TO THE EDITOR:
North Carolina seems to be a hotly contested state in the upcoming elections. After eight years of Bush failures the Republican Party has lost some of its grip. Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain are neck-and-neck and your vote may decide the next president of the United States.
But mine won't. You see I won't be voting for either McCain or Obama. I do not like their platforms and will instead vote for a third party.
Often in American history unexpectedly high support for third parties can influence the policies of the Big Two even if a third candidate doesn't win. Having a third party option to represent many different views is a wonderful facet of democratic government.
Of course not everyone agrees. The Republican and Democratic Parties of North Carolina really want my vote. But rather than compete to represent my interests and win my vote they've managed to create the third most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation.
In North Carolina a candidate usually has to collect more than 100000 signatures to get on the ballot. By contrast more than two-thirds of all states require 10000 signatures or fewer for ballot access.
Now imagine you have overcome this colossal obstacle after spending around $100000 on paid petitioners. If your party does not receive at least 10 percent of the vote for president or governor then you're back off the ballot and have to start again. This system makes it impossible for third parties to campaign — they spend all of their time and money collecting signatures.
This fall I'm voting third party. I don't expect my candidates to win. But maybe if I'm very lucky my vote can keep them in this rigged game — whether our entrenched political duopoly likes it or not.
Business Administration and Economics