Chuck Muth, a Republican activist in Nevada, suggests here that “vote-swapping”, an idea pioneered by Ralph Nader supporters and Al Gore supporters in 2000, should be revived this year. “Vote-swapping” depends on the internet. The facilitator sets up a web page, and voters in swing states are placed in touch with voters in non-swing states. The idea depends on trust. In 2000, Gore supporters in non-swing states were matched with Nader supporters in swing states, via the web page. The Gore supporter promised his or her “partner” to vote for Nader; in return, the Nader supporter promised to vote for Gore.
California’s Secretary of State in 2000, Bill Jones, had believed that the vote-swapping web page broke election laws, but the 9th circuit rejected Jones’ theory and upheld the legality of the practice.
Muth presumes that many, if not most, voters who lean toward Gary Johnson would be more sympathetic to Mitt Romney than to President Obama, but his assumption isn’t necessarily correct. Muth advocates that someone set up a web page to facilitate vote-swapping to match up Johnson supporters with Romney supporters.
Muth has not been a friend of minor parties and independent candidates. He used his influence to help persuade the 2011 session of the Nevada legislature to make ballot access more difficult. Muth did this because he was angry that in 2010, the Tea Party had placed a candidate for U.S. Senate on the general election ballot, using an easy method for a new party to place someone on the ballot. The Nevada legislature in 2011 repealed the easy method, leaving only a much more difficult procedure in place.