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New political party on N.C. ballot won't name presidential candidate

A nonpartisan group that collected enough signatures earlier this year to get a slot on North Carolina's ballot in November as a new political party won't nominate a presidential candidate.

The group -- which collected about 86,000 signatures in North Carolina -- issued a statement late Thursday saying it's effort to nominate a third-party candidate through an online system. "As of this week, no candidate achieved the national support threshold required to enter the Americans Elect Online Convention in June. The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end," the statement read.

Under its plan, voters would have decided the party’s candidates in an online nominating convention in June. Anyone could run for president, and all registered voters are eligible to serve as delegates. The group maintains U.S. voters are interested in an alternative to the two-party system and said it would continue its work.

North Carolina voters expected to see new party on November ballot

UPDATED: A new political party is expected to appear on North Carolina's ballot in November. 

The nonpartisan Americans Elect wants to offer voters an alternative to the two-party political system. It submitted about 86,000 certified signatures from North Carolina residents to get on the ballot, joining the Democrat, Republican and Libertarian parties who will nominate a candidate. (The organization collected 120,000 signatures, about 86,000 of which were certified by local counties, organizers said.) Americans Elect needs 85,379 signatures, or 2 percent of the votes cast in the last general election, to make the cut, according to state law. 

Third Party group making headway in North Carolina

A non profit group, called Americans Elect, has been busy collecting signatures to get a third party on North Carolina's ballot next November.

The group has already collected 39,627 of the 85,379 signatures it needs to get on the ballot in the state, according to State Board of Elections.

The group, which has already gained ballot access in 13 states, hopes to take advantage of discontent with both of the major political parties. It plans to nominate a candidate based on an internet process of people voting online. The presidential nominee must then choose a vice presidential running mate from the opposite party.

The chief executive officer of the group is Kahlil Byrd and the chairman is Peter Ackerman.
 It is widely seen as an effort to recruit a ticket of centrists as former Secretary of State Colin Powell or New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Others see it becoming a potential stalking horse for Congressman Ron Paul if he fails to capture the GOP nomination or GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. Even former University of North Carolina president Erskine Bowles has been mentioned.

To qualify for the North Carolina ballot, the signatures must be collected from at least four North Carolina counties. The signature must be submitted to the state board by June 1st.

So far, the American Elect signatures have come from five counties: Mecklenburg(25,250), Wake(11,651), Durham(1,641) Guilford(873) and Orange(175.)

“They seem to be fairly well organized,” said Johnnie McLean, deputy state elections director.

Nationally, Americans Elect says it has collected 2.3 million signatures. 

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