[EM] Cartoon about single-mark ballots

VoteFair ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Sun Sep 25 21:07:22 PDT 2016

Thank you for the clarification about how the VotePact website works.

In theory, the logic seems to make sense, but ...

In reality your ideal of actually changing who wins a presidential 
election is incompatible with the fact that very very very few voters 
would pair up under the conditions you specify.

Even here in Oregon where everyone votes by mail (and even if it were a 
swing state) the pairing-up process either requires trust or is 
time-consuming to confirm.

Frankly I can imagine lots of people participating based on claiming 
that they have the opposite preference between Clinton and Trump 
compared to their actual preference, and using the website to scam 
voters away from the voter's intended goal.

There is a good reason for making ballots secret.

Historically it came from the days when employers and newspapers 
supplied filled-out ballots and then observers at polling places watched 
to see which form (often color-coded or otherwise recognizeable) the 
voter put into the ballot box.

Richard Fobes

On 9/25/2016 12:52 AM, Jan Kok wrote:
> (My emails are not getting through to electorama right now, so thank
> you, Richard, for replying to electorama and keeping my text intact.)
> On Sat, Sep 24, 2016 at 11:02 PM, VoteFair <ElectionMethods at votefair.org
> <mailto:ElectionMethods at votefair.org>> wrote:
>     On 9/23/2016 3:47 PM, Jan Kok wrote:
>     >  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.
>     Apparently I don't understand the website.  But admittedly I don't
>     see the importance of voting for a third-party candidate in a swing
>     state if the voter has a preference between Clinton and Trump.
> Let's say that Alice prefers Stein>Johnson>Clinton>Trump (meaning she
> really would prefer that Stein or Johnson win instead of Clinton or
> Trump) and also feels strongly enough that Clinton is better than Trump,
> that she feels compelled to vote for Clinto to keep Trump from winning.
> And let's say Bob prefers Johnson>Stein>Trump>Clinton and feels
> compelled to vote for Trump to keep Clinton from winning. (A minor
> detail is that it doesn't matter how he ranks Stein if he doesn't think
> she has a chance of winning.)
> Alice would really rather vote for and show her support for Stein,
> instead of holding her nose and voting for lesser-evil Clinton.
> Similarly, Bob would really rather vote for Johnson, instead of voting
> for lesser-evil Trump.
> If Alice and Bob and millions of other like-minded people vote for
> Clinton and Trump, then Clinton and Trump get a huge number of votes,
> Stein and Johnson get vote totals that greatly understate their true
> level of support among the voters, and Clinton or Trump wins.
> BUT, if Alice and Bob (and millions of other pairs of people) find each
> other and make a pact to not vote for either Clinton or Trump, then they
> are both free to vote for whoever they really like best. And they can do
> it knowing that their action didn't cause their greater evil to win.
> Clinton or Trump will probably still win, but they both get fewer votes,
> and the third party candidates get the votes that they really deserve.
> If enough people apply the Vote Pact idea, it's even possible that
> Johnson or Stein could win, which would be good or great from Alice and
> Bob's standpoint.
>     Yes, voting for a third-party candidate is tempting for all of us.
>     But it is not effective as a way to say "None of the above, start
>     over, try again."
> No, it's not intended to say "None of the above." Some of us would
> really prefer Johnson or Stein or some other over both Clinton and Trump.
> In Florida 2000, pre-election polls found that more than 11% of voters
> preferred Nader as their first choice. But as we know, he only got 1.6%
> in the actual election. Where did the rest of that 11% go? The Nader
> supporters bailed and voted for their lesser evils!
> Since the election was so close, it's hard to say whether Vote Pact
> would have changed the outcome. But the major effect, if Vote Pact had
> been applied widely, would have been to give Nader much greater vote totals.
>     Getting better ballots and better counting methods adopted is what
>     will solve the problem.  And making that happen in primary
>     elections, where the biggest corrupt results occur, is what's needed
>     first and foremost.
> I agree, that's important. What I disagree with is that voters in swing
> states who prefer third party candidates should just give up and vote
> for the lesser evil, when the Vote Pact idea can save them from that.
>  From the title of your article it sounded like you were advising people
> to vote for the lesser evil.
>     That's the bigger goal of the article, to enlighten people that we
>     are using primitive ballots.
>     Part of the concept is to convey that we are not being asked for a
>     first choice, because that would imply we are also being asked for a
>     second choice.
> We're just being asked to "vote for one". The ballots are counted and
> the winner chosen.
>     Instead we are being asked whether we want Clinton or Trump.  Only
>     people in non-swing states have the luxury of voting for a
>     third-party candidate as a "protest" vote.
> Again, some people might protest-vote, but others of us would seriously
> prefer a third party candidate. I think even protest voters (some of
> them) might be interested in the Vote Pact idea.
> If you really want to indicate "none of the above" and you don't want to
> indicate support for anyone, the best way may be to spoil your ballot by
> marking a line through all of the candidates' checkboxes.
>     Richard Fobes

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