As a citizen of the United States of America, it is my right to vote. It is my right to express my opinion, beliefs and views and have the opportunity to help elect the next President of the United States.
Once I turned 18, I didn’t only become an adult, I finally became a registered voter. In my excitement, I, like many other first-time voters, would finally be able to have a say in a presidential election.
The debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were interesting at first, but as the election went on, the feeling of terror creeped up behind me as I came to the realization that one of these two candidates would eventually be running our country. This fear did not keep the American people or myself from exercising the right to vote. That is when the search for an alternate candidate began.
In all honesty, I did not believe a third-party candidate would become the next President of the United States. By voting for a third party, it takes away a vote from “the lesser of two evils.” Due to this election, many young people refused to register as a Republican or Democrat, and instead chose to identify as an Independent.
While many independent voters, like myself, believe Trump and Clinton made valid points, I couldn’t picture myself voting for either of them. For many voters, the decision between them was like voting for a loose cannon or a scandalous liar. It was almost like opening two doors that lead to the same place.
Due to my indecision as a newly-registered voter choosing a political party, l was unable to vote in either primary. When it came down to the two major candidates, many considered abstaining from the election—the belief being that neither of these candidates deserved their vote. However, voting third party allowed for a different choice.
I went for that different choice. Gary Johnson may have gone through the election cycle unnoticed by many Americans, but not by me. Prior to the election, education was key in understanding the views of third party candidates. Remaining educated made me even more confident in my choice to avoid major parties. Gary Johnson’s campaign presented plenty of reasonable solutions to the problems plaguing Americans. He had ideas on immigration, education, the job market and many other important issues.
I voted for Johnson because with just five percent of voters, history could have been changed by creating a more competitive election. It would change the Americans view of third-party candidates. Voting for the “lesser of two evils” was not an option. Johnson’s campaign was not driven by political insiders, but by everyday Americans. Studies showed that 65 percent of Americans did not feel that either party in this election represented them.
Fox News also took a poll, and studies showed that 66 percent of Americans believe Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, while 57 percent believe the same about Trump. Over half of the American population did not believe that these candidates were honest and trustworthy, so giving either of them my vote was not an option.
It is my right as an American citizen to vote, and I was not going to let the tension between two candidates ruin this first election. Even though the outcome may not have been what people expected, it is always important to exercise your right to vote, and that is why I voted for Gary Johnson.