Third party voters stand by their decision

Students wait in line to vote outside the Mansfield Community Center on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

After Donald Trump’s surprise win in the presidential election, some of Hillary Clinton’s supporters placed the blame on third-party voters, but some at the University of Connecticut stand by their decision.

“You can't be mad at someone for voting for who they want to vote for, it's democracy,” said Matthew Yanovskyi, a fifth-semester psychology major.

Yanovskyi was part of the small portion of people who in the state of Connecticut did not vote for either of two major party candidates. He wrote in Bernie Sanders.

According to data from the Connecticut Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton obtained 54.51 percent, Donald Trump obtained 40.98 percent, Gary Johnson got 2.96 percent and Jill Stein got 1.36 percent of the votes.

There were also 20 other candidates that were written in the ballots, but the amount of people who voted for them was so low that it amounted to 0.00 percent of the vote in Connecticut.

Yanovskyi and others felt their vote wouldn’t affect the election result because the president is chosen by the Electoral College rather than by popular vote.  

Voters were worried about the effect of third party voters and many saw it as a waste as written in “Don’t waste your vote" an opinion piece from Amar Bartra in the Daily Campus.

“When it came to the lesser of two evils, I would've chosen Hillary Clinton but Connecticut is historically a democratic state and not a swing state. Therefore, writing in Bernie Sanders would have no effect on the state since it was going to be Democratic regardless,” Yanovskyi added.

Ricardo Andrade, a seventh-semester pathobiology said he wanted to vote third party to support them in future elections.

“Third parties receive federal funding if they receive over five percent of the vote, so I wanted to contribute to that,” Andrade said.

Feeling safe that his choice wouldn’t give Connecticut’s seven Electoral College votes to Trump, Andrade said he wanted to help end the two party system. He voted for Jill Stein.

“Trump and Clinton ignore voters outside of their block because at the end of the day, it's about the electoral votes. It comes down to getting the majority of people not voting third party,” Yanovskiy said.

Yet, both Andrade and Yanovskyi acknowledge that in swing states such as Florida the stakes were too high and third party voters might have contributed to Trump’s win.

“When it comes to swing states like Florida, third party voters have a stronger effect on the state's choice. If the 2 percent of the state of Florida votes third party and a candidate loses by 0.5 percent,” Yanokyi said. “In the long run then third party voters can kind of be blamed, but not really since its their right to vote for the candidate they deem to be the best.”

In Florida, Trump got 49.1 percent of the votes, Clinton got 47.8 percent, Johnson got 2.2 percent and Stein got 0.7 percent of the votes according to CNN.

“I don't support people who voted third party in swing states. This election was too important to vote third party if there was a chance your state could go to Trump,” Andrade said.

Emma Roller wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times where she said young voters are more likely to vote for third party candidates but these wouldn’t have a real effect on the election outcome.  (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/04/opinion/campaign-stops/third-party-voters-know-what-they-want.html)

She said instead, that we should look at older people that would vote for Trump.

Yanovskiy said people can’t really be blame for voting for the candidate they believe best represents them.


Daniela Marulanda is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at daniela.marulanda@uconn.ed