Yesterday, a novel, twenty-first century presidential nominating mechanism known as Americans Elect submitted over 18,000 signatures to the Maryland State Board of Elections yesterday to make some room on the ballot for whomever the nonpartisan group runs for president.

Americans Elect, whose website calls it “the first nonpartisan presidential nomination,” is pursuing a vision of an electoral process that avoids the party primaries, and instead allows voters to sign up as delegates, rank your personal political priorities, peruse a long list of presidential hopefuls, and even throw your hat into the ring yourself.

It may sound far fetched, but the non-profit is well funded and fairly well organized. It’ll be interesting to see how much attention it gets statewide as well as nationally, and it certainly would be nice for our candidates for president to receive a nomination without owing too many favors, and without couching all of their opinions in partisan ideology.

Americans Elect holds its online caucuses in May, with three separate rounds of balloting.