What is Americans Elect?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.
Is AmericanS Elect a 3rd party?Americans Elect is a better way to choose a President, not a traditional 3rd party. Our nominating process is open to any qualified candidate and any registered voter—no matter their party. We have no ties to any political group—left, right, or center. We don't promote any issues, ideology or candidates. None of our funding comes from special interests or lobbyists. Our only goal is to put a directly-nominated ticket on the ballot in 2012.
Is Americans Elect secure?Yes. We're building a 21st-century nominating system with state-of-the-art security at every step. While this is a new idea, we're partnering with leading providers to combine proven technology that's already used for online banking with a rigorous voter verification process. Throughout, an independent, publicly-identified panel of computer scientists, ballot security experts and citizens will examine the system and report publicly on its transparency and security.
Is this for real?Very. Americans Elect is not another advocacy group or online competition. We are well on the way to securing national ballot access. We are building a state-of-the-art, secure voting process. We will attract millions of registered voters. We will attract serious, qualified presidential candidates. And in 2012, the American people will put their ticket on the ballot in every state.
Why are you doing this?The goal of Americans Elect is to nominate a presidential ticket that answers to the people—not the political system. Like millions of American voters, we simply want leadership that will work together to tackle the challenges facing our country. And we believe a direct nominating process will prove that America is ready for a competitive, nonpartisan ticket.
How can I participate?Any registered voter can become an Americans Elect delegate—and you can still vote in your party's primary. Just sign up and you'll be able to shape the issues, choose the candidates—and ultimately vote in our convention. In addition to voting, your individual contributions help us build a truly inclusive, 21st-century nominating process.
How does Americans Elect work?Americans Elect follows a simple, step-by-step process that culminates in the first-ever online convention:
• Shape the debate—sign up and define your political priorities
• Match with candidates—discover candidates that share your views
• Choose a ticket—narrow the field and vote in the online convention
And the winner will be on the 2012 ballot in every state.
Who is behind Americans Elect?Americans Elect is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is funded by individual contributions. We were founded by citizens from across the political spectrum who are worried that political divisions are keeping our nation's big problems from being solved. We intend to pay back the bulk of our initial financing as we recruit delegates, so that no single individual will have contributed more than $10K. And so that our candidates will answer only to the American people.
Who will be the candidates?Americans Elect is the first truly open nominating process. Any constitutionally-eligible, qualified citizen—no matter their party—can seek the nomination, or be drafted by our delegates. We will never promote any candidate of our own—and the ultimate winner is decided only by American voters. To ensure the integrity of the process, all potential candidates must be certified by an independent committee and meet a set of standard qualification criteria such as background checks.
How is this different than a traditional ticket?American voters want leadership that will work together to tackle the challenges facing our country. Americans Elect is open to candidates from any party—and when they choose their running mates, they'll be required to choose one from a party other than their own. This will help produce candidates that don't just say they'll work with the other side, but ones who already are.
Is Americans Elect just choosing an "Internet President"?No. We're using the Internet to give all voters an equal voice, but the winning ticket will really be on the 2012 ballot. The Internet is simply the technology that makes Americans Elect possible. Our purpose is to make the nominating process more open and representative of the majority of voters.
Why do we need another candidate?The party primaries offer few choices, and leave too many Americans out of the process. In many states, voters have no real say at all about who gets nominated. Americans Elect gives all voters greater choice and an equal vote, no matter their party or where they live. And by nominating a nonpartisan ticket, Americans Elect will create a path for our leaders to start working together on the challenges facing our country.
Won't this just spoil the election for one of the parties?Can a presidential ticket openly-nominated by millions of voters really be a spoiler? Some people will think Americans Elect will cost the Democrats the election. Others will think the same about the Republicans. We think Americans Elects will allow voters to send a more important message: the American people want leaders that are truly committed to working together, regardless of party.
What if an extremist or unqualified candidate wins?Americans Elect candidates will be certified by an independent committee and must meet a set of standard qualification criteria such as background checks. But more importantly, the Americans Elect ticket will be chosen by millions of registered voters—Democrat, Republican and independent. We believe that when Americans participate directly in the nominating process, we will have a positive debate that leads to a qualified, representative choice.
Can Americans Elect really succeed?We believe the American party system could benefit from some healthy competition. Americans Elect will succeed by putting a nonpartisan ticket on the 2012 ballot in every state—the first ever that's chosen directly by the people. And in doing so, we will demonstrate that an open, online nominating process can give all Americans a choice that's truly committed to working together.
What happens after 2012?The primary focus of Americans Elect is to put the people's choice on the 2012 ballot. After this process, we will not campaign for the winning Americans Elect ticket—what happens next is up to the delegates and leadership to decide. But we anticipate that our success in 2012 will spur further innovation at the local, state and national levels.
AmericansElect.org CEO Elliot Ackerman believes that individuals should have the power and tools to draft and directly nominate their own presidential candidate.
Global War on Terror
The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Second Lieutenant Elliot L. Ackerman, United States Marine Corps (Reserve), for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving as Platoon Commander, First Platoon, Company A, First Battalion, Eighth Marines, Regimental Combat Team 7, FIRST Marine Division in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM II from 10 to 15 November 2004. During a ferocious enemy counter-attack in the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, with complete disregard for his own safety, Second Lieutenant Ackerman twice exposed himself to vicious enemy fire as he pulled wounded Marines out of the open into shelter. When the amphibious tractors sent to evacuate his wounded men could not locate his position, he once again left the safety of his covered position and rushed through a gauntlet of deadly enemy fire to personally direct the amphibious tractors towards his wounded Marines. On 11 November as the battle continued, Second Lieutenant Ackerman recognized the exposed position of his Marines on the rooftops and ordered them to seek cover in the buildings below. Shortly afterwards, he personally assumed the uncovered rooftop position, prompting a hail of deadly fires from the enemy. With rounds impacting all around him, he coolly employed an M240G machine gun to mark targets for supporting tanks, with devastating effects on the enemy. Throughout the battle and despite his own painful shrapnel wounds, he simultaneously directed tank fires, coordinated four separate medical evacuations, and continually attacked with his platoon directly into the heart of the enemy with extreme tenacity. Second Lieutenant Ackerman's bold leadership, personal initiative, and total devotion to duty reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Action Date: November 10 - 15, 2004
Service: Marine Corps Reserve
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Company: Company A
Battalion: 1st Battalion
Regiment: 8th Marines, RCT 7
Division: 1st Marine Division, I MEF