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Third-party group Americans Elect has ballot position but no candidate to fill it

Americans Elect, the well-funded nonprofit that in 27 states obtained a ballot position for a third-party presidential candidate, was forced to admit Tuesday that it has no candidate.

The group’s plan was for voters to pick an independent candidate -- or one with a running mate from the opposite party -- via the Internet. But by Americans Elect’s 12 a.m. Tuesday deadline, no candidate had accumulated 10,000 supporters, the threshold set by the group.

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Americans Elect chief executive Kahlil Byrd said in a statement that the group’s delegates would confer and announce the next step on Thursday. He indicated the group may seek to nominate a candidate in some alternative fashion.

“There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership, and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process,” Byrd said.

The leading candidate to this point is Buddy Roemer, the former Republican governor of Louisiana, who has just over 6,000 supporters.

The group has reportedly raised more than $20 million, mostly from anonymous donors. Its website notes that all contributions come from individuals -- not from corporate or special interest groups -- and that it intends to repay much of the seed money put up by its biggest backers, so that no person’s gift will exceed $10,000.

Callum Borchers can be reached at callum.borchers@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @callumborchers.
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