Make or Break: Third-Party Voters

Photo Credit: Roman Voytko Barr

Kathy Karagiannis – News Writer

With the 2020 Presidential Election soon underway, the stakes are high and tensions are rising. The Washington Post exclaimed early-voting numbers have hit a record high with more than 60 percent of voters either sending in mail ballot or attending in-person polls. While some voters primarily vote either Democrat or Republican, a small section of voters decide to put their vote towards a third-party candidate.

In company with Trump and Biden, this year includes, Libertarian Party candidate, Jo Jorgensen, and Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins in the running. At the Democratic National Convention former first lady, Michelle Obama urges that voting for third-party candidates means a vote wasted. “This is not the time to withhold our votes in protest or play games with candidates who have no chance of winning,” she said.

According to the 2016 poll, “a quarter said they would have chosen Clinton, 14 percent said Trump, and 61 percent said they would not have voted.” Deciding on the ‘lesser of two evils’ than monopolizing votes on a third-party candidate are the beliefs that many Americans have. Whether or not third parties are spoiling presidential elections, the assumptions are that their votes are to be thrown away. Meanwhile, third parties continue to fight on getting their candidates on the ballot.

“Due to the winner-takes-all system in the U.S., third-party candidates are often viewed as saboteurs for the two major candidates…Libertarians who are fiscally conservative, usually draw voters from Republicans, while Greens pull votes that would otherwise go to Democrats,” said CGTN.

Many early-voter ballots have been casted throughout the many weeks of campaigning. Recent polls already have shown less interest in both Jorgensen and Hawkins’ campaigns when generated in comparison to the 2016 election.