Web campaign aims to build 3rd U.S. party

Nov. 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM

BOSTON, Nov. 13 (UPI) -- A grassroots group says it will use the Internet to allow U.S. voters to help it select a third-party candidate for the 2012 presidential election.

Americans Elect says its goal is to quickly qualify a candidate for the ballot in all 50 states.

"This is a way to blow up the status quo," said media strategist Mark McKinnon, who is a volunteer adviser to Americans Elect.

The Boston Globe said Sunday a similar effort in 2008 to nominate a candidate through online voting failed to get off the ground; however, Americans Elect has raised $20 million in seed money and the times are different.

"There's a huge appetite for change and disruption," said McKinnon, who has top-tier experience working on the campaigns of President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Ann Richards. "We are in uncharted waters."

The blueprint calls for candidates to answer online questions from voters that will be used to develop a platform and a consensus on a candidate leading up to a virtual convention.

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