Another Way to Elect a President

If the Philadelphia's constitutional convention were held today, what would elections look like? Americans Elect are hoping to use the net to create an online movement and shake up the country's dysfunctional political process. Tom Friedman gave the group props this Sunday in the New York Times. The idea is to create a new kind of presidential convention next year open to any registered voter. And the exercise will be more than a thought experiment. The group has already secured a ballot line in Arizona, Michigan and Missouri and their well on their way to nabbing a spot on the ballot in California.

*Here's how the group envisions it will work: An online convention will take place over a course of two weeks in June 2012. Any registered voter can participate as a delegate, after signing up securely at the newly launched AmericansElect.org. Through a series of interactive online questionnaires, they will be able to seek out potential candidates whose policy positions most closely resemble their own. A party platform will be determined and candidates drafted. A final field of six prospective nominees will then each select a running mate from a different party, with those options eventually winnowed down to a bipartisan ticket that will inherit the Americans Elect ballot line in, the organizers hope, all 50 states. *

John Alvon at the Daily Beast compares it to the Arab Spring, a leaderless movement willing to create a platform via wiki.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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