Four State Voters to Have Different Options on Ballot
Undecided voters have just 29 days to make up their minds. But there are more than 2 candidates to choose from in some states.
When they enter the polling booth, voters will see more than just Trump or Clinton on the ballot. But their options will depend on the state they live in. Third party candidates have to circulate petitions in each state to get on the ballot.
“Each state has a different threshold, it might be 1 percent it might be less, it might be more of the registered voters needed to sign and so as a consequence then you get a different number of people on the ballot in each state,” says Mark Peterson, a political science professor at Pittsburg State University.
Peterson says the rules favor a 2 party system.
Come Election Day, in Oklahoma voters will see Trump, Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson on the ballot. In Kansas, they’ll have 1 more option, Independent Jill Stein. In Missouri, there are 5 choices, the Constitution Party candidate Darrell Lane Castle will also be on the ballot.
Some voters say all Americans should have the same options, outside of the 2 main parties.
“It’s not fair because yes there are other people who are running, there are other people that are able, and I’m not saying that they should win over whoever else, but it should be a fair election,” says student Brock Willard.
“If they have more than 1 candidate [voters] are probably going to think about who they want to vote for more than if they just have like 2 choices,” adds student Erick McCloskey.
While a third party candidate has never won a presidential election, they can influence the outcome.
“First of all you have to put a lot of the states aside because they’re going to vote the way they have historically but secondly yes, in terms of those battle ground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio and others, if there are third and fourth party selections candidates that will draw more from the Democrat or the Republican, it can certainly have an impact on the outcome of the election,” says Peterson.
He adds that in most states, all electoral college votes go to the plurality winner meaning if you vote for a third or fourth party, you won’t have much of an impact on the outcome of the election because essentially only the Democrats and republicans have a real chance.