Wednesday, October 21, 2020

USA Today: 'I'm voting third party in the presidential election. Don't tell me I'm wasting my vote.'

by Hannah Tomboulides, Opinion contributor 

I keep hearing I’m wasting my vote for the presidential election because I’m voting for Libertarian Party candidate Dr. Jo Jorgensen.

Here’s the wild part: One person will follow up to tell me it’s really a vote for the Democrat, and another will tell me it’s a vote for the Republican! There’s a running joke now about third-party voters getting to vote three times in one go. And when I ask for an explanation, I never really get one. “That’s just the way it is,” they say.

But is it?

Jorgensen is currently excluded from the presidential debates, because the Commission on Presidential Debates requires candidates to poll at 15% with the Commission’s selected organizations. The Commission is run by the Republican and Democratic Parties, who don’t want competition, so this criterion entirely excludes third parties by design.

In early August, volunteers all over the country got together for the “Let Her Speak” convoy to protest the Commission’s third-party exclusion.

The best way to get their attention, though, is with our votes, and Jorgensen will be on the ballot in all 50 states. The Federal Election Commission considers just 5% of the vote to be significant for their purposes, and most states offer things like ballot access at that 5% mark. In Florida, ballot access is automatic, but 5% is the threshold at which parties receive major party status...

To read editorial in full, click here.

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