The Student News Website of Francis Howell North High School.
A+protester+holds+a+sign+in+support+of+Jill+Stein+before+the+presidential+debate+at+Washington+University+on+Oct.+9.+Many+protesters+attended+in+support+of+opening+the+debate+to+the+third+party+candidates.+%28Photo+by+Alex+Rowe%29
A protester holds a sign in support of Jill Stein before the presidential debate at Washington University on Oct. 9. Many protesters attended in support of opening the debate to the third party candidates. (Photo by Alex Rowe)

A protester holds a sign in support of Jill Stein before the presidential debate at Washington University on Oct. 9. Many protesters attended in support of opening the debate to the third party candidates. (Photo by Alex Rowe)

A protester holds a sign in support of Jill Stein before the presidential debate at Washington University on Oct. 9. Many protesters attended in support of opening the debate to the third party candidates. (Photo by Alex Rowe)

Voting Third Party is an Option

November 2, 2016

The 2016 presidential election has been nothing less than a circus and a cruel joke to our constitutional republic. With candidates flipping over and over on different policies, blatantly lying to the public and so many more issues with the current candidates, it has not only shamed the American people, but it has made the U.S. a laughing stock across the globe. As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton wait to see the results of the election in just six days, most Americans will likely just be happy that the 2016 presidential election will finally be over. However, it doesn’t always need to be that way.

With Clinton and Trump reaching historic unfavorable ratings, 55.1 percent for Clinton and 58.5 percent for Trump according to the Real Clear Politics average, third party candidates have received more attention than usual. Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson has been floating around 10 percent national support and Green Party candidate Jill Stein has been around 5 percent. These aren’t small numbers, given the fact that Johnson received only 1 percent of the popular vote in 2012.

Every time an election comes around, typical Republican and Democrat voters will say that “a vote for Johnson is a vote for Clinton” or “a vote for Stein is a vote for Trump” or vice versa, as they believe that one should vote strictly for the lesser of two evils to keep the other out of office. However, this is simply just not the case. First of all, the simple fact is that the vote falls under the name of the candidate that the person votes for. Not “they voted for Stein, add a tally for Trump” or “they voted for Johnson, count it for Clinton.”

Secondly, a voter should vote for a candidate that represents their values. If someone supported Bernie Sanders in the primary and can’t stomach the prospect of supporting Hillary Clinton, they should look into supporting Jill Stein. Or if someone voted for Ted Cruz in the primary and they vomit at the thought of a Trump presidency, they should look into the idea of voting for Gary Johnson. There are too many candidates on the ballot to narrow it down to just two.

Lastly, voters should pick a candidate that they can feel good about supporting. Feel good about supporting Trump or Clinton? Fine. Feel good about supporting Johnson, Stein or any other candidate on the ballot? That’s good too. If one can truly look at a candidate and say “that’s someone that I can get behind,” they should support that candidate. It’s not a wasted vote if someone supports a candidate they believe in. A wasted vote is one for someone that they don’t morally support.

No matter whom voters support, they should have the moral capacity to be able to stand up and voice support for that candidate. Don’t vote for a candidate that you don’t believe in. If that means writing in a candidate that you supported in the primary, then do it. Vote for someone that you can stand up for, for someone that you agree with. Vote for someone that you believe in.

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