Aside from the political challenges, some saw the Americans Elect process for nominating candidates as too long and rigorous: Its website has hundreds of pages of bylaws, rules, committee pledges, candidate pledges, elector applications and briefing books.
Becoming a verified supporter of a candidate proved so challenging that the site's leading contender, former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer, couldn't even get approved to support himself.
"When candidate can't get verified, you've got a problem," said Roemer's campaign manager, Carlos Sierra.
Avlon echoed that sentiment, saying Americans Elect's effort, while well-intentioned, proved to be "fatally flawed."
"They realized too late to effect their strategy that they made it too secure," Avlon said. The system, which was designed by the same group that designed eTrade's secure website, was time-consuming for voters looking to support a candidate.
Ileana Wachtel, national press secretary for Americans Elect, said processes like verifying voter registration and gathering support for candidates were to be expected when running for an office like the presidency.
"It wasn't really too onerous given you have to have security that it's one person, one vote," Wachtel said. "If we hadn't had that, a verification system, then what? People would have been complaining it's not secure."
In the end, the role of Americans Elect was to provide a candidate with a platform rather than a campaign.
"They were running for president," Wachtel said. "So if they couldn't get 1,000 supporters in 10 different states, the onus is on them. We supplied the platform. We created the technology. The candidates had to run a campaign."
When Americans Elect packed it in Thursday, Roemer had the most supporters on the group's website. He would have had more, Sierra said, if the process weren't so strict.
"I think they were over-ambitious in their threshold," he said. "Think of an elderly person going through that process. It's discriminatory in that it favors younger people."
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