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For the third consecutive presidential campaign, both major parties are fielding candidates whose disapproval ratings are higher than their positive ratings. Low voter turnout in state primaries and caucuses has enabled extremists to dominate the process and select candidates who aren’t in line with the preferences of most party members, and voters.

Some analysts and candidates have expressed fears that the negative perceptions might lead many voters to opt out this year and not participate in the elections at all.

We hope that doesn’t happen. In fact, voters should recognize that they have other options. They always have.

Voting is important not only in the presidential race, but in congressional, state and local races that also will be on the ballot.

Most Americans have been led to believe that we have a political two-party system. It largely is, but it doesn’t have to be. In reality, almost a dozen political parties are registered and active. People who have voted in previous presidential elections might remember a surprisingly long list of candidates on their ballots, either tied to other parties or running as independents.

The largest and most successful alternative group is the Libertarian Party. A recent high-profile group is the No Labels effort, formed after the 2016 campaign involving Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and others.

Other parties include the Green, Constitution, Socialism and Alliance, among others, including the independent campaign of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that he calls the We the People Party.

To be sure, some groups focus on one or a few issues they deem most important, and the Democrats and Republicans traditionally both attack alternative candidates and parties, knowing that reducing voters’ options increases their chances of success. Kennedy already is facing the major parties’ common attack strategy of warning voters that alternative votes will split the support for their party and put the opposition in the White House.

Another tactic common among the major parties is the insistence that a third-party vote is wasted because those candidates don’t have a chance of winning.

But given the negative opinions those parties have among the voting-eligible population, some might decide that it’s time to give the other options a more serious look.

Voters could make a strong statement if, instead of choosing not to vote at all, they cast votes for candidates whose platforms are more in line with their views. Large numbers of alternative votes would make it clear that voters do want to continue participating in our political process, but want better candidates.

A country whose citizens are as free and diverse as ours don’t have to be limited to just two political parties. Inclusion of other groups not only would pressure major parties into listening to voters rather than demagogues, but they likely would make coalitions and negotiations more important in our lawmaking process, which could be a major improvement.

Voters needn’t opt out if they don’t like either major candidate. They have other options, and it might be time to give them a look.