Third-Party Group Wants Internet to Pick Presidential Candidate

By Rebekah Metzler, U.S. News & World Report

Driven by Americans' widespread dissatisfaction with both Democrats and Republicans, Americans Elect is trying to shake up the 2012 election by obtaining ballot access in all 50 states for a yet-to-be-named presidential candidate. The group says it has been ballot certified in 16 states, awaiting confirmation in another 14 and is gathering signatures to be on the ballot in the other 20.

“It's so spoiled right now, it's so dysfunctional. How can we not do something? At some point, we have to do something,” says Americans Elect spokeswoman Ileana Wachtel, referring to the current presidential nomination process. “We really have created a mechanism for people to engage productively, actively and with a purpose because without the ballot access you can't run.”

The group is lead by Peter Ackerman, the managing director of private investment firm Rockport Capital. Ackerman, who contributed $5 million in seed money to start the group, sits on the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a founding chair of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

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