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Grassroots Wave? Americans Elect Sees 200% Rise in Oklahoma Party Registrations

Who’s riding a grassroots wave of support?

On the one hand, we have Americans Elect’s claim to grassroots support as shown in this February 28 photo of former Oklahoma Senator Dan Boren with boxes and boxes and boxes of signatures of people who established Americans Elect as a political party in the state of Oklahoma:

Source: newsok.com

Of course, those signatures were not gathered by passionate, unpaid volunteers. The signatures were obtained by people paid to stand outside supermarkets and cajole people into signing. Did these signatures gathered for money represent a grassroots wave of support?

On the other hand, in August 2012 a renegade group of self-declared leaders of the Oklahoma Americans Elect Party attempted to use the Americans Elect Party’s ballot access line to give Gary Johnson a slot to run for President of the United States in the state of Oklahoma. Americans Elect national corporate leaders, rather than allow this, demanded that its own ballot access be withdrawn in the state. The battle: to obtain a shot at Oklahoma’s seven electors in the presidential contest. The local insurgent group lost.

Of course, the Oklahoma Americans Elect Party leaders are self-declared leaders not recognized by the national Americans Elect corporation. There is no record of any large-scale popular vote to elect the self-declared Oklahoma Americans Elect Party “Chairman,” Rex Lawhorn. The most that can be said for Lawhorn is that he was a fan of the national group, who in the words of Ballot Access News was a “supporter of Americans Elect, from the very beginning of the creation of Americans Elect. He worked hard to set up facebook pages and physical meetings of his fellow Americans Elect members and enthusiasts.” Did the insurgent local actions of a facebook-and-meetup-group-organizer represent the vanguard of a grassroots wave of support for Americans Elect?

Were either the national Americans Elect corporation’s paid collection of signatures or a local group’s self-declaration of automatic access reflective of a grassroots wave of support? To find out, let’s consider the growth of registrations by everyday Oklahomans in the Americans Elect party, and compare that growth to the growth in the Democratic and Republican parties over the same period.

From June 1 2012 to November 1 2012, political party registrations in Oklahoma grew by the following percentages:

Democratic Party: +2.3%
Republican Party: +5.2%
Americans Elect Party: +200.0%

Wow! That’s a big jump, isn’t it? There must have been a grassroots wave of support for either the national Americans Elect idea or the Oklahoma Americans Elect Party — right?

Wrong. Here are the actual numbers of registrants in June and November 2012:

Oklahoma Democratic Party registrants, June 1 2012: 942,987.
Oklahoma Democratic Party registrants, November 1 2012: 964,847.
# New Registrants: 21,860

Oklahoma Republican Party registrants, June 1 2012: 851,759.
Oklahoma Republican Party registrants, November 1 2012: 895,625.
# New Registrants: 43,866

Oklahoma Americans Elect Party registrants, June 1 2012: 6.
Oklahoma Americans Elect Party registrants, November 1 2012: 18.
# New Registrants: 12

If 12 new registrants added to 6 original registrants represents a grassroots wave, the kiddie pool in the neighbor’s yard across the street represents the Atlantic Ocean. The struggle between these two Americans Elect Party factions in the 2012 election season represented a squabble between two small sets of people, neither of which developed a large base of popular support.

6 comments to Grassroots Wave? Americans Elect Sees 200% Rise in Oklahoma Party Registrations

  • a1949seeker

    The real issue is that Americans Elect Corporate did nothing to develop any organization for delegates by state but in fact made efforts to suppress such development. Perhaps this duplicity is the biggest factor in Americans Elect inability to take hold. I applaud most efforts to crack into the the anti-democratic nature of the two party system.

    NOTE: I am/was an AE delegate who worked on a national project as a volunteer for AE.

  • Brad M.

    The difficulty in herding cats is known to be difficult. Hence American Elect’s difficulties with organizational efforts of delegates. I would disagree with the comment above that AE made efforts to suppress their development.

    Note: I too am/was an AE delegate and delegate leader here in Texas.

    I would be interested in Irregular Times’ road map, in detail, for how they believe the perfect creation of a national political party should take place.

    • Brad, we can’t speak to “the perfect creation of a national political party,” but here’s what we think would have been good enough: if AECorp had avoided constantly lying to the public and to its delegates, had avoided blatant partisanship, hadn’t taken small donors’ money to reimburse its millionaire donors, hadn’t insisted on retaining veto power over the choice of nominee, hadn’t pretended to have ‘grass roots’ when it was a billionaires’ scheme, hadn’t stacked the deck against non-traditional candidates, hadn’t violated its promise never to support or oppose any candidates, and hadn’t hidden its billionaire donors’ identities…well, that would have been a pretty good start.

      • Brad M.

        Funny, some of what you talk about sounds like the Democratic and Republicans parties.

        Really, in this day and age of politics what how does your perfect birth of a political party happen?

    • AE Transparency speaks for itself, but I am in agreement with most of it.

      You’re setting up a straw man when you ask anyone to define a perfect path to Democracy. The problem is not that Americans Elect was imperfect. The problem is that Americans Elect was perfect: it was perfectly the opposite of its rhetorical claims about itself when put into practice.

    • Solomon Kleinsmith

      This is just the tip of the iceburg as far as the Americans Elect leadership did just about everything in their power to hinder any sliver of power from slipping away from them and going to the candidates or groups that formed organically. This Cook fella has posted some looney tunes conspiracy theory stuff about AE in the past, but this post is just reporting what is plain to see.

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