The VoteBuddy Solution

Creative Vote Liberation!

What's Creative Vote Liberation?

Many Americans know someone -- perhaps in their own household -- who tends to vote opposite to their own inclinations. A wife votes for the opponents of the candidates supported by her husband. Your best friend belongs to the "other" party -- and maybe you joke about how, in every election, you cancel out each other's votes.

How many such pairs of folks do you think might also be voting for "the lesser of two evils"?

And if they only knew that, they could both agree to dump the major party candidates and vote instead for the third party candidates they really would like to support!

Covering Your Bases


The whole point of voting for one of the major party candidates, for many voters, is simply to keep the other scoundrel out of office. Find a voter who pulls the Republican lever simply out of self-defense, and you'll also find one who votes Democrat for the same reason.

What if these folks got together and decided to "cancel" the major parties rather than their treasured votes?

What if they said, "If you'll abandon that Democrat, I'll dump this Republican, and we can both vote for the candidates we'd really like to support"?

Freedom!

Without your two votes, the "horse race" between the major party candidates remains exactly the same as if neither of you hadn't voted at all. Your bases are covered, and your votes are now yours to cast for somebody rather than against the turkeys.


A Matter of Trust


You might have noticed that this program depends on whether or not participants can trust their Vote Buddies to do as they say they will. If you vote your conscience, but your Vote Buddy reneges and votes for one of the major party candidates, your strategy fails -- at least in part. At minimum you're still removing your support from the party that's been taking you for granted, and that's a good thing! But the main point is to withdraw support from both major parties, and cheating by your Vote Buddy undermines that purpose.

Clearly, then, you need to develop a personal relationship with your Vote Buddy that allows you to be confident in his or her honest fulfillment of their promise to vote their conscience instead of their fears -- and to be confident that he or she isn't just a contented Republicrat or Demolican who is trying to scam one vote away from the opposing team.

We can't help you there. Working out the trust issue is just something you'll have to do for yourself.


A Potential Method of Verification


One other solution has been suggested by Jeff Fisher, but you'll have to check your local laws to see whether it is a legal risk: Two people can theoretically send in for absentee ballots and then fill them out together, both verifying that the other didn't vote for Evil.

Be aware that in some states (including here in Indiana) it's illegal to show anyone else your ballot. The rationale behind such laws is that voters used to suffer intense pressure (including threats of violence) by employers or labor unions who wanted "their people" to prove they voted "correctly." As government so often does, the wrong solution was chosen: instead of focusing on the crimes of extortion being committed against voters, the state chose instead to balance the threats of company or union bosses with threats of their own, putting voters in an impossible bind. Reveal your votes or not, somebody has promised to mess up your life!

Clearly, if anyone attempts to enforce such laws against voters who are honestly trying only to eliminate the risks of voting as they truly believe they should, the spirit of the law (which is concerned only with protecting the rights of voters) is being seriously violated.


Send a Message, Too


When you and your Vote Buddy implement the VoteBuddy strategy, not only will you be able to vote for new options, but you'll also send a very important message to the major parties.

All those years you've been voting for some Republican or Democrat you didn't really like, did you think anybody knew you were voting against the other party?

Not a chance!

Never forget this fundamental fact of politics:

When you vote for Candidate X instead of Candidate Y, Candidate Y thinks it's because you liked the other option just a little better, or you were confused or stupid or otherwise mistaken. Candidate X has no doubt your vote is a mandate for every plank in the X platform and a resounding statement of approval of X's record.

Maybe in your mind you have been voting against the worst outcomes, but your votes are counted for each candidate you select, and nobody has any reason to suspect that's not what you meant. But those votes have also been cast for something else....

You have been voting to stay on the same old treadmill, trapped voting for people you don't believe in!

When you vote for the lesser of two evils, all you do is encourage evil!

Now you can really send a message to the major parties. It's a message they've needed to hear, from millions of people, for a long time. That message is "NO!"

"No more free ride. No more votes cast in fear. From now on, if you want our votes, you'll have to earn them!"


The No!Buddy TM Option


Many Americans have already been saying "No" by refusing to vote. The problem is that not voting is often attributed to apathy, not dissatisfaction.

These Americans need a way to make sure that their message is not misinterpreted -- a way to get across a loud, clear, "No!" rather than a muttered "Whatever...."

We're happy to offer a solution to that problem, too: No!BuddyTM (pronounced just like "Nobody!"). This is how you can put yourself on record as refusing to vote because you don't like any of the options, not because you just don't care.

Go to the polls, just as though you were going to vote like everyone else. Then cast a completely blank ballot. You'll need to make sure it won't be treated as a "spoiled" ballot by election workers, so it won't hurt to ask poll workers what theoretically happens to a ballot that has no votes on it. If need be, you can find out what you might need to do to keep it from being rejected -- say, writing "This ballot left intentionally blank" on it, or something like that. Best of all, work out how to do this in advance, by contacting your state elections department and getting the answers you need.

And then don't keep those answers a secret! Write a letter to the editor of your local paper, talk about it with friends, and spread the word in general. Let your community know they can "vote against voting" as you are.

The result of this strategy is that the percentage of votes earned by the major party candidates, compared to the number of ballots cast, goes down.


Here's the Key to Your Chains!


Now you know the VoteBuddy plan:

People teaming up to set their votes free!

You can do it yourself ... especially if you already know someone who is "differently political" from yourself but hates voting for the lesser of two evils as much as you do. That's your ideal Vote Buddy -- someone you know and trust, someone with whom you'll have a better relationship because you now have something fun and exciting in common.

Now, if you're leaning toward the No!Buddy option, there's no need to team up with a Vote Buddy -- unless you've been worried that casting no votes might help the worst scoundrels get into office. If that's the case, you won't be allowed to vote "None of the Above" -- but you can get a Vote Buddy and be free to cast your empty ballot. You'll just be voting "No!Buddy" instead of voting for some third party candidate.

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VoteBuddyTM, No!BuddyTM, and any associated logos are trademarks owned by Kent Van Cleave, who asks everyone not to set up a similar type of organization or service using any name that might be confused with "VoteBuddy."

If you would like to run your own VoteBuddy operation, franchises (under revokable licensing) will be liberally awarded to individuals or organizations who would like to encourage "Creative Vote Liberation" in their states and communities. After all, our mission is to break the two-party monopoly, and your help is very welcome! For information on VoteBuddy franchises, send email to Kent Van Cleave at (sorry -- no link provided as a spam-avoidance measure; you'll have to type the address yourself) info(at)votebuddy(dot)org. For other questions, visit our FAQ page.

VoteBuddy and Kent Van Cleave make no warranties concerning the results anyone might expect or desire from VoteBuddy participation -- especially concerning the performance of individuals who are paired as Vote Buddies. It is the responsibility of each participant to establish a basis for trust in the Vote Buddy s/he chooses. By voluntarily following the VoteBuddy strategy for freeing your vote, you agree to hold VoteBuddy and Kent Van Cleave harmless for any negative consequences that might be attributed to the VoteBuddy program or anyone connected with it. Hey, we'll do our best ... but we aren't gonna be lawsuit bait for anybody!

Finally, neither VoteBuddy nor Kent Van Cleave advocate the violation of any constitutional laws with this proposal. Anyone who contemplates pursuing this strategy should find out whether their state and local governments recognize their right to pursue any peaceful and honest means that will empower them to cast their votes according to their consciences. Where your freedom is prohibited by law, we can't advise you to resist your masters; that's a wholly personal choice.