This is not the election to vote third party

Your vote has bigger implications than just the candidate.

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Photo A. Woodward

A graphic illustration depicting a person questioning who they will vote for.

Anna Woodward, Editor-in-Chief

As the election gets closer, there are more and more implications and encouragement regarding voting. Despite Trump and Biden taking the spotlight as candidates, third parties still reign a force that is collecting votes as usual.

I prefer the idea of a multi-party system, mainly because the division between Democrats and Republicans has caused too much tension and hate in America. But in this election, don’t vote third party. It is not going to do anything for whatever cause you think is important enough to vote for someone that isn’t going to win, or even come close.

Of course, you’re welcome to vote for whoever you want, but in this case, your vote has much larger implications than “oh, this candidate and I don’t agree on everything, so I’m going to vote for someone obscure.”

You’re not just voting for a President this election. You’re voting for how our government will deal with COVID-19, because it’s not going to wave goodbye on New Year’s Eve. You’re voting for Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s replacement on the Supreme Court, which will impact generations to come regardless of whoever is in office. You’re voting for what our government will do to combat the pressing impacts of climate change.

This year is going to define our country and our politics more than ever, and voting without considering every aspect of your vote’s result is uneducated and disappointing.

Even though I don’t completely agree with all of Joe Biden’s policies, or what he has done or said, I would vote for him without hesitation if I was 18. There’s a reason why people are saying to settle for Biden. You’re never going to agree with everything a politician does, but that’s inevitable. Voting third party isn’t a solution to disagreeing with a politician from one of the two main parties in such a pivotal election.

I’m not saying ignore the opinions and actions of a politician that you disagree with, but let’s be objective. Does Biden have the same solutions I would choose if I were president? Not exactly. But does he care about a lot of the same issues that I do and will at least attempt to make progress in alleviating those issues? Yes. That is my point. No politician is ever going to do exactly what you want, but some progress is better than none.

Concerning this election, I’m going to be blunt. If you vote third party, your vote is essentially not going to do anything. In 2016, Libertarian Gary Johnson won about 3.3% of the popular vote, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein won 1.1% (fairvote.org). While this did come out to over a million people voting third party, it still didn’t make a dent in comparison to the votes for Trump and Clinton.

This election isn’t the time to make a statement by voting third party. It will have lasting impacts and not agreeing with everything the Democrat or Republican candidate says is not a reason to rule them out completely. A third party candidate is not going to be able to compete with one of the two larger parties, and if you’re in between voting for a Democrat/Republican and a third party candidate, you might as well use your vote for the candidate that actually has a chance of winning.

Voting is a privilege, and not thinking thoroughly and seriously about the impact your vote will have is irresponsible.