With Election Day upon us, millions of Americans are heading to the polls to cast their vote — but some are casting their vote as a protest.
Andrew Jones is one of those people doing what is called a “protest vote.” I talked with the Grand Valley State University senior about his choice.
What exactly is a protest vote?
Jones : A lot of times it’s considered any third party vote. Or I suppose not voting could be considered a protest vote. It is voting for none of the two major party candidates.
What are you protesting?
The candidates themselves. Even if you align with the party, if you’re a Republican or you’re a Democrat, instead of voting with your party you’re protesting the candidates by not voting for them.
Why are you protesting?
This election has become so much about the candidates and become so personal, I’m not voting for either one. I’m protesting the two-party system, I guess that’s one of my major issues. That there are only two main choices. I’m protesting the system of voting we have.
Why do you not agree with the voting system?
Part of it is gerrymandering. It’s a practice where people mess with the voting lines of districts. They just manipulate the districts in a way where they get more votes for themselves. To make sure they’re winning all the districts.
Are you just protesting the presidential election or are you protesting everything else?
No, I am going to vote for senators and the House of Representatives, as well as voting for local issues. I’m just not voting for the two main presidential candidates.
So you firmly believe that there should be more parties in the presidential parties that should be given a real chance?
I think this election shows that the two-party system has created such a polarization of the people. Like the choices…you want to talk about choices, there’s Donald Trump, who’s super, super far right. I don’t know if he personally is super far right but he’s appealing to the super far right.
There was Bernie Sanders who was appealing to the super far left, and then you have Hillary Clinton who was more of a moderate candidate. Now, since she beat Bernie Sanders in the primary, she’s trying to cater to the super far left, but also to the moderate left. She’s even trying to steal votes from the moderate right, like people who don’t want to vote for Trump.
And you just think those people should have more choices?
Jones: Yeah, I think that you shouldn’t just have to choose between these two people. Especially, another big issue I have is voter ignorance. You can’t blame the system for that, but you have people who don’t know anything about the issues. They’re voting for Trump because they hate Hillary, or they’re voting for Hillary because they hate Trump. The whole point of voting is so you can have a say, but this election is showing that literally we don’t have a say.
The whole “Never Trump movement” is an insult to voters, I think. Regardless of what I believe about it — yeah, sure, I don’t think Donald Trump should be president — but the fact that there’s a whole movement thats just based upon “don’t elect this one candidate” proves that we don’t have a real choice. It’s “elect this psycho madman,” or elect Hillary Clinton. I don’t align with her very much, but my only other choice, my only other real choice, is Donald Trump.
What do you think tomorrow’s outcome is going to be?
Jones: I honestly have no idea. I am very apprehensive going into tonight. I’ve been super interested in this election, not because I care who wins necessarily. It’s because the outcomes going to be extremely interesting.