Fusion

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Fusion is the process by which votes cast for two or more ballot lines in an election are summed to form a single total for one candidate. Fusion is legal in seven states: Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, and Vermont. New York has the most numerous examples of fusion with active minor parties intended for the purpose of fusion such as the Conservative Party, Working Families Party, Right to Life Party, and former Liberal Party.

As an example of how this works, consider the New York returns for 2000. George W. Bush was listed on the ballot as the nominee of each the Republican Party, and Conservative Party. Al Gore was the nominee of each the Democratic Party, Liberal Party, and Working Families Party. Pat Buchanan was listed on the ballot for each Right to Life Party, and Buchanan Reform Party. The table below show the fusion results:


PartyVote BushPartyVote GorePartyVote Buchanan
Republican2,258,577Democratic3,942,215Right to Life25,175
Conservative144,797Liberal77,087Buchanan Reform6,424
Working Families 88,395
Total2,403,374Total4,107,697Total31,599


Fusion of Presidential Candidates requires the Presidential Electors pledged to the party's ballot line to be the same. As an example, in the New York returns for 2004, Ralph Nader ran on two ballot lines (Independence and Peace & Justice). However, since the electors pledged to the two parties were different, these votes can not be fused for the purpose of choosing Presidential Electors.

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