An Explanation of

As you may know by now, Tectonica recently launched a new website,, intended to inform Americans of how voting for a third party candidate will affect the election in their state.


For this website, we worked under two assumptions:

  1. Having a “President Trump” would be the worst outcome of this election cycle… #stophatedumptrump right?

  2. There is value in voting for a 3rd party candidate, even if they will not win

Of course, you may reasonably disagree with these assumptions - but that’s a conversation for another time.

With these assumptions in mind, we analyzed state-by-state data, and found three distinct cases that different states could land in:

  1. Swing state.  Swing states are states with tight races, where the candidate projected to win has only the tiniest margin of victory.  Of course, every vote always counts - but as in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some votes count more than others.  If you’re in a swing state, a vote for Clinton helps turn the tide away from Trump.

  2. Safe state.  In these states, according to current polling there’s no question of who the winner will be, be it Trump or Clinton.  In these states, your vote makes more of a statement than an impact - so you are safe to vote for a third party without throwing the election if that’s what you want.’

  3. In between.  While we would not classify these states as swing states, the race in these states is not so far that it would be entirely impossible for the state to swing (although the probability is still pretty low).  In these states, every 3rd-party vote could take a vote away from a main-party candidate (*cough* Clinton *cough*).  So please vote responsibly, whatever that means to you.

Lastly, we use the term “3rd Party” as it is the convention to do so. However, we acknowledge there is nothing inherently primary in any party. The designation of the Republican and Democratic parties is only one that has been constructed due to their popularity and long-standing history as the election winners.

Now that you understand the thought process behind, what are you waiting for?  Go check it out here!  And if you’re not yet registered to vote, check out this website to find all the necessary information to register in your state.