The AmericansElect Path to the Presidency

While the processes for nominating Democratic and Republican Presidential tickets are handled in a business as usual manner, a new independent group, Americans Elect, has arisen.  They’re using the internet to promote itself and to nominate a Presidential ticket that will appear on ballots in all 50 states.  Their goal is to nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates who will answer directly to voters—not to the political parties.

Today, Americans Elect posted their Candidate Briefing Book and Draft Rules, which offer detailed information on how their system works, including how to run for president and how to draft others to run. This is their blueprint for the first process in American history that offers all voters an equal say in directly nominating a presidential candidate.  They welcome feedback on these documents from all those who have registered on their site.

They’ll soon be launching a rules debate page at, which allows folks to discuss and debate the rules, and offer changes. Until then they’re hoping folks will read these documents, by downloading them from their Official Documents page.

Here are some of the major points of the Candidate Briefing Book and Draft Rules:

  • If you’ve signed up for Americans Elect, you’re a delegate. You can participate in Americans Elect while still remaining a member of your political party and voting in your party’s primary. You are not required to vote for the Americans Elect candidate in the 2012 general election.
  • We ask all delegates and candidates to agree to support our mission to build a ticket that will look for the best solutions to problems, regardless of party politics.
  • People can become candidates by declaring their candidacy, or by being drafted to run by other delegates. To qualify for the ballot, candidates must get a certain number of support clicks from delegates, answer questions on issues that you deem important, and meet certain other criteria.
  • After doing these things, candidates who have experience on par with past presidential candidates are automatically qualified. This includes current and former congressmen, senators, cabinet officials, high level military officers, and heads of large companies, non-profits, and universities.
  • Candidates who don’t have this experience will need to have their qualifications certified by the Candidate Certification Committee. Any decision by this committee can be overturned by a two-thirds vote of all the delegates.
  • If you want to draft a candidate, you can create a draft committee, which essentially puts your desired candidate on the early ballots, even if that candidate hasn’t committed to running in the Americans Elect process yet. If the candidate you’re drafting makes it to the final six candidates, then they will have to declare whether they’re officially entering the Americans Elect race. If they decline, they’ll be replaced on the ballot by the next highest vote-getter.
  • Presidential candidates must pick vice presidential candidates from a party other than their own.
  • There will be a series of qualifying ballots beginning in April 2012 that will narrow down the field to six candidates. In June, there will be a series of nominating ballots to pick a nominee.
  • The winner of the Americans Elect nomination will be on the ballot in all 50 states in November 2012.

Note: To read more about the Americans Elect process, see the full Candidate Briefing Book and Draft Rules are on their Official Documents page.

It will be interesting to watch as the 2012 election season unfolds to see how Americans Elect impacts our election process.  It will also be interesting to see whether it splits either party or draws the bulk of independent voters away from both Democrats and Republicans.  Lastly, it remains to be seen whether the main stream media outlets will include the Americans Elect candidates in any Presidential and/or Vice Presidential debates.

Given the emergence of Americans Elect and the Occupy Wall Street movement, the 2012 election season just might get a little more interesting, and a little more complicated in our party retaining a Democratic President in the White House.