SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The election is almost a month away and voters in the U.S. will be voting for one of the two major parties: democrats or republicans, But what about the number of voters considering third party options?
No law in the United States keeps prevents having as many third parties as possible.
So the question is, how much is your vote worth in our electoral college system if you vote third party?
Two political science professors in Springfield say they are called third parties similar to how we call other countries third world countries.
“We call them third parties, much like we call other countries third world countries because, like them, they just don’t have much backing, they don’t have a lot of financial support, they’re not well populated,” said Andrew Crocker, political science instructor at Ozarks Technical Community College.
“The major parties don’t like them, particularly in the so-called toss-up or battleground states,” said Dr. Kevin Pybas, pre-law advisor at Missouri State University.
With the way the system is set up, it discourages third parties from having any political success.
“I know that the candidate is not going to win, but it’s important to show support for that party so that the next election, more people might come out and vote for that seat,” said Dr. Pybas.
Dr. Pybas says electoral colleges make it difficult for third parties to be successful.
“Because we have a congressional winner take all elections, it’s hard for third party candidates or third parties to gain much traction,” said Pybas.
Voters struggle when deciding to vote strategically or for the party you want to come out on top in the election.
“By voting for the party you love over the party you like, you are mathematically helping the party that you absolutely don’t like,” said Crocker. “That shouldn’t necessarily force your hand to vote for a party that you can barely tolerate, over a party that you really like.”
“I don’t think it’s a wasted vote,” said Pybas. “I think people ought to, I know it’s tempting to vote strategically and things like that, but let your political colors fly. It’s probably better to go vote for a third party than stay at home and not vote.”
For the presidential race, third-party candidates include Jo Jorgensen running with the libertarian party and Howie Hawkins with the green party.
For the Missouri governor’s race, third-party candidates include Jerome Bauer with the green party and Rik Combs with the libertarian party.
For the Missouri secretary of State’s race, third-party candidates include Paul Venable with the constitution party, Paul Lehmann with the Green Party, and Carl Herman Freese with the Libertarian Party.
For the Missouri House of Representatives District 135 race, third-party candidates include Vicke Kepling with the green party.
For the Missouri House of Representatives District 123 race, third-party candidates include Pat Bellew with the constitution party.