Nader’s Traders vs. State Regulators: Examining the Controversy over Internet Vote Swapping in the 2000 Presidential Election

June 16, 2012

Vote swappers nationwide organized during the 2000 campaign to cast their presidential ballots strategically within the Electoral College system. Their mission: help Vice President Al Gore win enough states to take the presidency while ensuring that Ralph Nader received five percent of the popular vote, thus qualifying the Green Party for federal campaign funding in 2004.
This comment examines the legal issues surrounding Internet vote swapping, a relatively new phenomenon on the national political scene. Following a summary of the events surrounding the rise of Internet vote swapping in the weeks prior to the 2000 presidential election, this comment will examine the main arguments in what promises to be the first case to address the issue (Porter v. Jones), various state statutes and their interpretation by secretaries of state and other election officials, and the issues requiring legislative resolution before the next presidential election.