Jessica: We all know the two major candidates running for president, Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. But on November 6th, when people step into the voting booth to cast their ballots, in many states there will be more than just those two names on that ballot.
Gary Johnson is on the ballot in 48 states.
The former New Mexico Governor and businessman is running as a member of the Libertarian Party, on a platform that opposes the war in Afghanistan.
Johnson also wants to do away with the Central Bank of the U.S. – the Federal Reserve. And he wants to legalize marijuana – a stand that could pull votes from President Obama in the battleground state of Colorado.
Virgil Goode will appear on the ballot in 26 states.
The former six-term congressman from Virginia is running on an anti-immigration platform with the support of the Constitution Party. His popularity in rural southwestern Virginia could pull key voters from Mitt Romney.
Thirty-eight states will see the name Jill Stein on the ballot.
The candidate for the Green Party is someone who knows Mitt Romney quite well. She even ran against him in 2002 for Massachusetts governor. Stein supports government healthcare for all and the ‘Green New Deal’; a plan to spend federal money to create new green technology jobs, which Stein says would help the economy and lower the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels like oil.
Rocky Anderson has a spot on the ballot on more than a dozen states.
The former Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah is running with support from the newly formed Justice Party. Anderson is a longtime advocate for gay rights, environmental sustainability and the anti-war movement.
Now, none of these candidates are expected to win the presidential election but they could win over undecided voters enough to make a difference in states where the race between President Obama and Governor Romney is just too close to predict.
We saw an example of that in 1992, when Independent Party candidate Ross Perot won nearly 19 percent of the popular vote against Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush.
And in 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nadar pulled votes in Florida, a crucial swing state. Exit polls would have given then Vice-President Al Gore the edge in that state and he would have won the presidency over George W. Bush.
Jessica Kumari, Channel One News.