Buddy Roemer, former governor of Louisiana, wants to be the Internet’s first candidate for U.S. president.
Roemer was once aiming to become the Republican nominee for president, but he wasn’t included in any of the mainstream primary debates or media coverage. He’s running an unorthodox campaign — no PAC backing and no donations over $100 are accepted. With the Republican Party’s back turned to him, he decided an alternative route: Americans Elect.
Americans Elect bills itself as the “first national online primary.” According to chief technology officer Josh Levine, Americans Elect isn’t a political party. Instead, it’s a “technology and a vehicle to have the people put a candidate on the ballot in every state.” Thus, Americans Elect has no official political ideology, it doesn’t give money to candidates and it doesn’t run ads for candidates.
With Americans Elect, users can vote for presidential and vice presidential candidates to run on the organization’s ticket. Those two have to form a “mixed” ticket, meaning a Republican president and Democratic vice president or vice versa. Voting is online and secure, and taking part in Americans Elect doesn’t nullify a citizen’s right to vote in their traditional party’s primaries or caucuses. All candidates are verified by a non-partisan committee to ensure they’re serious about running for president.
Americans Elect’s candidate drafting process is still open. Once it closes, an online primary will be held to determine which candidates will run on ballots as Americans Elect’s candidate. So far, that candidate will be selectable in 17 ballots, and Americans Elect is working on at least 14 more. They’ve got at least one staffer or volunteer in every state, too.
According to Levine, Americans Elect’s “number-one goal” is to “produce a presidential ticket of great quality that wouldn’t normally be able to run under the party primary [structure].” So does that explain why Roemer’s team decided to ditch the GOP and go all-out online?
“[Americans Elect] is something we’ve been exploring for some months now,” says Carlos Sierra, campaign manager at Buddy Roemer for President. “It’s online focused, which is where we’ve been focused this whole time. We’re all about bringing the country together and ending all the B.S. that’s been going on.”
Sierra has high hopes for Roemer’s chances of becoming the Americans Elect nominee and going on to the general election. According to Sierra, Roemer’s desire to get money out of politics and offer an alternative to the establishment candidates will resonate with the American people.
“Never before has the country been this divided,” says Sierra. “In ’92 when Ross Perot decided to run, when you look at the polling data it wasn’t as bad as it is now. Congress is polling at five or seven percent, it’s never been this bad — the division between our country. Money in politics has been a big problem too. The American people are fed up with that.”
At the moment, Roemer is in sixth place in terms of supporters on the platform. He’s behind Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Michael Bloomberg and others — none of whom have formally declared they’re running for the Americans Elect ticket.
Do you think Americans Elect is a viable alternative to the mainstream candidates? Sound off in the comments below.