Swap My Vote

The importance of online activism and its ability to affect elections has taken a new turn with the setting up of ‘Swap My Vote‘.

How does Swap my Vote work?

According to its website Swap My Vote works as follows:

  1. Choose the party you would ideally vote for, and the party that you are willing to vote for tactically in your local constituency.
  2. We’ll find you a list of people with the opposite preference. Pick a partner to swap your vote with (the polls can help you see where it will make most difference).
  3. If your partner agrees to the swap, it is confirmed. We’ll put you in touch with each other’s Facebook or Twitter profiles and, if you like, you can introduce yourselves.

Working through social media sites it will team you up with someone in another constituency. So for instance if you were a pro Corbyn supporter in Scotland and you found someone in England who would like to vote SNP then you could swap your vote with them. So they would vote Labour in their English constituency and you would vote SNP in the Scottish one.

According to its Facebook site Swap My Vote gives its reasons for the initiative as addressing the problem of voter apathy and low turnout in seats where people feel their vote does not count.

“Internet platforms have opened up previously undreamed-of ways for people to collaborate and share resources. Swap my Vote aims to bring some of the best aspects of the ‘Sharing Economy’ to the very workings of democracy. A radical and practical experiment, the Swap my Vote platform uses social media to help pair voters who want to swap, each casting each other’s preferred vote where it counts for most.”

We may never know how effective this use of social media will be as it involves a very significant amount of trust which some people may find difficult to associate with Facebook and Twitter but nonetheless it is intriguing. And some people are using it.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

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3 replies »

  1. Seems to me that this would fast become a fantastic vehicle for voting fraud.

  2. As Scottie from Star Trek would say ………”I wouldna’ trust it, Captain.”
    And….looks kind-of illegal? Something not right, somehow – as with many things on Facebook. Smacks of shikanery and dodginess. And – they should just get off their arses, and their computers, and vote – why does everything have to be done via the Internet? Postal voting is a good option for those who can’t always manage to get to the polling station.
    I just don’t like the look of this option.
    I couldn’t do it anyway, as I don’t do Facebook or Twitter – and never will – however much these monsters grow so that if you’re not part of them, you are more and more limited in what you can participate in. To me, that’s a good reason not to take part in them. Exclusivity of any kind, makes my fur stand on end.
    But, I am an old bolshie, as well as an old dinosaur.

  3. Seems questionable say the least! As far as I can see (not being a lawyer, thank God!), it looks like it might well be legal, but legal or not it’s a perversion of the democratic process, definitely not right! That’s what we get in this brave new world of Facebook and the like…

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