Green Party's Jill Stein: Our voting system is wide open for hacking

Green Party’s Jill Stein: Our Voting System is Wide Open for Hacking


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we continue with Part 2 of our conversation with Jill Stein, the former Green Party presidential candidate of 2016, of 2012 ...

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Oh, so you’re now definitively saying you were not invited to Trump Tower.

DR. JILL STEIN: No, I had no secret meetings, rendezvous. You know, I did not purchase a condo in Trump—you know, no—you know, to me, it’s just like so preposterous. We are absolutely at opposite ends politically and, you know, culturally and all the rest. I find it really interesting that there is such an effort, a consistent effort, to try to demonize me and the Green Party. And I take that as a compliment that, outside of an election season, we are being perceived as a threat, as really sort of the opposition party that the—that Democrats and Republicans are very worried about, because they know that there is a political revolt taking place right now, and there’s a movement that’s looking for a home. And the Green Party does seem to be, you know, opening its doors ...

AMY GOODMAN: How do you respond to those who say you’re a spoiler? And also, whether you have any regrets about having run?

DR. JILL STEIN: Right. So, my response is to say that—do the numbers, because Greens don’t just vote for Democrats. The numbers are very clear. Sixty-one percent of Greens would stay home if they didn’t have a Green to vote for. There were several exit polls that showed that. And conversation with Greens on the street will tell you that, as well. And of the remaining portion of Greens who would come out to vote, a substantial number of them would have voted for Donald Trump and not Democrat in the first place. So, wishing pigs fly doesn’t make them fly. You can wish that Greens had voted Democrat, but they wouldn’t vote Democrat. If you apply those numbers—and it’s something like 15 percent of my votes might have been the differential applied to Hillary Clinton—doesn’t make the difference anywhere.

Do I have regrets? You know, I always said that I would feel terrible if Donald Trump got elected, and I would feel terrible if Hillary Clinton got elected. But I feel most terrible about a political system that tried to shove two choices down our throats that people utterly rejected to, the most distrusted and disliked candidates in our history. We need a political system that can do justice to our need for, you know, an economy, a healthcare system, a climate and a world that we can survive in ...

And the bottom line here is that the solution to a compromised democracy, a democracy on life support, is not to suppress the voices of political opposition. Opposition is essential for democracy to function. And if all of the people who are bent out of shape about the “spoiled election,” instead of trying to silence political opposition, were just working to create a ranked-choice voting system in your state, that lets you rank your choices—you don’t have to worry about actually voting for who you want to vote for—the whole problem would go away. And then—you know, and then we could actually have a political system that reflects our deeply felt needs.

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what you mean, ranked-choice voting system.

DR. JILL STEIN: So, it’s a voting system. The state of Maine just passed it in the last election by voter referendum. Instead of just picking one candidate for president, or it could be for mayor or governor, it lets you rank your choices. And if your first choice loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice. So that way, you know, you can vote for an independent or third-party candidate or an underdog who really reflects the way that you feel, knowing that if that candidate loses, your vote is automatically reassigned to your second choice.

So we can actually solve this problem. Right now, people are being intimidated into thinking they have to vote their fears. But the politics of fear isn’t working out so well for us. It’s basically producing everything that we were afraid of. So, you know, we can fix the voting system. And I would say, resist the temptation, you know, that tells you that you have to silence yourself, we’ve got to be good little boys and girls, you know, and just vote for the political system that is throwing us under the bus. Instead, we can change that voting system and be able to open it up and actually have real choice.