Can I Vote For An Independent If I'm A Registered Republican? You're In Luck

Despite calls for party unity on both sides of the aisle, a lot of voters aren't too happy with their choices for presidential candidates. On the Democratic side, you have Hillary Clinton, who has long been a polarizing public figure, but never more so in the wake of the rise of Berniemania. As for the GOP, they've got a real doozy on their hands with Donald Trump, who could be the most singularly divisive candidate in American history. Die-hard Republicans particularly are faced with a tough choice this election season: Either fall in party lines and vote for Trump, be a traitor to the party and vote for Hillary Clinton — a prospect many seem unable to stomach — or go for a third-party candidate. But can registered Republicans vote independent?

The general election is much less complicated in terms of voting than the primaries, which are a state-by-state web of who can vote in where and when. Luckily, the general election is straightforward. Even if you are registered as a Republican or Democrat, you are not bound to vote for that party's candidate. So if Republicans registered with the party want to vote for Clinton or a third-party candidate such as the Green Party's Jill Stein or the Libertarian's Gary Johnson, you're free to do so.

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As the League of Women's Voters rightfully reminds people, you are also not obliged to vote a straight ticket, which means voting for every member of the Republican or Democratic party that is running for a particular office or seat.

Unlike the primaries, which you have to declare a party to vote in, you don't have to claim any party to vote on in the general election. If you did vote in the primary, however, your party affiliation might have carried over to the general election unless you submitted a change of party form. But no matter! You don't have to if you don't want to! Because, as noted above, you can vote for whomever you like, regardless of party affiliation, in the general election.

So take heart, #NeverTrump or #NeverHillary people, come Nov. 8 you are free to cast your vote for any candidate you'd like. And if you're interested in reading more about the third-party candidates and what they're about, you can find a handy comparison of their policy issues here. Happy voting, people!