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Americans Elect, Insisting it is Not A Political Party, Generates Thousands of Political Party Registrations in California

January 31, 2012: Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow is the latest in a long parade of Americans Elect corporate leaders to declare that Americans Elect is not a political party:

Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow declares that Americans Elect is Not a Third Party

February 2, 2012: California publicly releases its statistics regarding political party registrations as of January 3 2012. The “not a political party” Americans Elect, registered as a political party in the state of California, now has 3,165 officially registered Americans Elect political party members.

And here’s the darndest thing. Check out the political party registrations for the Americans Elect party in California, organized by county:

Americans Elect Political Party Registrations by County in the State of California, as reported by the California Secretary of State on February 2, 2012

Los Angeles County has a lot of people, but so do the other counties of California. I mean, heck, there’s zero Americans Elect party registrants in 45 counties, including the county where San Francisco, CA lies. Nothing in Sacramento. Nothing in Fresno, but a whole lot of something in Los Angeles County.

This is odd, considering that there are only 35 people signed up for the Americans Elect Los Angeles meetup 3 of those members are actually Americans Elect staffers, and 14 of the people who’ve signed up signed up after the above party statistics were collected. There have been only 2 posts to the Los Angeles Americans Elect meetup page this year. The Americans Elect Southwest Political Director came to town and tried to hold a meet-and-greet yesterday, but according to records only 7 people showed up. Groups where 7 people show up every couple of months don’t usually manage to sign up 2,857 new political party members.

If this reflects real grassroots political activity, why isn’t that reflected in the means Americans Elect created for people who wanted to participate in LA, and what organization is involved instead? If these party registrations aren’t the result of grassroots activity, what produced them? Paid petition circulators? If so, why almost exclusively in Los Angeles? Can anyone make sense of this whoppingly lopsided pattern of party registration for Americans Elect?

3 thoughts on “Americans Elect, Insisting it is Not A Political Party, Generates Thousands of Political Party Registrations in California”

  1. Richard Winger says:

    When Americans Elect professional circulators in Los Angeles County, especially the San Fernando Valley, were working, they had blank voter registration cards with them. Professional circulators often do that. When they come across a person who wants to sign, but who says he or she isn’t registered, the professional circulators ask the person to register right on the spot, so that the signature will be valid. In part of Los Angeles County, apparently the petitioners were encouraged to suggest that the new voter might want to register as a member of Americans Elect Party…if the person is about to sign a petition for Americans Elect, it is somewhat logical to also suggest that the person join the party. That is why Americans Elect got so many registrants in the San Fernando Valley. The California Report of Registration tells the number of party members in each city in California, in each Assembly district, in each State Senate district, and in each US House district, so you can see for yourself where the bulk of the registrants are. The top districts by far are the 29th US House district, the State Senate 18th district, and the 39th Assembly district, all of which are roughly in the same place.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Thanks for writing, Richard. Right, I’d looked at those other dimensions as well — all in Los Angeles County. Does this pattern then suggest to you, Richard, that these political party registrations are an indicator of a particular practice by a particular signature-gathering subcontractor working in that area?

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