If this election cycle can teach us anything, it is that there is no desire for third parties. No desire for a different ideology in a game that is focused on only one victor and two parties. This election, or even in this current Congress, simply outlines that there is an increasing lack of bipartisanship and there is no willingness to compromise.
As such, I find it beneficial to support a third-party candidate in at least the presidential election in order to inject some fresh ideas in such politics.
Even if it is seemingly apparent that there is a slim chance of election for such third-party candidates; having 5 percent of the popular vote guarantees general funding from the government for their campaigns in the next election.
That could lead to a very interesting and different election cycle for 2016. Especially for non-swing states such as Illinois, voting third party is not throwing your vote away.
However, voting Democrat in a blue state would be throwing your vote away, as there is already a guarantee for them to win. So to conclude, a third-party vote is not a lost vote, it is a vote for a true change to the American political system that we currently face.