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Newsy Staff / Andrew Lawler

Between Clinton And Trump, Some Choose To Swap Their Vote Instead

Want to vote third party, but don't want to give the candidate you hate a boost? This system might be for you.

By Eugene Daniels | October 17, 2016

You've probably heard the one about how voting for a third party in a swing state will make you a spoiler and ruin the election, right? Well, if you believe that and you're still voting third party, you might be interested in something called "vote swapping."

SEE MORE: Could Republicans Still Dump Trump? Sure, But It'd Be A Hot Mess

Here's how it works. Let's say you live in the swing state of Florida. You're not really a fan of either major party candidate, and you want to pull the lever for a third-party candidate instead, but you're worried that might help the candidate you really don't like win. 

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With vote swapping, you team up with someone in a reliable blue or red state, like New York or Texas, and trade votes. They vote for your third-party candidate, and you vote for the "lesser of two evils" candidate. 

Believe it or not, vote swapping isn't all that new. You can thank (or blame) this guy — Ralph Nader. In 2000, there was the failed Nader Trader movement. They couldn't get the word out fast enough to make a difference because the internet was still a chubby little baby. But now, there are websites and apps that help coordinate the connection for swapping.

SEE MORE: Is The Election Stressing You Out? Here's How To Survive Until Nov. 8

To be clear, there's no way to make sure your vote swapping partner is actually playing along. It's all on the honor system. But with the choices this year, there probably isn't a shortage of people in a similar predicament looking for a way out. 

It's a way for people to vote strategically. But one of the critiques against vote swapping is that it's too strategic and doesn't actually bolster third parties; it won't help change the system we have. 

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