by Dannelle D. Stevens, Election Integrity Study Group
You may recall the 2000 election where Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. The Washington Post called out Nader as a “spoiler” who drew votes from Democrats (see Nader: The spoiler effect ). Yes, there were problems with hanging chads and the Supreme Court, too. However, “the spoiler effect” was a real phenomenon in that election.
Fast forward to 2020, when the Republicans got smarter and tried out a new strategy in Florida, running “ghost” candidates, that is, not real candidates, but with enough appeal and money to pull away Democrats (in fact 6000 of them) from a legitimate Dem, and give the state senate seat to a Republican who won by 132 votes. They got caught, Ghost Candidate Scheme 2020 but still managed to fill three state Senate seats with Republicans, not Democrats. Here is another article from MSNBC, Ghost Candidates help the Florida GOP
Let’s get smarter about voting methods. In the next few months, I will be writing about alternative voting methods as ways to avoid the spoiler problem and a few other issues. I will explain Star Voting, Ranked Choice and others. Meanwhile, here is a very comprehensive article that explains Star Voting as an alternative to “winner-take-all” that is our current dominate form of voting. The voting method is broken .
Dannelle D. Stevens is Precinct Committee Person (PCP) and Neighborhood Leader in District 41 (Inner SE Portland). Her interest in civic awareness started as a high school social studies teacher and led her to being a (now retired) teacher educator from Portland State University.