This year’s election can be summarized into four categories: egregious comments, scandals, tax returns, and emails. The spotlight has only been shown on the “politically correct” Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton’s perfectly tailored pantsuits; however, there are still third party voters and nominees hidden in the battleground states. A few of the third party candidates are Jill Stein for the Green Party, and New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party. With a new app by California-based company Trimian Inc., their voices have never been louder.
The power of the swing states is uniting each party to specifically stump a victory for Trump. With the electoral college system, some states have more influence on the election than others. For example, presidential battleground states, like Florida, become more valuable; states where neither major political party has an overwhelming number of of support among voters, become more vulnerable in determining the final result of the presidential election.
With new app #NeverTrump, a non-swinging Clinton voter could match and swap their vote with a Third party voter in a swing state. This way, the Third party candidate gets recognized in the final tally, a vote for Clinton still gets cast in a swing state, and Trump does not win. It’s a “win-win-win”.
Founder and CEO of Trimian Inc. Amit Kumar is a registered California voter, unaligned, but visualizes himself as a Democratic-Libertarian. Kumar worked alongside fellow entrepreneur, Zach Coelius, to create the app and help the 2016 election. According to Kumar, #NeverTrump allows voters to help each other while still supporting what they believe.
“Sitting in California or New York or Illinois, your vote really doesn’t matter that much; on the other hand, voters in swing states have to contend with the fact that their third party vote might actually put Trump in office,” said Kumar.
The “#NeverTrump” app automatically sets up new users into a large chat group with all of the app users where voters can discuss strategy on their voting and potentially, and ideally, swap votes. This process of vote swapping is solely run on the honor system and trust building between users who decide to swap votes. With the advancement of technology, it has made it much easier for voters to do this.
The innovative app, creating a bond between Democratic voters and Third-party members is a great way to make sure all voices are heard; however, it happens to have a few flaws. The voter swapping app has a ratio of 5 swing state traders to 11 non-swing Clinton voters, leaving a higher rate of users from solid blue states and non-swing states than users from swing states with third party voters. The limited amount of swing state traders makes it hard for the purpose of the app to be successful in changing the game for this election.
Despite its flaws, #NeverTrump user and California voter, Eric Hulburd is an Independent and Democrat but is not supporting anyone during this election. Hulburd believes the presidential nominees of the third party need to be more involved with this process of vote swapping to help their campaign.
“[#NeverTrump] needs the support of a political organization or movement to gain attention,” said Hulburd. “At this point in the race, a savvy third party candidate could even work with the creators to get higher trade ratios to boost their national numbers and move closer to percentage required for federal campaign funding.”
Though the app was created for Clinton voters and third party voters to help each other out, the chat rooms are swarming with anti-Trump Republicans. There are even topic related chat rooms where users can discuss different issues they find important in politics. Regardless of the parties’ opposing political views on specific issues, Republicans, Democrats, and Third-Party supporters civilly converse and organize their plans to swap votes with no hostility—yet.
#NeverTrump user Barbara Clarke, who was a Jeb Bush supporter until his decision to end his Presidential campaign, now supports Evan McMullin running as an independent. Clarke heard about the app and feared that without swapping her vote for McMullin, non-swing state New Jersey would do no good.
It seems that many voters are disturbed with both candidates and layout of this year’s election. Registered as an Independent in North Carolina, #NeverTrump user Meredith McDermott is also unhappy with the candidates and is supporting Gary Johnson, but believes the new app will help her voice be heard.
“I think the spirit of unifying people with different views along the lines of #NeverTrump and offering them both an opportunity to optimize their vote in their home states is ingenious,” said McDermott.
Republicans supporting Trump, however, are outraged with the new app. Finance major at the University Kim McLaughlin is a Pennsylvania registered voter and Trump supporter.
“This type of app is ridiculous. Everyone should just vote for who they want and whoever wins, wins. Stop trying to beat around the system,” said McLaughlin.
With mixed feelings about the app, a few flaws, and a diverse mix of political views, it seems as though everyone still has the same vision that the American people have a decision to make and vote to cast.
“This election is about defeating the worst instincts that we have, internally, as human beings,” Kumar said. “They are being manifested externally as Trump. We have a duty this election.”