In 2000, I voted for Nader. Because I was a 22-year-old child who valued my own ideological purity tests above the practical considerations for the nation and my less-fortunate neighbors, and because I didn’t really understand the changes to electoral mechanics needed to make a popular third-party candidate something other than a spoiler. In retrospect, I would change that vote if I could, and am very glad I didn’t live in a contested state at the time.

Today, I have matured (somewhat) and am better educated about elections and politics. I would love to see us eliminate first-past-the-post voting in favor of a system less prone to tactical voting and more representative of actual voter preferences. This is doable, and has been done in other countries with positive results. But until we change the voting system, a vote for a third-party candidate is a vote for a spoiler, every time.