Vote-Auction: Capturing the B2C Market of the Election Industry

[Berlin, GERMANY] The operators of the vote-auction.com Web site, who sell
votes for the American presidential election, have dedicated themselves to
satirically “combining the American principles of democracy and capitalism.”
Last week the election site had to close by judicial order and it has since
been hosted in Austria. But according to the Chicago Board of Elections,
the Web site is still breaking the law even at its new address. “This offer
is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” says Tom Leach, a member of the board, “and
it’s in contempt of court.” After the judicial order, the site operators
removed the term “auction” from the site and now refer to a “donation for
the political engagement of the voters.” de.internet.com spoke with
the Austrian vote sellers.

de.internet.com: Your satirical concept of auctioning off U.S.
absentee votes to the highest bidder brought the U.S. Justice Department into
the picture and your server had to be moved out of the country. Did you
expect such a strong headwind?

vote-auction.com: Not to such an extent, no. But we’re not naove,
we didn’t expect people not to react to it. What we find alarming are the
extreme tactics. No one is talking to us and anyone who has the slightest
thing to do with it is being taken to court.

de.internet.com: What kind of reactions have you received from those
who use your site? How is business going?

vote-auction.com: The reactions are very polarizing as you might
expect. There has been some hate mail from the USA and many many letters of
support. The letters in which people ask how they can buy votes are also
very interesting.

de.internet.com: Your offer seems to shake the very foundations of
parliamentary democracy in the USA?

vote-auction.com: We’re asking ourselves that question too. We
simply say: we didn’t invent the election industry, we just want to capture
the B2C market. And there’s a lot of money and a lot of power behind it.

de.internet.com: Thank you for the interview.

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