Skip to Content

Fusion Voting

Fusion voting allows a candidate’s name to appear on multiple parties’ ballot lines, and to combine his or her votes from those lines.

Origin of “Fusing Voting”

The practice was widespread in the 19th century, as Democrats benefited from fusion tickets with populist parties, but now remains legal in only eight states.

In those states, minor parties will often agree to cross-endorse a major party’s candidate in exchange for influence on the candidate’s platform.

Under fusion voting, parties, which may have distinct ideological underpinnings or political platforms, can converge on a single candidate who they believe embodies a blend of their core principles.

This allows smaller or third parties to maintain their distinct political identities while supporting a candidate who has a realistic chance of winning in a predominantly two-party system.

From a strategic standpoint, fusion voting serves as a tool for minor parties to exert influence over major party candidates.

By endorsing a major party candidate, a minor party can signal its approval of certain aspects of the candidate’s platform, potentially swaying the candidate to adopt policies or stances that align with the minor party’s interests.

This creates a dynamic where major parties might court minor parties for their endorsement, leading to a more diverse and inclusive political discourse.

Use of “Fusion Voting” in a sentence

  • In the recent state elections, the Green Party and the Democratic Party engaged in fusion voting, allowing their shared candidate to appear on the ballot under both party names, thereby broadening her appeal to a wider spectrum of voters.
  • The concept of fusion voting has sparked debate among political analysts, as it blurs traditional party lines and creates unique alliances between major and minor political parties.
  • During the campaign, the independent candidate’s popularity surged when both the Libertarian and Republican parties decided to utilize fusion voting, a strategic move that consolidated their support and significantly increased his visibility on the ballot.