of what I hope to convey in the article:
>>     A single-mark ballot is not asking for the voter's first choice.  If
>>     it was, it would also ask for a second choice.
>>     Instead a single-mark ballot is equivalent to being given a marble
>>     and being asked to put it into the bucket with their "preferred"
>>     candidate's name on the bucket.  And only the two heaviest buckets
>>     will have their marbles counted.  The other buckets might as well be
>>     bottomless.
Not exactly. All the buckets will be counted. Only the two heaviest buckets
will be widely reported, but you can certainly find detailed data about all
the buckets if you look.

As for the "bottomless" comment, if you vote for Clinton and Trump wins,
Clinton's bucket might just as well be bottomless as well, wouldn't you
say? And if you liked someone better than Clinton, you missed your
opportunity to show your support for that candidate when you voted for
Clinton. You wasted your vote on someone who didn't win.

I think there are two reasons for voting: One is to influence the outcome
of _this_ election in a direction that you want. The other is to show your
support for the candidates/parties you like, encourage them to run again,
and attract attention to those candidates/parties by giving them large vote
counts, thus increasing their chances of success in _future_ elections.
Vote Pact can help with both of those things.

>>     Richard Fobes
>>     On 9/19/2016 12:00 AM, Jan Kok wrote:
>>         On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 10:42 PM, VoteFair
>>         <ElectionMethods at votefair.org <mailto:ElectionMethods at votefa
>> ir.org>
>>         <mailto:ElectionMethods at votefair.org
>>         <mailto:ElectionMethods at votefair.org>>> wrote:
>>              ...
>>              I will use the image as part of an article I'm writing that
>>         explains
>>              why voters in swing states should not vote for a
>>         third-party candidate.
>>         Before you publish that article, please check out VotePact.org
>>     ----
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