Web-savvy voters who are fed up with the nation's two leading political parties will nominate their own candidate this year.
And the leader of this effort is scheduled to come to Charleston today to talk about how it will work.
Elliot Ackerman, chief operating officer of Americans Elect, will participate in a College of Charleston forum on the nation's increasing political polarization, particularly in the 2012 presidential race.
The forum is set for 5 p.m. today in Room 235 of the college's Robert Scott Smalls building.
Ackerman will be joined by assistant political science professor Jordan Ragusa, veteran South Carolina political writer Lee Bandy and Dave Gillespie, who wrote "Challengers to Duopoly: Why Third Parties Matter in American Two-Party Politics."
Americans Elect is an attempt to let voters directly nominate a presidential candidate outside the two-party system. Its website lets people rate which issues are important to them and who might best address them.
The grass-roots effort announced Tuesday that it has collected signatures of more than 18,000 South Carolina voters to ensure its nominee will appear on the state's general election ballot this fall. It plans to present those signatures to the State Election Commission this morning.
So far, it has been certified to appear on the ballot in 14 of 50 states and has collected more than 2.3 million of the 2,965,500 voter signatures required to qualify nationally.
The group also has a "Crash the Party" bus that will crisscross the state for the next few days in the run-up to Saturday's GOP primary. Possible Americans Elect presidential candidates are expected to emerge later this month and after a series of early primary balloting in April, a final ticket will be set before July, spokeswoman Dagny Leonard said.