Group works to put another presidential candidate on NC ballot
Posted December 20, 2011
Raleigh, N.C. — A nonprofit group that wants to change the way presidential candidates are nominated is working to get a another candidate on North Carolina's 2012 ballot.
Americans Elect, which plans an online convention in June to pick a candidate outside the Democratic and Republican parties, has obtained enough petition signatures to gain access to the presidential ballots in 13 states. California and Rhode Island became the latest states to approve the group's petitions on Monday.
In North Carolina, the group needs more than 85,000 signatures to get on the ballot, and members have fanned out across the state to get voters to sign on to the idea of a another presidential option.
"I think politics, as it works now for a lot of people, is broken," Americans Elect member Tyler Endsley said Tuesday.
The group has about 10 percent of the needed signatures so far, and it needs to reach its goal by June 29.
The Wake County Board of Elections brought in temporary workers to keep up with the influx of voter registrations and petitions.
"We have been getting a lot of petitioners, which is a great thing. It's pretty much just the political process," said Tiffany Holden of the elections board.
Americans Elect is tapping into a growing frustration nationwide with the two-party political system, said Damon Circosta, executive director of the North Carolina Center for Voter Education.
"There's a groundswell of support for something else," Circosta said.
The group has drawn skepticism in it's quest to change the process. People want to know what their motives are, who's pouring millions of dollars into their bank account and whether an online nomination can be secure.
"Most Americans always have a concern when they see secret money in politics," Circosta said.
As a nonprofit, Americans Elect isn't required to identify its donors, but group leaders said they would make the donor list public when voters nominate a candidate in June.
Supporters of the movement argue that their goal is to give voters more choice, not spoil the party.
"In order to spoil an election, someone has to own those votes. Votes are earned, not owned," Endsley said.