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By Adam K. Garcia

Believe it or not, it’s been four years and we are caught yet again in another historical presidential election. President Trump is up for re-election and his opponent is Joseph Biden, the 77-year-old former Vice President under the Obama administration. Just how it was in 2016, many voters feel conflicted about their choices for President. The progressive faction (the Bernie Bros of the world) has expressed discontent yet again with the Democratic nominee after their candidate Bernie Sanders lost the nomination (again). Progressives feel that Joe Biden is “too moderate” and won’t fight for far-left values. Although Republicans are more unified behind their candidate, many express discontent with Trump, especially with his handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Many Americans are left voting for the “lesser of two evils” candidate. This leaves us with a question: what about third-party candidates? Why don’t they receive more media coverage? Why don’t any of them ever win elected office?

Third-party candidates for president are often ignored. They usually receive far fewer media coverage than major-party candidates and voting third-party is often viewed as a “wasted vote.” Many reasons can be attributed to this, such as the current plurality voting system. Rank-choice voting has become an increasingly popular system to implement among cities and states, but that’s for another article. Today, I’m going to explain who the third-party contenders are and what they stand for. Some candidates (like Yeezy, unfortunately) don’t have ballot access in NY, but it’s important to inform people about who ALL of their candidates are for president (despite them having zero chance of winning in this election—sorry). 

First up is Jo Jorgensen/Spike Cohen (Libertarian): I’m gonna be real, the Libertarians would’ve gotten more media coverage if Rep. Justin Amash was their nominee. But instead, we are greeted by Clemson University lecturer Jo Jorgensen and her running mate, podcaster Spike Cohen. Jorgensen believes in investment in nuclear energy, free and open trade, and smaller government. She also believes in no gun regulation, ending wars overseas, legalization of marijuana, and no government funding of abortion. Although they don’t have a shot at winning in this current political climate, there are some incentives for voting libertarian. The party is the third-largest in the United States and if they win more than 5% of the popular vote, they can receive benefits, such as public funding, more media coverage, and even a possible spot on the debate stage alongside the Democrats and Republicans. They are on the ballot in NY so make your choices wisely!

Next, we have Howie Hawkins/Angela Walker (Green): Kinda like Bernie, kinda not, Hawkins is the candidate that satisfies progressives’ wishes without having the ability to win (hey, just like Bernie!) Hawkins, the co-founder of the Green Party, believes in eco-socialism, open borders, socialist-based economy, taxes for the rich, medicare-for-all, you get the picture. His running mate is a former bus driver who dropped out of college, stating she could make more money as a bus driver than a teacher. Yay? Anyways, they are on the ballot in NY as well, so have fun with that.

Then we have good old Brian T. Carroll/Amar Patel (American Solidarity): To sum it up, Brian Carroll is a Christian socialist with a Donegal beard. Unfortunately, he has no ballot access in NY; however, you can still write him in (though I think Kanye would be a better use of a vote). Surprisingly enough, I know a Brian Carroll supporter. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Brock Pierce (Independent) was in the Mighty Ducks movie from the 1990s! Oh, and he’s also running as an Independent and happens to be on the ballot in NY. Weird how Kanye isn’t though…

Kanye “Yeezy” West/Michelle Tidball (Independent): “I ALMOST KILLED MY DAUGHTER” – Kanye 2020. That’s about all. Sadly no ballot access in NY. 

All jokes aside, unless there is a change to our voting system, third-party candidates face a disadvantage in presidential elections. But for right now, I can inform you about the other candidates that happen to exist. Happy voting!

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