It was expected that the results of the 2020 presidential election would take longer than usual to come in due to the number of mail-in ballots, but what certainly wasn't expected was that Kanye West would receive approximately 60,000 votes for president. Since the two-party system's solidification, a third-party presidential candidate has never come close to winning: yet, people were still willing to cast their vote for a candidate that was only official on 12 state ballots — 13 if you include California, where he was listed as a candidate for vice president.
Kanye was never going to win. He was barely even a contender — it was always between Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Kanye didn't even announce his candidacy until July 4, and even then, many thought it was a joke. When it came to his platform, Kanye listed his 10-point policy as "creating a culture of life," with each of the points having a corresponding Bible verse. It was a hot mess from the beginning and he still earned thousands of votes from people in Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Vermont.
"Some people may have voted for Kanye as a joke. But that's the thing — the right to vote isn't a joke."
Some people may have voted for Kanye as a joke. But that's the thing — the right to vote isn't a joke. Lives have been lost in pursuit of the right to vote. There are people out there who want to vote, but laws have stripped them of that right. It doesn't matter if you weren't a fan of Joe Biden or despised Donald Trump. By voting third-party — for Kanye West of all candidates — you inadvertently gave one the benefit, and you didn't even get to choose who. Luckily for us all, it seems third-party candidates aren't poised to cause as much of a stir this year as they have in the past (Florida, we haven't forgotten the 2000 election).
There will always be third-party candidates, and maybe one day they'll even be serious contenders. Until then, if you're using your vote to "make a statement" or as a joke, you might want to think twice before casting your ballot. Every vote counts: it just might not count in the way you expect.