Are third party votes viable options?

Lauri Hoedl, Opinion Editor

Many voters who are unsatisfied with the current presidential candidates are looking for another option as the election approaches. They are seeking a candidate that truly represents them.

The same voters are now turning towards third parties, but are they “wasting their votes?”

Yes, a third party is not currently a viable option. Though many will still view it as one.

Some may vote third party as a way to get revenge on the DNC, some because they feel as though they have nowhere else to turn, and others because they genuinely believe in the candidate’s potential for success.

No matter what the reasoning, third party votes are rising and expected to outnumber their results in the 2012 election.

In CNN’s four-way convention poll, Gary Johnson won 9 percent of voters and Jill Stein won 5 percent. Candidates need at least 15 percent in a poll to get into the debates, so at his rate, Gary Johnson is coming close.

In the 2012 election, Gary Johnson won 5.1 percent of votes in a CNN poll and 0.99 percent in the election. Jill Stein also ran in the 2012 election, winning 3 percent of voters in a CNN poll and 0.36 percent in the election.

In four years, third party candidates have become more relevant and have come close to doubling their votes.

So with their rising polls and numbers, do third party candidates have a chance at winning the 2016 election?

Not unless Clinton or Trump drops out.

A hard question for independents and Democrats is whether it is worth it to vote third party and risk having Trump as president.

Gary Johnson, Libertarian Party nominee, said during a CNN Libertarian Town Hall “A wasted vote is voting for someone you don’t believe in.”

Johnson makes an agreeable point, but, we are too close to the election for a third party to win.

Yes, we need to reform the DNC and the RND. Yes, it is important to vote one’s conscience, but the current risk of Trump receiving the presidency is too high.

Sure, as a Caucasian, straight, middle-class, American female, I might not suffer drastically if Trump was elected, but it is time to step back and put yourself in another’s shoes. It is crucial to check your privilege and examine how each candidate would affect the entire country and surrounding countries.

When you take into account the number of lives that could be ruined and rights that could be taken away, you will realize that a vote for third party is truly not currently worth the risk in the 2016 election.

Third parties are very necessary to the government and they need support.

They need to grow to be able to get involved in debates and have more power.

But, in our current situation, we do not have time nor support to fix the government in only three months.