By Steve Weinstein
By Devon Maloney
By Tessa Stuart
By Alison Flowers
By Albert Samaha
By Jesse Jarnow
By Eric Tsetsi
By Raillan Brooks
NOVEMBER 3Supporters of Green Party candidate Ralph Nader continue to invent ways of swapping votes. The latestand weirdestgimmick is something called Virtualvotefornader.com. The homepage touts the usual list of people who advocate trading votes with a backer of Democrat Al Gore to avoid electing Republican George W. Bush. That roster includes names like Gloria Steinem, Carl Pope of the Sierra Club, and Wes Boyd of Moveon.com.
Some vote-swap sites have shut down after being warned by state officials that they may be in danger of violating laws, because there's no way to enforce the commitments individuals make to trade ballots.
This latest site offers a two-fer: You can vote for Gore, and then cast a "virtual vote" for Nader. The hitch is that as a condition of casting the virtual vote, the person must pledge to vote for Gore and then, get this, supply his or her driver's license number or state ID.
There is no indication how this data will be used or to whom it will be transferred. But on the surface, it looks like a bald-faced ploy for gathering info on Nader backers for Gore supporters. The Nader campaign is protesting the site to the California attorney general's office.