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Technical Glitch: Americans Elect Corporation wants to run private presidential nomination without a hitch, needs 2 Extensions to file with the IRS

Americans Elect says it’s got the technical know-how needed to run the nation’s first-ever online presidential election safely, securely and verifiably, pulling it all off in just six months’ time.

Americans Elect filed with the IRS for an extension on filing its Form 990 as a 501c4 corporation earlier this year, explaining that despite its multi-million dollar budget it hadn’t been able to satisfy the technical demands needed to keep track of its own money:

ORGANIZATION HAS ENGAGED AN AUDITING FIRM TO PERFORM AN ANNUAL AUDIT OF THE ORGANIZATION’S 2010 ACTIVITIES. THE AUDIT IS NOT DUE TO BE COMPLETED UNTIL AFTER AUG 15, 2011. THE AUDIT WAS DELAYED BY THE ORGANIZATION’S EFFORTS TO RETAIN A QUALIFIED AUDITOR WITH THE EXPERTISE TO BEST SERVE THE NEEDS OF THE ORGANIZATION.

This was not Americans Elect’s first extension for filing a Form 990 (a disclosure form that lets the public know what the secretive 501c4 corporation has been up to). This appears to have been at least Americans Elect’s second request for an extension. How do we know? Because the extension form shows that Americans Elect filled out Part II of the form: “Additional (Not Automatic) 3-Month Extension of Time.” Part II is accompanied by the bold-faced text, “STOP! Do not complete Part II if you were not already granted an automatic 3-month extension on a previously filed Form 8868.

Either Americans Elect has had to file for two extensions because it is technically incapable of balancing its books, or Americans Elect mistakenly filled out Part II for its first extension despite bold-faced warnings not to, indicating an inability to comply with 2-page IRS forms. This is the corporation that wants you to trust it not only to run its own private presidential nomination but to do so online, all in just a few months without a hitch.

Maybe you’re ready to toss Americans Elect your trust. I’d like to see some evidence that Americans Elect actually has its act together.

1 comment to Technical Glitch: Americans Elect Corporation wants to run private presidential nomination without a hitch, needs 2 Extensions to file with the IRS

  • Ralph

    As of 11/12/11, Americans Elect’s “Terms of Use” is inconsistent with their claim to be able to guarantee an accurate and secure online vote. See section 13 of their “Terms of Use”: “Neither we, nor any of our directors, officers, employees, agents or content or service providers, warrant that americanselect.org or the service will be uninterrupted or error free.”

    That very clearly contradicts the claims they’ve been making in public. They’ve been telling us their online vote will be secure–yet making people who join agree to terms of use that make no promise that it will be “error free.”

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