Stateline Story

California OKs Third-Party Slot on Presidential Ballot

  • December 20, 2011
  • By John Gramlich
A privately financed political organization hoping to run a credible independent candidate for the White House next year has won a slot on California's presidential ballot.

The Washington, D.C., based group, Americans Elect, will have the chance to take on President Obama and the Republican nominee in the nation's most populated state after turning in more than 1 million valid voter signatures to California elections officials, The Sacramento Bee reports . It marks the first time since 1995 that a new political entity has qualified for the California ballot, the paper notes.

Americans Elect has now won the right to appear on the presidential ballot in 12 states in 2012, according to the Los Angeles Times . In addition to vote-rich California, the group will be able to run a candidate in five frequent battleground states — as well as six others: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi and Utah.

Americans Elect will nominate its candidates for president and vice-president via an online convention in June. While no major names have been floated yet, party organizers are hoping a well-known and potentially well-funded independent candidate, such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, will run.

The possibility of a third-party candidate has caused concern among both Democrats and Republicans, since an independent could serve as a spoiler in an close election.

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