Lee Mortimer dismisses as “paranoid” the notion that there might be “super-secret bylaws Americans Elect has re-written, and chosen not to share with the American people,” but it’s hard to come to another conclusion now that a mystery “100,000 rule” has been referred by an Americans Elect insider for the second time in a week.
John Avlon, one of many Washington insiders working with both the congress-oriented 501c4 corporation No Labels and the presidential-oriented 501c4 corporation Americans Elect, made reference on Thursday September 29 to “new rules” for Americans Elect:
One understandably skeptical response to this vision of an online convention is to imagine all the ways it could be hijacked by activist groups or special interests. The checks and balances set out in the new rules should calm at least some concerns.
Any registered voter can participate in the process. To date, 110,000 people have signed up online to be Americans Elect delegates — more than 10 times the number of delegates who participate in the Republican and Democratic conventions combined.
Any potential candidate with a professional background commensurate with the past 44 presidents — governors, senators, congressmen, Cabinet secretaries, flag-rank military officers, CEOs, or college presidents — would automatically qualify if they received 10,000 online clicks of support.
Any other citizen would be allowed to petition to put their name forward, providing they could accumulate at least 100,000 on-line support clicks — including a minimum of 10,000 supporters from 10 states — to determine broad-based support.
Avlon is technically incorrect about one thing: there currently are no “delegates” to Americans Elect. According to the latest published bylaws of Americans Elect, delegates are not just people who sign up for an account at americanselect.org:
Section 2.3. Delegates. Delegates are Members who have submitted sufficient information to permit verification of their lawful status as registered voters and citizens of the United States, and who have been so verified by Americans Elect, and who have accepted the Delegate Pledge as provided by the Rules Committee.
None of these steps have yet been made possible by Americans Elect. There are therefore currently no Americans Elect delegates.
John Avlon’s standards of “10,000 clicks” and “100,000 clicks” as means of drafting presidential candidates are also not found in the current published bylaws for the conduct of Americans Elect. But they are found somewhere else — a transcript of remarks made the same day on Oregon Public Radio by Americans Elect National Field Director Kellen Arno:
I mean, uh, what you would need to do is to, to show support from, uh, a big enough group of the delegate base that that person is someone that they’d like to see. Um, I believe right now in the rules it’s written that they would need to show, um, would need to get effectively, you know, an online signature being a show of support from, I think it’s a hundred thousand. A hundred thousand people.
Has Americans Elect passed a new implementation of its rules, one which specifies this hundred-thousand-person standard for identifying a nominee? If that’s not the case, then two Americans Elect officials have independently reported the same fiction, which seems unlikely. But if the passage of new rules has come to pass, then two things should have happened that have not happened:
1. Americans Elect should have posted these new rules to its website on its Official Documents web page… a three-minute action which is as simple as uploading an attachment to an e-mail.
2. Americans Elect should have posted public notice in advance of its meeting on its website… an action which is required under Florida state law.
The Americans Elect corporation can show goodwill to the American people in whose name it acts by complying with the law and heeding its prior commitment to disseminate its documentation. I urge Americans Elect to comply with these basic standards of transparency. I urge you to urge Americans Elect to comply with these basic standards of transparency.