Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Ajume Wingo

Second Advisor

Horst Mewes

Third Advisor

Dom Bailey


One of the most salient challenges facing political philosophers is the ongoing quest to determine how one should vote. This paper seeks to expand upon this subject by assessing how two normative ethical theories approach the question of voting for a third party. On one hand is the utilitarian approach which holds that due to the futility of voting for a third party, a vote in their favor is one that is wasted. This theory is contrasting to a deontological theory of voting centered in a conception of expressive voting, or voting to make ones opinion known, which allows for ballots cast for parties that will not win. It is the view of this paper that the deontological theory is more robust and can better inform the decision of voters.