The new group Americans Elect is trying to ease the path for an independent presidential candidate chosen by voters in a national Internet primary to appear on the election ballot in all 50 states. This is a tall order — achieving national ballot access for a third-party candidate to run against President Barack Obama and the Republican nominee is complicated and expensive.
Enthusiasm for this group is growing. But it could be misplaced. Tom Friedman said in The New York Times that Americans Elect will do to the two-party duopoly “what Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music [and] what drugstore.com did to pharmacies.” Perhaps.
Rather than gush about this group, I fear many aspects of it: its secrecy; the uncertain security for its Internet election and, most important, the lack of democracy in its system for electing a presidential nominee.