Election season may only be a distant blip in students’ consciousness, but soon enough, registered voters will have to make the choice of which politician they love, or simply dislike the least. In a country of more than 300 million people dispersed throughout 50 geographically and culturally diverse states, one might think the political landscape would be just as diverse. However, every voting season, choices become limited to two parties: Republican or Democrat.
Groups like the tea party and the Occupy Wall Street movements have demonstrated a growing amount of unrest in the American populace throughout recent years. Could this unrest stem from the current two-party system? It seems at least one group thinks so.
Recently, a grassroots organization by the name of Americans Elect burst forth onto the political scene with hopes of turning the whole two-party system on its head.This nonprofit organization was founded by politically involved citizens who were concerned political partitions were halting the resolution of the nation’s most significant dilemmas.
Americans Elect is not affiliated with any political party, ideology or candidate and aims to change the way we think about elections. Instead of trying to force its way onto the political scene as a traditional political party might, Americans Elect aims to create an entirely new candidate nominating process that puts the power in the hands of the people, not parties.
Any constitutionally eligible, qualified citizen of any party can seek a nomination or be drafted by Americans Elect delegates.
“The only political philosophy we have is that people should be greater than parties,” the organization’s chief operating officer Elliot Ackerman said.
As the policy director of Americans Elect, Ackerman helps to shape the rules of this new convention process and craft a platform of questions these new candidates must answer. Through its new, nonpartisan election process Americans Elect hopes to create a path for America’s leaders to work together to cultivate new ideas and real solutions that address the country’s most pressing issues, without the political baggage of the current two-party system.
The organization’s goal is to be recognized in every state, allowing the placement of candidates on presidential ballots nationwide. It already has a fully fledged ballot status in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and Alaska. Though one may ask: How exactly does this organization aim to accomplish such a lofty goal?
According to marketing communications junior Niki Cvitkovich, leader of the San Diego State chapter of Americans Elect, the goal is to reach out to Americans and, more specifically, the students of SDSU through its website americanselect.org. She urges students to visit the website to sign up as delegates and answer questions. These questions cover some pertinent issues, accurately determining what voters really want from their candidates.
“These questions are vital because they will help form the debates in the coming months for the next president,” Cvitkovich said.
Americans Elect has millions of supporters and is backed by “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report,” MSNBC and CNN. It is also represented by college campuses nationwide, including SDSU.
“It is an organization that is giving the voice back to the people,” Cvitkovich said.
Upon being asked to define the most important goal of Americans Elect, Cvitkovich said, “More support. This is the time that students can make a difference. It’s all about democracy.”
To learn more information about the group, contact Cvitkovich at firstname.lastname@example.org.