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Americans Elect starts the petition process

And they’re off.

Will not be on the ballot

Americans Elect — an emerging, alternative third party that plans to use the Internet to field a presidential ticket this year — is starting to gather signatures of registered voters in Texas to try to gain a spot on this year’s election ballot.

“Americans Elect continues to gain ballot access state by state to provide voters in Texas and across the country with another choice for president this November,” said Elliot Ackerman, chief operating officer with Americans Elect. “We are creating a second nominating process for president by holding an online primary for the first time in history, bypassing the two-party system and giving every voter a chane to have their voice heard regardless of where they live.”

You know how I feel about Americans Elect. This is going to be different than it was for Carole Keeton Strayhorn or Kinky Friedman in 2006 when they were petitioning to get on the ballot. It’s one thing to recruit on behalf of an actual candidate, who has policy ideas that can be articulated in favor of doing so. It’s another, I suspect, to recruit on behalf of a concept that may result in the inclusion of anyone from Rocky Anderson to Dennis Kucinich to Olympia Snowe to Buddy Roemer to Ron Paul. But maybe I’m wrong and everyone will see what they want to see and that will work for them. We’ll know soon enough.

Ezra Klein talks to Ackerman and Khalil Byrd of Americans Elect, and it’s still not clear to me what exactly it is they think they’re doing, or how they think they’re going to be different than, say, the Reform Party. They say their real goal is to get down-ballot access and run candidates in all kinds of races all over the country. Again, I have no idea who will choose to do that for a group that doesn’t have some set of principles, but who knows? I’m just going to point out that Klein is wrong when he says they their “real accomplishment is having secured ballot lines in all 50 states”, since clearly they have not yet done so in Texas, and leave it at that. Ed Kilgore and Colin Woodard have more.

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  1. Brad M. says:

    Klein is making a projection of 50 ballot access. I am not sure you appreciate or comprehend the gargantuan effort required to obtain ballot access in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    You are correct that they are not done in Texas. While Texas is one of the more difficult ballot access states in America, the most difficult ones have already been obtained by AE.

    Not sure what you mean by “recruiting” for a concept. It sounds fairly reasonable for voters to sign a petition for an organization to get a “non-partisan” ticket on the ballot, more voter choice and candidates not focused on pandering to a party base.

    I know you may have angst that Americans Elect will earn votes that may otherwise go to your candidate, but last time I checked it is a free country to run for office. I have enjoyed immensely the political bloggers trying to triangulate that AE is a conspiracy to “steal” the election from their candidate.

  2. Kris Banks says:

    I continue to be dumbfounded that these Americans Elect folks believe that what our political process needs is greater influence of internet polls. Have these people ever seen the comments section of the Houston Chronicle website?

  3. Gary D says:

    Would you vote for a candidate if you have no idea what he stands for? Wait, a minute, that may have come out wrong.

  4. TOM UFERT says:

    The premise that Americans Elect is based on no sound principles trying to nominate a candidate “out of the blue” may on first impression be accurate. However, the “gargantuan task” of getting listed on all 50 state ballots in a very short amount of time seems to be their first objective. After that point they then seek to circumvent the seemingly corrupt party nominating process bu offering an alternative utilizing the internet and building on potential successes of the Arab Spring. If they can actually get their message out we might see the beginnings of an American Spring.