This presidential election is one for the books. And although veterans have historically been strong advocates of voting as a civic duty, contentious nature of the 2016 election may change that. According to census data from the 2012 election, 71.2% of veterans are registered to vote. But this election, between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, Republican candidate Donald Trump, has left many Americans questioning whether the electoral system is broken. Some veterans are voting for third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, but others are choosing a different path: Abstention.
On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in a prime-time speech from the Democratic National Convention stage in Philadelphia. That same day, socialist Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant — who had backed Sanders — told a crowd at a rally across town to continue Sanders’ “political revolution,” not by following his lead, but by voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.