"I moved to Texas 26 years ago and have never had a single vote for president count. I have often felt like not voting at all. I wish we had an Electoral College change like Colorado is talking about. It is just not fair. My son is a 17 year old senior who will not not turn 18 before the presidential election. He has done nothing but complain about not being able to vote. He is a Kerry supporter. I haven't told him that his vote wouldn't count anyway. I don't want to possibly make him lose interest in voting in the future. He tells me that announcing that he is a Kerry supporter at school gets him ridiculed and attacked. I was very thankful to have heard about votepair.org this morning. It gives me some hope and I will certainly be passing this information on to others who feel as helpless as I do. Tired of being left out of the process."
-Barbara & Family
More Stories from Participants
Sample Letter to the Editor
The 2004 presidential race is so tight, and the outcome so critical, that all aspects of the election process should be openly discussed. Although the NAME OF PAPER has covered the election and related events in YOUR STATE, an important movement is underway that deserves attention: strategic voting through www.votepair.org.
Through its Web site, this effort builds a coalition of progressives across both states and political parties. Democrats in states that are safe for George W. Bush (such as Texas) or John Kerry (such as New York) "pair up" with David Cobb, Ralph Nader or Michael Badnarik supporters in swing states, where a handful of votes could make the difference between a Bush or Kerry victory (such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Florida). Votepair.org arranges matches among these voters, allowing pairs to get to know each other and to develop a level of trust that each side will fulfill his/her pledge. In the end, progressive voters vote their conscience while also helping to defeat George W. Bush.
A key motivation behind www.votepair.org is an issue that readers of NAME OF PAPER should be greatly concerned about: the U.S. electoral system does not accurately reflect voter preference. Winner-take-all elections make spoilers out of third-party candidates, the Electoral College overrides the popular vote, and the election is decided in a handful of swing states.
Many voters are asking for a better way to elect our President. Votepair.org believes it is essential for the nation to move toward a system that actually reflects a tenet of any democracy: "every vote counts" (see http://www.votepair.org/votingreform.php).
The election season is a busy time for the media, but NAME OF PAPER has a responsibility to ensure that its readers get as much information as possible about their options and how they can help support fair elections, including through www.votepair.org.