Third party over here!

Ryan Nakamura, Staff Reporter

In the United States there are two major political parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. 

These are not the only political parties in the U.S. 

According to the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), there are at least seven third party organizations including the Green Party, the Libertarian Party and the Constitution Party.

For Josh Porter, an Ellensburg resident and former third party voter, it means disappointment when one of the major party candidates wins with slightly lower numbers.

He hoped his vote in 2016 would have an effect on the Trump/Clinton election, which it did, but in nowhere near the way he wanted or expected. 

Porter voted for Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, in 2016.

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both looked awful to me,” Porter said. “Honestly at this point, I wish I’d voted for Clinton because it feels like I wasted my vote.”

Voting for a third party candidate means that there is one fewer vote that goes to either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Porter wasn’t the only one feeling dissatisfied with voting third party in the 2016 election. 

Marie Reilly, an Ellensburg resident and prospective CWU student, wants to give third party voting another try. 

Reilly said while disappointment is natural when the desired result doesn’t happen, it’s not possible to win every time.

“We’ve had the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression and the Civil War in this country,” Reilly said. “Just because things are bad doesn’t mean we should compromise our values. I think that you have to vote for someone who represents what you believe in no matter what party they’re in.” 

There are those who are excited just to have the opportunity to vote. 

Franklin Jones, a Kittitas County “temporary inhabitant,” has voted third party in every election he could, with the exception of President Obama’s campaigns, and plans to continue doing so as long as he’s able to.

“I love voting for the underdog. That’s the beautiful thing, son,” Jones said. “Sure they might not win but you’re giving them a chance and one of these days we will have somebody like that in office.”

Jones said in addition to liking the underdog he has distaste for the current system.

 “I keep voting the way I do not just because I love it but because I hate the idea that our choice has to be binary. You can’t take everyone in the country and tell them their options are Box A or Box B. It’s about freedom.” Jones said.