The American population will now have more choice for a Presidential candidate rather that restricting themselves to Democrats or Republican nominees. Americans Elect, the first ever open nominating process, will use the Internet to give every single voter - Democrat, Republican or Independent - the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012.
Americans Elect claims that it is "not a traditional third party" and their nominating process is open to any qualified candidate and any registered voter - no matter their party.
"Americans Elect is the first-ever open nominating process. We're using the Internet to give every single voter - Democrat, Republican or Independent - the power to nominate a presidential ticket in 2012. The people will choose the issues. The people will choose the candidates. And in a secure, online convention next June, the people will make history by putting their choice on the ballot in every state," posts the Americans Elect Web site, americanselect.org.
Any registered voter can become an Americans Elect delegate and still vote in their party's primary, added the Web site. Thomas L. Friedman, op-ed columnist for The New York Times wrote that Elliot Ackerman, chief operating officer of Americans Elect, explained that those interested in becoming an Americans Elect delegate had to register themselves on the Web site. The process comprised filling out a questionnaire about their political priorities. This enables Americans Elect to bring together their various delegates who share similar views so that they could discuss them and organize themselves. The delegates will then be invited to draft a candidate or support one who has already been drafted and to contribute to the list of questions that anyone running on the Americans Elect platform will have to answer on the site. The article goes on to state that the presidential nominees have to conform to all the constitutional requirements and in April 2002 the candidate pool will be reduced to six after three rounds of voting. The six will then have to choose their running mates who have to be outside their party. For instance a Democrat must run with a Republican or an independent and a Republican must run with a Democrat or an independent. At the online convention in June next year the delegates will choose who among the six will be the Americans Elect presidential candidate.
The winning ticket will be on the 2012 ballot. Friedman wrote that "in a few days Americans Elect will formally submit the 1.65 million signatures it has gathered to get on the presidential ballot in California as part of its unfolding national effort to get on the ballots of all 50 states for 2012."
The complicated Presidential election process includes primary elections where registered voters from every state vote for party delegates. These delegates nominate the presidential candidates at their respective national party conventions. During the general elections voters select electors from each state. These electors choose the next President of the United States. The candidate who garners at least 270 of the electors' votes becomes the next White House occupant.
Currently only two political parties - Republican and Democratic - have a stranglehold over the U.S. politics. Americans Elect might pave the way for a third independent party and give more choice to the American population in selecting their President.
Thomas L. Friedman very aptly concludes his article, "Write it down: Americans Elect. What amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life - remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in. Watch out."