Jill Stein? Never heard of her…

First of all, I think people should check out this presidential candidate for 2016.  Now that you’ve seen that, I can go on my spiel about politics.

I took a few politics courses and learned a bit there (but claim no incredible knowledge in the area) and began to lament the way our country circles around a 2-party system because of the whole voter plurality and electoral college thing that goes on (ie. 48% popular vote can still win the presidency).  I realize that voting for a third party candidate may be the most ineffectual way to combat this, but as a citizen of the United States of America, I need to exercise the only power I have for change: the power of the vote.  Of course only one vote doesn’t make a difference, but if people keep telling themselves that then voter turnout keeps dropping.  While some countries in Europe have a turnout in the 90th percentile, the US has recently been around 60% for presidential elections, and even lower for general elections.

Frankly, I personally get annoyed when people who didn’t vote complain about the voting results.  Sure, it’s rare that 1 single vote could be a determining factor, but 40% of the eligible population deciding to vote instead of not vote could change the tide of Congress and the Presidency.  Of course, voting is not without its trials.  Being an out-of-state student for 4 years, I understand how difficult it can be to vote.  It was a difficult process just applying to vote absentee, let alone get all the paperwork filled out precisely without having it sent back the day before the election because you forgot to check a box.  But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t at least TRY.

Now in the past I have always shied away from voting for third party candidates after hearing the horror story of the Bush/Gore/Nader situation.  But as I’ve gotten older and done more research into our political system, it seems the only way to affect any real change is by a) eliminating the Electoral College, and b) actually voting, even if it means voting for a third party that’s bound to lose.  Perhaps they will lose.  But maybe, just maybe, if 10% of the population votes for a third party candidate, the rest of the system will be so shocked that things will start to change.

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