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PRESS RELEASE: ISwitched.Org Launches Virtual Green Party Presidential Nomination Primary

ISwitched.Org is launching a "virtual" Green Party Presidential Nomination Primary to highlight Green candidates excluded from's "primary"; allow Green Party members to show early support for candidates; and demonstrate Instant Runoff Voting.
PRESS RELEASE: ISwitched.Org Launches Virtual Green Party Presidential Nomination Primary
For Immediate Release

Contact: Thomas Leavitt, co-founder, ISwitched.Org at 408-591-3342 or info (at)

June 25th, 2003

SANTA CRUZ, CA - ISwitched.Org announced today that it is launching a "virtual" Green Party Presidential Nomination Primary. The ISwitched.Org Primary has three goals: highlighting actual and potential Green Party presidential candidates that were excluded from the "virtual primary"; allowing Green Party members and sympathizers to demonstrate early support for particular candidates; and demonstrating the use of Instant Runoff Voting, a system which allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, thereby addressing major flaws in the "plurality" system used by and in most American elections (such as the potential for a "split" in the "progressive" vote between Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich highlighted in commentary on the "primary").

"MoveOn.Org has demonstrated the viability of the 'virtual primary' concept, but unfortunately, their failure to utilize an Instant Runoff Voting based system, and their decision to focus exclusively on candidates currently seeking the Democratic Party nomination left many progressive voters disenfranchised and limits the credibility of their results in the eyes of the public. ISwitched.Org seeks to address these deficiencies by offering a wider range of actual and potential choices to progressives of all parties and demonstrating the beneficial nature of IRV when selecting from multiple candidates," stated Thomas Leavitt, co-founder of ISwitched.Org. "It is particularly important to note that, combined, Gore and Nader registered the strongest 'left of center' vote since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and that if IRV had been in place in 2000, it is very likely that Gore would be President today, Nader would have received over 5% of the vote. and the Green Party would have qualified for Federal matching funds in 2004 - all infinitely better outcomes for the progressive movement than what actually occured. With the increasing strength of the Green Party, voting reform that encourages democracy without 'splitting' the vote or 'spoiling' it is one of the critical issues facing progressives today -'s failure to use IRV in its electoral process is extremely disappointing, and we hope to encourage them to adopt it for future primaries by providing a working example of how it can be done."

The ISwitched.Org Primary has been implemented using the DemoChoice voting system, an open-source software package written by Dave Robinson and released under the GNU General Public License. DemoChoice offered ISwitched.Org three compelling benefits: an GPL open source license, scalability (the DemoChoice web site recommends only hosting your own copy of their code if you anticipate exceeding 50,000 votes) and the ability to utilize IRV when casting and tallying votes. This software has been in active use since 1999 and is sponsored by the Center for Voting and Democracy, a prominent non-profit voting reform advocacy organization. "We are pleased to be able to offer voters a tested solution that implments Instant Runoff Voting in a clear and simple fashion," said Thomas. Disclaimer: this site and this project is not associated with the Center for Voting and Democracy or David Robinson in any way other than the use of IRV and DemoChoice software.

The candidates initially listed in the ISwitched.Org primary (more may be added during the initial "registration" period, which will last until the evening of July 2nd) were selected on the basis of declared interest in running, as expressed to the Green Party of the United States' Presidential Exploratory Committee, declared intent to run elsewhere, and the site manager's personal evaluation that the substantial support exists for their candidacy among Green Party members and sympathizers nationwide. "Substantial debate exists within the Green Party not only over whether a candidate should be nominated, but who that candidate might be. We expect the results of the ISwitched.Org Virtual Primary to reflect this, and we welcome and encourage participation from all those seeking to influence the party's choice of nominee, including supporters of NOTA (None Of The Above)," said Thomas, "Democracy is best served by a wide range of choices. Just as the Green Party seeks to expand the scope of political dialogue and broaden participation in the American electoral process, ISwitched.Org hopes to expand the discussion among progressives over who to nominate, and encourage participation in the selection process by the broadest possible audience."

The candidates, and their web sites (when known), are listed below, along with related resources.

The ISwitched.Org web site may be reached on the web at

Voters can register for the ISwitched.Org Green Party Presidential Nomination Primary at

CANDIDATE WEB SITES (in no particular order, may or may not be official)

David Cobb - - has communicated interest to the Green Party Presidential Exploratory Committee (PEC)
Paul Glover - - has communicated interest to the Green Party Presidential Exploratory Committee (PEC)
Lorna Salzman - - has declared she is running
The Nader Page - - has communicated interest to the Green Party Presidential Exploratory Committee (PEC)
Draft Nader 2004 - - grassroots effort to draft Nader (again)
Draft Cynthia McKinney Web Site - - not official campaign site; level of interest is unclear, has been in communication with many Green Party members
Dennis Kucinich for President - - in communication with the PEC
Howard Dean for President - - no indication of interest in Green Party nomination


DemoChoice Web Site -
Dave Robinson personal web site -
Center for Voting and Democracy (CVD) -


L.A. Weekly Interview with Dave Robinson -
CVD web page on Instant Runoff Voting -


Green and Growing: 2004 In Perspective - - unofficial document widely circulated within the Green Party containing a detailed examination of issues raised by a Green Party candidacy in 2004 (or lack thereof).
Green Party Presidential Election Committee (PEC) web site -
PEC Status Report for May 1st, 2003 -

About ISwitched.Org

Launched in May of 2003, ISwitched.Org is dedicated to telling the stories of progressive Green activists at the grassroots of the party. It can be reached on the web at The site's co-creators can be reached via email at info (at), or telephone at 408-591-3342. ISwitched.Org's look and feel was designed by Gunilla Leavitt, who is a freelance web designer (samples of her work can be found at with over 250 sites to her credit. Submissions to the site are encouraged, and may be sent via email to profiles (at) for consideration by the editors.

About Thomas and Gunilla Leavitt, ISwitched.Org co-founders

Thomas and Gunilla Leavitt are progressive activists who have been responsible for the design and creation of numerous advocacy media web sites, both of their own creation, and on behalf of various organizations they work with. Among these are, a site dedicated to documenting the truth about ultra right wing talk show host Michael Savage - and which has precipitated a $500,000 lawsuit against them by Talk Radio Networks, Inc. (the company that syndicates "The Michael Savage Show") in an attempt to shut it down, and (a site dedicated to countering cheap shot anti-French bias in American media), both of which have received national attention. Gunilla is an experienced web design professional with over 250 web sites to her credit since 1994. Her husband Thomas complements her design talents by bringing his talents at writing and concept development to the editing and creation of original and existing content.

A HTML version of this press release is available on the web at

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