Penn State for Jo Jorgensen Offers Third Party Voting Option

Audio/Story posted October 26, 2020 in News, CommRadio by Jake Starr

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Donald Trump or Joe Biden? What about neither? For millions of Americans, that is exactly what they will do.

Third-party candidates fill the ballot throughout the country, and in Pennsylvania, the third option is Libertarian Jo Jorgensen. She is joined by running mate Spike Cohen. Penn State for Jo Jorgensen is working on educating students about that third option in this year’s presidential election.

Tim Tierney runs the organization. He is helping spark a grassroots effort in hopes to begin to dismantle the two-party system. If Jorgensen can get a substantial number of votes, that vision could begin to become reality.

“They want you to vote on the two-party plan,” Tierney said. “Once they hit 5%, the Libertarian Party unlocks a federal match in funding.”

The Libertarian Party’s platform incorporates key ideas from both Republicans and Democrats. Some features of its platform are bringing the troops home, cheaper education, the legalization of marijuana and more.

With so many people turned off by both Trump and Biden, Tierney wants it to be known that Americans don’t have to be forced to vote for either of them.

“They keep putting up terrible candidates like Trump and Biden, and people don’t want to vote for them,” Tierney said.” They are desperately looking for that third option, and we truly believe that Dr. Jorgensen is that third option for them.”

But many critics of third-party candidates have said a vote in that direction is a waste of a vote. Some Democrats say that a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump, and on the flip side, Republicans say the same thing in terms of Biden.

Ultimately, Tierney stresses that neither candidate simply deserves a vote.

“If you’re checking the box for Jo Jorgensen, you’re checking the box for Jo Jorgensen,” Tierney said. “When people say a vote for Jorgensen is a vote for X or Y, they’re already implying that they deserve your vote, which they don’t.”

While winning the White House may not be possible for Jorgensen, the Libertarian Party still feels like they can have an impact on this election.

In addition, they feel like this year could be a first step in being looked at as a legitimate option moving forward. The possibilities are endless for the party if they can reach 5% of the votes this year.

“When we do that, the two-party system is going to be really scared about the futures of third parties and the Libertarian party specifically,” Tierney said.

Both major parties have shown resistance to third-party candidates. In Pennsylvania, Democrats succeeded in throwing the Green Party off of the ballot. The same effort was made to remove the Libertarian Party, but Jorgensen will stay on the ballot for this year’s election.

While both parties are intimidated by the idea of third parties, Tierney feels like one party may be a bit more scared than the other.

“From the optics of it, the Democrats seem more scared of [Jorgensen] than the Republicans are,” Tierney said.

For now, the fight for Jorgensen and the Libertarian Party will continue for Tierney. He is continuing to seek more support and will even be in Texas for Jorgensen’s election night party on Nov. 3.

 

Jake Starr is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jas7954@psu.edu.