Americans Elect offers direct nomination in 2012 election
Americans Elect (AE) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that gives voters the chance to decide on the issues, choose candidates and nominate a third ticket on the 2012 Presidential ballot, according to their website, AmericansElect.org.
Daniel Geddy, senior psychology and accounting major, discovered this new election process while watching The Colbert Report.
“I happened to catch the interview with Elliot Ackermann, who is the COO [Chief Operating Officer],” Geddy said. “The message was so compelling to me — a new way of directly nominating candidates that is accessible to any registered voter.”
All registered voters are eligible to visit AE’s website, americanselect.org, and register as a ‘delegate’. Once registered, delegate users are able to rank issues relevant to the election.
“There are primary issues discussed on the website, which are open to discussion by both delegates and candidates,” Geddy said. “These issues include energy, education, foreign policy, economy, immigration, reform, social issues, environment and healthcare.”
Through the discussion process, a platform of questions will be created by the Americans Elect Platform Committee and policy experts, based on the priorities and issues that delegates deem most important through the answering of questions on the website.
In addition, he said the system of questions provides an opportunity for voters to consider issues rather than political parties.
“It really makes you analyze the issues rather than the parties,” Geddy said.
According to AE’s website, the goal is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers to voters – not the political system.
Once enrolled as a delegate on the website, users are surveyed on various issues and topics for this election without being defined within a specific political party. Then a debate is formed out of questions the delegates come up with, which all candidates must answer.
As the process continues, candidates are chosen and voted on for nomination of the president and the vice president. The winner received from this will then be on the 2012 ballot in all 50 states.
“This year is going to be a pleasant shock to most Americans — two choices for President every year since they were born — and now three,” Geddy said. “It’s going to open people’s eyes to the fact that we have an open political system that doesn’t have to be comprised of just Republicans and Democrats.”
Upon online registration, users can sift through all the issues of the election which are categorized into eight broad topics, each progressively more specific. Also, once registered as a delegate, participation in the open forum is permitted.
“I’m excited for students to start taking [an] interest in politics again,” Geddy said. “Universities have always been a traditional place for both advocating and protesting issues, but over the last couple decades students have become discouraged about participating because they don’t think they can make a difference. Every student can and will make a difference when they become a delegate. The issues are clarified by the process to determine your positions, which is a huge aspect of the whole organization.”