The following is the full text of a formal petition for reversal of Americans Elect Bylaw 5.6. Rule 12.2 requires me to send the petition to the Board of Directors of Americans Elect, but Americans Elect has not published any e-mail address for the Board of Directors, so I have sent it to as many individual members of the Americans Elect Board of Directors as have leaked out, plus as many members of the Americans Elect senior staff as is possible (again given the spotty publication of their e-mail addresses). I have, as completely as is possible, complied with the letter and spirit of Rule 12.2 in submitting the motion.
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My name is James Cook. I am User #385, a fully verified Americans Elect Delegate. In this statement, I formally invoke my rights under Rule 12.2 to call for the reversal of the decision by the Americans Elect Board of Directors to amend Bylaw 5.6 on March 5. Notice of this amendment was first formally posted by the Board of Directors on March 16 2012 at http://www.americanselect.org/official-documents. This call for reversal is therefore made within the required 72-hour period after the decision is posted.
The previous version of Bylaw 5.6 had this to say about the power of the corporate-appointed Candidate Certification Committee and the power of delegates to overturn its decisions:
Section 5.6. Committee Override by Delegate Vote. Any decision of the Platform of Questions Committee or the Candidate Certification Committee shall be nullified by a majority vote of all registered Delegates, except that a maximum of three candidates for President and three candidates for Vice President may be placed on the ballot by Delegate nullification.
The new version of the Bylaw 5.6 posted March 16 updates 5.6 by adding this clause to its end:
, and except that only a non-unanimous vote of the Candidate Certification Committee regarding contingently qualified candidates may be subject to reversal vote by the Delegates.
I call for the specific reversal of the decision to add this clause. I am aggrieved by the clause because it takes away my ability as a delegate to choose who will be on the Americans Elect ballot, and instead places power in the hands of the Candidate Certification Committee, whose members are selected non-democratically by the Americans Elect Board of Directors, whose members in turn appointed themselves.
I am also aggrieved because, if Americans Elect follows the course of the last delegate vote as described at http://wp.me/pdWLh-8qW, it will suppress the vote by:
1. Publishing the reversal petition as a file buried under three layers of links;
2. Giving delegates only 48 hours to discover and vote on the petition;
3. Refusing to send delegates an e-mail, to allow the petitioner to send his own e-mail to delegates, or to post an item in its “news” section revealing the existence of the petition vote;
4. Refusing when asked (and I’m asking again now) for a means on the website a delegate so I could send a direct message to other delegates informing them of the vote. No such means exists.
5. Publishing the petition in a special .pdf format that cannot be copied and pasted by a reader or indexed by a search engine… a format that Americans Elect does not use for its other .pdf files.
Unless Americans Elect alters its response to reversal petitions, delegates will never know the petition votes exist and the votes will be guaranteed to fail. This is not what democracy looks like.
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