Last night, Hillary Clinton became the official nominee of the Democratic Party and now I have to get comfortable with the fact that I have to vote for her. I say have to because I feel like I'm being forced to vote for her. She's not the President I want, but if I don't vote for her I'm terrified that Trump will be my president. I really wish I wasn't voting for one candidate based on fear of another and I especially wish that I didn't have to vote for a candidate I believe to be corrupt.

Campaign corruption

One thing that blows me away about this election is that the country has nominated a candidate who has been accused of running a corrupt campaign. In many states thousands of people who intended to vote for Bernie reported being turned away at the polls for various reasons. Others reported that they couldn't get in to the polls before they closed because voter turnout was so phenomenally high that polling locations couldn't keep up. Thousands of people didn't get to cast their votes in their states' primaries or caucuses and it seems that many of those people would have voted for Bernie. Many believe that this is no mistake.

Then there's the DNC emails that were leaked over the weekend, which show that the Democratic National Committee supported Hillary over Bernie from the beginning. Though they do not indicate that any direct intervention occurred in any of the primaries or caucuses, the emails clearly show that the DNC had strategies in place to ensure Hillary's nomination. The chairman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has resigned over the scandal. Instead of distancing herself from the scandal, Hillary chose to hire Wasserman Schultz to work on her campaign.

Despite all this suspect behavior from both Hillary and the DNC, Hillary is still the Democratic nominee. She gets a pass and the only honest and trustworthy candidate is out of the race.

Why I won't write in or vote for a third party candidate

A lot of the people I know who can't stomach voting for Hillary say that they'll vote for a third party candidate, like Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. Normally, third party candidates pull votes from the major party candidate they are most like. In this case, Stein would likely pull votes from Clinton and Johnson would most likely pull votes from Trump. People believe that voters are so dissatisfied that there might actually be enough votes for third party candidates that neither of the major party candidates will have enough of a majority to win the election.

A candidate needs 270 out of the 538 electoral votes in order to win the election. The most a third party candidate has ever won is 21% or 112 electoral votes. If both third party candidates got 112 electoral votes that would leave 314 electoral votes to split between Clinton and Trump. If they split those votes equally neither of them would win the Presidency. If they didn't split them equally there's still a chance that one of them would earn enough votes to win the election.

The third party candidates are very unlikely to win outright, but they do have the chance to ensure that no one wins outright. The only time this has ever happened, in the Bush v Gore election, SCOTUS had to rule on the election. Their opinion for that case made it clear they don't believe elections should be decided this way.

The more likely scenario is that the third party candidates earn less than 21% of the electoral votes and end up swaying the election in favor of one of the major party candidates. This is why I can't vote for a third party candidate. If I cast my vote for Jill Stein or write in Bernie Sanders, I am taking a vote away from Hillary. 

If there was a different Republican candidate, I might feel more comfortable voting my conscience and giving my vote to Jill Stein, but when I'm staring down the reality of living with a Trump presidency I just can't let my conscience get in the way. I hope you won't either. #Election 2016 #Democrats vs Republicans #Hillary Clinton