Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal Government The Courts News

eBay'er Arrested For Attempting To Sell His Vote 501

The Associated Press reports that Max P. Sanders, 19, is charged with a felony for attempting to auction off his vote on eBay for the upcoming presidential election. From the article: '"Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote," said John Aiken, a spokesman for the office. "There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, 'I can be bought... It's a real shame"' Yes, that is a terrible shame, isn't it. Perhaps we should arrest, prosecute, and imprison everyone who sells their vote. The boy says it was all a joke, but prosecutors aren't laughing. Max faces up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines if he is convicted.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

eBay'er Arrested for Attempting to Sell His Vote

Comments Filter:
  • by Joe the Lesser ( 533425 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:22PM (#24061059) Homepage Journal

    The elections are anonymous.

    I could sell my vote for a million dollars, and still vote however I liked, and you would be none the wiser.

    • by SoapBox17 ( 1020345 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:27PM (#24061091) Homepage
      Actually, it may be easier than you think to sell a vote. Read more here: How Secret is Your Ballot? (1/3) [punchscan.org]. Very interesting stuff. There are lots of ways in which someone can verify that you voted the way you claimed.

      Worse than just selling your vote, this can be used for voter coercion.

      Some people think paper is just the perfect solution for voting, but really it has many problems that can be solved by electronic voting when done carefully. (And of course, when done haphazardly electronic voting has many problems that paper voting does not).
      • I would sell my vote, but Diebold already sold it for me.

        • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:30PM (#24062477) Homepage Journal

          Beware -- the beast now wears a new skin. They now call themselves "Premier Election Solutions", or PES. Unfortunately, this name change is likely enough to convince the unwashed masses that they're not one and the same.

          What's sad is that if you sell your vote, you go to jail, but if you buy a politician, you get to play golf with the judges.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by v1 ( 525388 )

            speaking of judges, it's a bit surprising we haven't seen any group take a politician to court over their sudden reversal of vote after receiving a large contribution. (bribe)

      • by Acer500 ( 846698 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:34PM (#24061679) Journal
        I was a representative for a minority party during the 2000 elections in my country (Uruguay, one of the most transparent countries in the world in that area), and while you could theoretically identify a ballot, ballot lists are pre printed, and any visible mark on the ballot disqualifies the vote, so it doesn't happen that way

        Voters choose one list from among hundreds of options available and put it into an envelope with no identifying information

        Ballots are opened in front of representatives of every party, the table head lifts every vote so representatives from each party can verify that the vote was cast, and it is entered (in 2000 it was manually, but these days it's electronic I think).)

        Hypothetical vote buyers would have to buy the table heads in every subdivision, and make sure representatives from the other parties don't notice any strange behaviour from the table head (looking for scrathes, marks or whatever identificatory information was included.) (And ours is not a 2-party system, and even the majority party is made up of dozens of smaller parties which I expect would not all be involved in the collusion) .

        But the particular pattern voting example could not happen under our system.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by ericlondaits ( 32714 )
          I live in Argentina where the election process is the same (if I understood correctly). A way in which vote coercion (and vote selling) can be done is as follows: Votes are cast inside an envelope with the signature of a couple of representatives from the table (but not always all of them)... so first you get one of those envelopes outside of the place where the voting is being done. This is not necessarily easy, but could be done if you get someone to cast a vote with a fake envelope quickly enough so it'
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mobby_6kl ( 668092 )

      Well maybe they'll actually get him on fraud charges, as he wouldn't be able to prove his vote to the potential buyer.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tgatliff ( 311583 )

      Silly kid... All Americans know that only politicians votes are for sale. Not your own.... :)

  • by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:24PM (#24061065)

    I'd have taken advantage of it, called in the media, and explained to them just how common "selling your vote" is in congress, and how there is nobody who truly represents "we the people", especially that portion of us below 30.

    • I don't think that this is flamebait. I think it's brilliant. This isn't what the guy was going for but it would definitely make the people look at people in congress being bought by lobiests. They should be arrested too, otherwise this is not the country that they kids are dying for. I don't think that the current congress represents any individual not just the people under 30.

      I wouldn't have sold it as a joke but more as a protest to the government. But I'm neither that ballsy/stupid or a U.S. citize

  • by Beached ( 52204 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:24PM (#24061067) Homepage

    So does that mean that all the professional lobbiest are going to be arrested for trying to buy votes?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:34PM (#24061681)

      The moderation on this board is pathetic. It all seems to be based on whether the mods agree or disagree with the poster, regardless of the freshness of viewpoint or strength of the arguments.

      And it's quite clear what viewpoint the mods as a group agree with.

      +5, insightful for OP? You gotta be kidding.

  • Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by linuxpyro ( 680927 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:25PM (#24061073)

    I can see how this sort of thing would be illegal, but at the same time it's not as if he's really hurting anyone or causing a huge halt to progress. It just seems like it would be a waste throw him in prison for five years over something like this.

    • Re:Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeff321 ( 695543 ) * on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:29PM (#24061121)
      That's the maximum. I'd be surprised if he does any jail time at all. The thing that sucks is having a felony on your record, and explaining your stupidity when asked about it for the rest of your life.
      • The thing that sucks is having a felony on your record, and explaining your stupidity when asked about it for the rest of your life.

        One should note that there is an automatic disqualification for most employment (and voting, ironically enough).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Howitzer86 ( 964585 )
          *IF* he is found guilty. He is innocent until proven otherwise.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Poltras ( 680608 )
            You must be new here. I mean, seriously. And in general, not here in the slashdot sense.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Xyrus ( 755017 )

            "If he is found guilty. He is innocent until proven otherwise*."

            *Some restrictions apply. Offer prohibited in some countries. If you are declared a terrorist or enemy combatant or someone in the executive just doesn't like you or on any of the hidden lists various departments have come up with the statement may not apply to you. If you are ineligible, you will be guilty until proven innocent which may take many years since you have no legal recourse to challenge your case.

            ~X~

        • Re:Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:42PM (#24061239)

          The thing that sucks is having a felony on your record, and explaining your stupidity when asked about it for the rest of your life.

          One should note that there is an automatic disqualification for most employment (and voting, ironically enough).

          and when exactly will this be properly challenged and struck down?

          if they're so keen on protecting our voting rights, then they shouldn't be able to silence people by putting a microscope to them and digging up some common everyday activity which happens to be a felony.

          What better way to silence critics of your anti-drug policy than slapping everyone who smokes marijuana with a felony charge?

          When last I checked, the constitution said nothing about smoking weed or snorting coke when they outlined the right to vote.

          • Re:Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Z34107 ( 925136 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:45PM (#24061751)

            What better way to silence critics of your anti-drug policy than slapping everyone who smokes marijuana with a felony charge?

            What better way to silence critics of your anti-theft policy than slapping everyone who steals with a felony charge?

            What better way to silence critics of your anti-murder policy than slapping everyone who murders with a felony charge?

            What better way to silence critics of your anti-speeding policy than slapping everyone who speeds with a felony charge?

            What better way to silence critics of your anti-x policy than slapping everyone who x-es with a felony charge?

            This isn't some conspiracy to disenfranchise and silence druggies. Using Schedule I drugs is a felony, and has been since Nixon's time. This isn't "putting a microsocope to them and digging up some conmon everyday activity which happens to be a felony" - this is something that is illegal for which you were convicted by a jury of your peers.

            Can any reader come up with a "common everyday activity" which just happens to be a felony? I can't, and I'm just fine with disenfranchising cokeheads.

            • Re:Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by plasmacutter ( 901737 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:58PM (#24061849)

              What better way to silence critics of your anti-drug policy than slapping everyone who smokes marijuana with a felony charge?

              What better way to silence critics of your anti-theft policy than slapping everyone who steals with a felony charge?

              What better way to silence critics of your anti-murder policy than slapping everyone who murders with a felony charge?

              What better way to silence critics of your anti-speeding policy than slapping everyone who speeds with a felony charge?

              What better way to silence critics of your anti-x policy than slapping everyone who x-es with a felony charge?

              This isn't some conspiracy to disenfranchise *snip*

              i'm sorry but it is. There is nothing inherently immoral about doing marijuana vs tobacco, there is nothing inherently immoral about speeding, and i'm sorry you can't compare victimless crimes like drugs and speeding to the active denial of a person's fundamental right to live. This is nothing more than extremist "law = morality" frothing.

              Can any reader come up with a "common everyday activity" which just happens to be a felony? I can't,

              filesharing - the net act

              liquor sales - the volstead act

              marijuana/lsd use - the nixon drug laws (i'm so sorry to tell you, but, even though I don't do this personally, it is an everyday activity for millions, and there is no proven addictive properties to either. people who use these drugs are not "Evil")

              and I'm just fine with disenfranchising cokeheads.

              Ah, so your subjective morality and insistence you have the authority to make the decisions for others has more merit than people like me, who think coke heads should have a right to buy coke if they want to. It's their body.

              Of course, simply slap a felony on any of these charges and suddenly they no longer have a voice. Fascists like you have silenced them. I'm sorry but there is no more accurate term to someone who believes they should be able to gag anyone who doesn't agree with them.

            • Re:Excessive? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by db32 ( 862117 ) on Saturday July 05, 2008 @12:07AM (#24063993) Journal

              This is very very very simple and it frightens me that you don't understand the problem. The people that get voted for are the ones who determine what constitutes a felony. The people being voted for effectively get to pick who votes. How in the fucking hell is that not a tremendous conflict of interests?! I hate to be the one to point this out to you, but the Declaration of Independence was fucking treason! The idea that you should prevent a criminal from voting based on his status as a criminal seems pretty fucking counter to the whole purpose here given that that very government was built by criminals. I wish I remember the specifics of the letter, but it is displayed proudly (for now) with the Declaration of Independence. "If we do not hang together in this endeavor we shall surely hang separately."

    • They will probably throw the book at him because of the BS vote trading to help Gore in 2000. The ACLU filed suit (well helped) and won in the 9th circuit on appeals which said something along the lines of the vote trading sites as well as the mechanisms being protected speech.

      MN has had this law for a long time (1893 I think) but I can see it being used to scare people who might participate in a vote scam and making an example of this kid is just the tool to do it.

  • hmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jmd ( 14060 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:26PM (#24061085)

    then ..... lobbying should be outlawed

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:26PM (#24061087) Homepage Journal
    Go !

    so, its ok if sale of a vote is made under other names, like 'donations', or 'lobbying', or 'support', but its not ok if it is named directly for what it is.

    you gotta love the hypocrisy that is reigning on this world.
  • by homer_s ( 799572 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:27PM (#24061097)
    People sell their vote all the time - they sell it for lower taxes, free health care, cheaper oil, etc.

    This guy just wants to cut out the middlemen.
  • by ActusReus ( 1162583 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:27PM (#24061099)
    ... eBay wouldn't have turned him in.
  • feedback... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:28PM (#24061101)

    A+++++++++++++ would vote again!

  • by fizzer82 ( 1201947 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:29PM (#24061117)
    This is absolutely ridiculous. He didn't actually sell his vote, he just put it up for sale. I would argue that its an act of exercising free speech.
    • I think that the individual has the right to decide whether it's more important for him to gain a few dollars versus influencing which party wins.

      • by zenyu ( 248067 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:50PM (#24061299)

        I think that the individual has the right to decide whether it's more important for him to gain a few dollars versus influencing which party wins.

        Sometimes individual rights collide with the collective interest. When you choose to live in a country with a government, you give up some individual rights -- in exchange you get safety for your person. The old Icelandic Republic allowed the selling and buying of votes; within a few hundred years four families had cornered the market and civil war was the inevitable result. New democracies like the US don't allow the buying and selling of votes for a good reason. As a civilization, we learn from the mistakes of the past and try to avoid repeating them.

        • by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @06:07PM (#24062339)

          Then why do we accept the idea of lobbyists? Are they not as corrupt as the "4 families in Iceland"?

          The politicians do not listen to the will of the people, in exception when a side offers lots of handouts. If I recall correctly, the founders said that poor people should not vote because they will vote for whomever gives the biggest handout, which is what we're seeing. After all, the inequity of poverty in the USA indicates that there's more poor than rich, so it'd be the "2 wolves and 1 sheep deciding what to have for supper".

          Perhaps Heinlein's idea in Starship Troopers where one can vote after serving in the military is the proper choice. It'd be a "poverty check", intelligence test, and understanding our country all wrapped in one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      a couple here in Vancouver put their newborn girl up for sale on Craigslist for $10000 a few weeks ago and they were charged. Of course they said it was a joke, but the point is that it is still against the law, just like selling your vote is illegal in the US.

    • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:13PM (#24061493)

      This is absolutely ridiculous. He didn't actually sell his vote, he just put it up for sale.

      That is totally true. This is thoughtcrime. No actual crime was committed. We do not know if he actually intended to complete the transaction, or simply highlight the fact that lobbyists buy votes all the time.

  • Arrested? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:30PM (#24061133)
    Hmm, there is a state law against selling your vote? I'd love to see that challenged all the way to the supreme court. I very much doubt it would hold up. Aren't we all selling our votes in a sense, by giving them to a candidate who promises us something we wish to happen. If I vote for Obama because I would benefit from his health care plan, am I not exchanging my vote for something that is valuable to me?
    • I think the idea here is that you're placing your support behind the option you think would be most beneficial to you and hopefully others. Other wise the very rich could buy up all the votes. Oh, right. Never mind.
      • But the very rich buying my vote might be the most beneficial option for me, at least in my judgment. So you are making me vote for my second most beneficial option because you don't like the first one? Ok, my second choice is voting for the candidate of certain skin color because I'm a racist. Oh, you don't like that one either? Hmm, it seems like you want me to vote for the option that is most beneficial to somebody else, not me
  • Land of the free? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by muttoj ( 572791 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:31PM (#24061139)
    It's your vote. You should be able to do whatever you want to do with your vote. It should be a crime if you did not use your vote at all.
    • It's your vote. You should be able to do whatever you want to do with your vote. It should be a crime if you did not use your vote at all.

      Ummm... I strongly support everyone voting, but what if what someone doesn't want to cast a vote? That's a valid use of their vote as measured by the second sentence of your post, and is in direct contradiction to the third sentence.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arminw ( 717974 )

        .... but what if what someone doesn't want to cast a vote....

        Maybe, if there was a "nobody" and/or a "none of the above" option on every ballot, some of those who now don't vote could express their disgust or disdain with for the candidates on the ballot. As long as money decides who makes it into office and who doesn't for lack of money, a lot of people rightfully feel that voting is a waste of time. To make voting truly worthwhile, money should be taken out of the election system.

        On the other hand, maybe

    • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )

      It's your vote. You should be able to do whatever you want to do with your vote. It should be a crime if you did not use your vote at all.

      ..and it should be a crime if you did not cast your vote to The Party. Welcome back home, comrade!

    • You don't have a vote. You have a right to vote. You can't sell that right any more than you can sell yourself into slavery.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lysse ( 516445 )

      Your last two sentences contradict each other. "Not using it at all" is certainly covered by "do whatever you want", regardless of how you feel about those who don't vote.

      My own view is that if I am free to vote, I am necessarily free to not vote; otherwise, voting is as uncoerced as paying tax, and it's but a small step from there to insisting that you must check one of the little boxes. Which raises a question - how does one spoil an electronic ballot? (Or do the voting machines silently convert spoiled "

  • by Rooked_One ( 591287 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:32PM (#24061141) Journal
    In the previous elections you had black and white... ummm.. ok - no pun intended here so .... theres nothing to see here - goto 10

    10 In this election each candidate will pretty much the same thing - there will be subtleties of course, but it reminds me heavily of the futurama episode where the al gore-ish looking twins were battling for presidency of the world - basically agreeing with what each other said.
    • by j79zlr ( 930600 )
      John Jackson: "It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I'm against those things that everybody hates."
      Jack Johnson: "Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said."
      John Jackson: "I say your three cent titanium tax goes too far."
      Jack Johnson: "And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn't go too far enough."
  • by Asmor ( 775910 )

    One of George Carlin's bits went...

    Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal? Why is it illegal to sell something that's perfectly legal to give away?

    And whenever I heard that bit, I'd always think about selling votes as a counter argument.

    RIP Carlin.

    • Two reasons I can think of off the top of my head:

      1. It's not about the selling of fucking, per se, it's about the conditions which prostitutes are usually subjected to (pimps, madams, etc), and a misguided society trying to protect them from them.
      2. And then there's the religious proscription. Which I'm having trouble finding in the Bible, but gosh darnit, all those Christians hate prostitution it seems, so it must be in the Bible.

      Of course, the first reason completely ignores the fact that it's going to go on

      • You'd be wanting to look for passages on adultery.
        • How is it adultery if an unmarried woman gets it on with an unmarried man? Oh, right. Fornication. Still, isn't it better to spill your seed in the belly of a whore than on the ground?

          After all...

          Every sperm is sacred,
          every sperm is great.
          If a sperm is wasted
          God gets quite irate...

  • Democracy is only as good as the law that makes it be respected.

    No one should be allowed to sell votes, and noone should be allowed to buy them.

    I mean, guys, this is modern democracy 101. America invented the rules. This is a good thing.

    Now, had they had the same spirit in bushes questioned election, we would be in a different world now.

    THAT is irritating.

  • Silly kid (Score:4, Funny)

    by Stevenovitch ( 1292358 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:32PM (#24061155)
    You get MUCH more money for American Idol votes...
  • by grocer ( 718489 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:36PM (#24061187)
    Think about how much it would mess with the system if everyone in Ohio or Florida decided to swap their vote for the Republicrat or Demopublican candidates for the Libertatian or Green Party candidate...ooooh, it makes all fuzzy inside. But I really doubt there's enough people who are really willing to mess with the system and it make it worthwhile.
  • How ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CdBee ( 742846 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:36PM (#24061189)
    You can sell out your nation to big business and crazy religion but one individual can't sell his own vote...
  • Oh cry me a river (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El_Muerte_TDS ( 592157 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:37PM (#24061203) Homepage

    "There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, 'I can be bought.'"

    And people have died for your country for your right to freedom. Freedom is also your right to handle your vote you want to. Who are you [John Aiken] to decide how people make up on who they vote.

    PS, I'm not an USA citizen, hence the "your".

  • Open For Lobbying (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tengu1sd ( 797240 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:38PM (#24061207)
    He should have opened his vote to lobbying, asked for a few trips, discount loans, contributions and so on. Nothing illegal there, Congress runs like this all year.
  • by Vellmont ( 569020 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:48PM (#24061275) Homepage

    This sounds like a play by the Secretary of State to win some political points than anything else. Consider the following:

    1. No money changed hands.
    2. No bids were actually placed.
    3. The Secretary of State is an elected official.
    4. The SoS office is playing this up big with statements about VFWs and trivializing votes like they caught some big criminal here.
    5. The ebayer is some dumb college kid who's either making a statement, or a dumb joke, or both.

    As far as the "people died to preserve your right to vote", I'd say those people also died to protect peoples rights of expression. This dumb stunt sounds a lot more like expression than an honest attempt at vote selling and profiteering.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by slashkitty ( 21637 )
      You can make a statement without actually participating in voter fraud. There's free speech and the whole internet to run around saying out bad things are.

      When things like this pop up and the authorities find out, they HAVE to prosecute. If something like this became systematic, we'd have a real problem on our hands.

    • This sounds like a play by the Secretary of State to win some political points than anything else.

      Yeah, good call.

      I was thinking: you only see this kind of frantic throwing-the-book-at-him, in this case well before any crime was actually consummated, if the person is drawing our attention to a dangerous idea. The idea, in this case, might be any of:

      • your one vote doesn't matter
      • if an election were so close that your vote did matter, then there would be a recount and it would stop mattering again
      • political leaders sell their votes as a matter of course
      • the two dominant political parties are not actually opposed to each other

      Our current social pattern has some spots which, if they became widely known, would cause a collapse. You can tell you've found one when people jump your case just for broaching the subject.

  • How much different (Score:3, Insightful)

    by handmedowns ( 628517 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {elgolper.werdna}> on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:49PM (#24061285) Homepage
    is this from lobbyists?

    We've got an entire political system built-up around corporations and special interest groups persuading and drafting laws that will directly affect citizens...

    If we're going to arrest people, can we start with the Microsofts and the General Motors of the world and then if we have any space left in the prisons, we'll work out what to do with the kids?
  • I don't get it, it is 'legal' for Politicians to 'sell' their vote to lobbyists, but a citizen can't do the same.

  • Children voting? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PinkPanther ( 42194 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:51PM (#24061309)

    The boy says it was all a joke...

    Since when is a 19 year old, of age to vote, considered a "boy"?

  • The Real Travesty. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PakProtector ( 115173 ) <cevkiv AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 04, 2008 @03:56PM (#24061359) Journal

    "Fundamentally, we believe it is wrong to sell your vote," said John Aiken, a spokesman for the office. "There are people that have died for this country for our right to vote, and to take something that lightly, to say, 'I can be bought.'" [...] "It's a real shame"

    I'm sorry, but my grandfather fought in both Korea and Vietnam, received the Purple Heart, and rose to the rank of Command Sargent Majour. He was also a life long Republican and a staunch Conservative. Old School Conservative, not this 'neo-con' crap.

    And my grandfather, one of those men who fought and came close to dying for this right to vote, would find this person's arrest a travesty of what he fought for, because he also fought the that man's right to do whatever he wanted with his vote, include selling it.

  • Sure, its wrong to solicit to buy votes, but why cant i offer to sell my vote?

    its mine.. I should be able to with it as i please. Isn't that part of freedom?

  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:33PM (#24061665) Homepage

    ...out of his vote, instead of throwing it away on a candidate who is trying to BUY his vote with nothing more than empty promises...

  • by Requiem18th ( 742389 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:38PM (#24061705)

    This is the perfect form of public protest for an slashdotter (you don't have to get away from the computer).

      Everybody on the US please! put your vote on sell on ebay, report here (and in wikileaks?) for coordination. When the police come to arrest you and you are in court don't simply say it is a joke, say it is an act of protest at the current election system, point to the people doing the same here.

      A judge can ignore the rights of a kid but not a massive protest from the human wave known as /.!

  • It's called fraud (Score:3, Informative)

    by DynaSoar ( 714234 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @04:46PM (#24061759) Journal

    It's not that he's selling his vote, it's that as an individual citizen's electoral vote it's pretty much worthless. Now, if it were worth something, such as what lobbyists and industry can offer politicians, instead of being arrested he's be rewarded with, say, being allowed to deduct cost of getting his vote sold from his taxes as a business expense.

    Real people can't compete with the artificial people known as corporations because the corporations can mount a tough defense. To do so they'll call on the watch dogs they've already purchased in the form of the existing politicians and laws.

    That said "I was only kidding" is a terrible defense that nobody should be expected to believe. If one is to attempt this, it is best done in the form of verifiable protected speech: parody. That requires being able to site specific things one is parodying (web sites, TV ads, etc.).

  • by mrroot ( 543673 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:06PM (#24061913)
    It is illegal to sell your vote, but not illegal to buy your vote [barackobama.com].
  • by cenonce ( 597067 ) <anthony_t@mac.c3.14om minus pi> on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:48PM (#24062221)

    Ugh... this is why District Attorneys drive me crazy (and, as a Public Defender, I deal with them regularly). Using an 1893 law to prosecute a college student... "Fundamentally," as they say, that makes them a bunch of a-holes! If you ever wanted to deal with a group of people who think in binary (on/off, black/white, etc.), work with DAs on a regular basis. Absolutely, no sense of humor...

    With a law that old, however, I think it could at the very least be challenged on 1st Amendment grounds. Afterall, isn't "selling" your vote just a political statement as to the complete lack of difference your vote makes?

  • Contest (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joebert ( 946227 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @05:51PM (#24062245) Homepage
    I'm holding a contest to decide which candidate I want to vote for. I'm broke, so the economy is important to me. Whoever is able to raise the most money to give to me will obviously be the one best suited to make the economy work in my favor & I will naturally want to vote for them.


    I can't help but wonder what anyone could say if it was worded like that, lobbyists seem to be getting away with officials putting it like that.
  • then arrest everyone in Congress that took money from lobbyists in order to vote for or against certain bills in Congress. Don't just arrest the little people but the big ones as well.

  • Maybe (Score:3, Funny)

    by MrKaos ( 858439 ) on Friday July 04, 2008 @07:57PM (#24062975) Journal
    he just wasn't using it.

The moon is a planet just like the Earth, only it is even deader.

Working...