Elliot Ackerman told more than 50 students and adults at the College of Charleston Wednesday that they will have a novel choice for president this year if they are dissatisfied with the Republican and Democratic nominees.
Ackerman is chief operating officer for Americans Elect, a web-based effort to identify issues important to dissaffected voters and to nominate a presidential candidate who people across the country feel can best tackle those issues.
Ackerman noted polls that show that more than half of Americans are unhappy with the status quo and would consider supporting a presidential ticket independent of either of the two parties. He said this year's election, like the one in 2008, is shaping up as "a change election."
"But in 2012, the change is not a new person, it's a new way of picking the person," he said, adding that most voters in the country are right to feel frustration that the GOP presidential primary race might be effectively over after South Carolina's primary Saturday.
Many in the audience expressed support for the idea, but some expressed doubt over whether the candidate who emerges from the Americans Elect process would be viable or would be able to address the significant polarization in the nation's politics.
Those who choose to get involved with the Americans Elect process are expected to begin sifting through candidates in April and cast a series of votes that ultimately will choose a nominee by late June.
Americans Elect is making steady progress collecting signatures to ensure that that candidate's name will appear on ballots in all 50 states.