Jason Wallace, 11th District Congressional candidate and Illinois State University graduate, spoke to ISU students at Global Review Thursday about the importance of third party candidates in our system of government.
"It really is a two-party system that exists," Wallace said.
"As a third party candidate," he added, "I think it's important that we have choice on our ballot."
Wallace said that Illinois in particular has some of the most restricting laws regarding ballot access.
"Any third party candidate needs at least 16,000 signatures to get on the ballot," Wallace said.
In his speech, Wallace explained the system of "Instant Runoff Voting" in which voters vote on candidates by ranking them in order of preference.
The candidate with the lowest ranking is eliminated, and the process is repeated until two candidates remain. When two candidates remain, the individual receiving the most votes wins.
Wallace described the process as more democratic than the current winner-take-all system, and said it gives third party candidates a better chance of winning elections.
He explained that "Instant Runoff Voting" has already been adopted in different forms by several countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland, and that several cities across America, such as San Francisco, have held elections using "Instant Runoff Voting" as well.
But Wallace says it will likely be a long time before the system will be used on any federal level.
Wallace also refuted the notion that Green Party candidates take votes away from Democrats, and Libertarian candidates take votes away from Republicans.
"I disagree because I've been getting more support from Republicans than I have Democrats," he said.
Wallace said he even has some lifelong Republicans who are helping on his campaign.
"A lot of the issues I talk about are economic issues. I'm fiscally conservative," Wallace said, adding that his stance on fiscal policy appeals to many conservatives.
When asked about fundraising, Wallace said that it is difficult to find donors, but noted that his campaign has raised more funds than any other Green party candidates in the country.
Wallace said that much of his support comes from people who are dissatisfied with Republicans and Democrats, noting that Congress' approval rating is currently in the single digits.
Rachel Feser, a junior political science major, said she thinks Congress can do better.
"I think having more diverse parties in Congress would give the people a stronger voice as well as help block out the special interests, " she said.
Wallace says he feels anxious about Election Day, and that running for Congress has been a great learning experience.