Americans Elect is a 501c4 corporation proposing to arrange the nomination and election of the next President of the United States in 2012 by a most audacious means: the first ever national online nominating convention in U.S. history without reliance on state and local boards of election. To succeed without getting hacked, falling prone to technical error, falling under suspicion of cooking the books or falling prey to a hostile political takeover, Americans Elect will have to execute its operations in flawless fashion. It therefore is relevant to ask how much attention to detail Americans Elect has mustered in its operations to date.
As with any other corporation, Americans Elect runs according to a set of bylaws. You can read a full-text version of the Americans Elect corporate bylaws, passed July 1 2011; the original pdf version of those bylaws is available from the Nevada Secretary of State here, and is also mirrored here.
Section 8.1.2 of the Americans Elect bylaws reads:
8.1.2. Website. Americans Elect shall maintain a public website for timely notice of the names of candidates, officers and such other information required to be disclosed by law.
Americans Elect’s bylaws (which are curiously not listed on its own website) list Peter Ackerman, Kahlil Byrd and Wendy Drake as untitled “Officers.” To get more specificity, we can go to Americans Elect’s correspondence with the state of Florida dated July 5, 2011 — it lists Peter Ackerman as Chairman, Kahlil Byrd as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, and Wendy Drake as Secretary.
As of the evening of August 9 2011, there is no web page on americanselect.org listing Peter Ackerman as Chairman of Americans Elect. There is no web page on americanselect.org listing Kahlil Byrd as Vice Chairman of Americans Elect, or as Treasurer. There is no web page on americanselect.org listing Wendy Drake as Secretary of Americans Elect, although there is an old web page from May 19 that lists Drake as “Chief Leadership Officer.”
You might say it’s a small thing that Americans Elect has gone 39 days from the date when it passed its bylaws without a list of officers — a list specifically required by those bylaws. I might argue with you that it is no small thing, considering that other people have been named as officers in the media (see Peter Ackerman’s son, “Elliot Ackerman, Chief Operating Officer”) and that other sources name these same people with different titles (see “Kahlil Byrd, Secretary” and “Kahlil Byrd, CEO“). If the American people aren’t given told a consistent and complete account of exactly who the leaders of Americans Elect are and what roles they play, how can they make reasonable judgments about the corporation and its political plans (especially since the funders of Americans Elect are kept secret)?
But let’s momentarily accept, for purposes of argument, the notion that disclosure of the names and roles of the officers of the Americans Elect corporation is a small matter. Even if that’s true, the technical failure in compliance by Americans Elect is consequential because of the audacious goal Americans Elect has set for itself. Americans Elect has told the world that it will be able to pull off an all-online election for the U.S. presidential nomination in less than a year’s time without getting hacked and without making technical errors in access or tabulation or auditing or any of the other crucial aspects of the process.
It’s worth asking: if Americans Elect can’t comply with a painfully simple mandate in its own bylaws after 39 days’ time to get its act in gear, why should Americans expect the same corporation to be able to pull off a the more complicated and tricky technical feat of a trustworthy online election?
I have posted the following question to Americans Elect’s question-and-answer web page, to sit alongside the other questions I’ve asked — not one of which Americans Elect has gotten around to answering:
Section 8.1.2 of the Americans Elect bylaws clearly require Americans Elect to post its officers on its website:
"8.1.2. Website. Americans Elect shall maintain a public website for timely notice of the names of candidates, officers and such other information required to be disclosed by law."
The Americans Elect officers listed in AE July 2011 correspondence with the Florida Department of State are:
Chairman: Peter Ackerman
Vice Chairman and Treasurer: Kahlil Byrd
Secretary: Wendy Drake
But as of today, the Americans Elect website americanselect.org does not list any of these individuals as officers with these titles. Indeed, according to Google and Bing searches it does not mention the names "Peter Ackerman" or "Kahlil Byrd" at all.
When does Americans Elect plan to come into compliance with its own bylaws in this regard?
If I get a response from Americans Elect, I will share it with you in the comments section attached to this article. If you see no such response, that means Americans Elect never answered my question.