Announcement: Policy Regarding Opt-Outs
- There has been a great deal of debate lately on the issue of whether those
who sign up for the Free State Project but opt out of all states but the one
in which they already live should be considered Members (with the right to
vote), or just Friends.
The number of people currently affected by this issue is quite small.� As of
a few days ago, here are the numbers of people who live in candidate states
and have opted out of all candidate states but their own:
Number of Alaskans who opted out of all states except Alaska: 8
Number of Delawareans " " " " " " " Delaware: 13
New Hampshire: 20
North Dakota: 1
South Dakota: 0
Total: 60=under 2% of total membership
Though the problem is small in its impact, a number of participants are
concerned about the potential of "one-state recruiting" for skewing the
Until now, we have considered people who opted out of all states but their
own to be FSP Members
with the right to vote.� However, an examination of the Participation
Guidelines and Statement of Intent reveals that when one signs up to
participate in the Free State Project, one agrees to "move" to the state
chosen by all FSP participants as detailed in the Guidelines.� But those who
live in a candidate state
and opt out of all states but their own are not agreeing to "move".
The counterargument is that those who sign up and opt out of all states but
their own are still going to be real activists, so that it doesn't matter
whether they already live there or not.� But we don't really
know this.� In fact, it seems there is the potential for people to sign up
as "paper participants", trying to get
thousands of freedom lovers to move to their state and become active, while
they themselves have to do nothing.� We're sure that many of those who have
opted out of all states but their own really are true
activists for freedom, but maintaining in the future a general policy of
accepting everyone who opts out of all states but his own presents an
unreasonable temptation for "Free Staters in name only" to sign up
and disrupt the state choice process.
Accordingly, the Board has decided unanimously to go with the precise,
correct wording of the Statement of Intent and, from now on, count to be FSP
Members (with the right to vote) *only* those people who love
freedom enough to actually be willing to cross state lines for it. People
who sign up and opt out of all states but the one in which they already
reside will be considered Friends of the FSP.
However, this decision is not retroactive.� This clarification will become
effective starting Wednesday, April 16.� Those who signed up before that
date and have been considered Members even though they've opted out of all
states but their own (the 60 or so people mentioned above) will remain
Members with the right to vote.
Thanks for everyone's feedback and discussion on this matter. We appreciate
all the time and attention our members give to making sure the Free State
Project is a success.
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