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GOP elector resigns, says she can’t support Romney : Daily Witness

GOP elector resigns, says she can’t support Romney

September 14, 2012 | By | 44 Replies More
GOP elector resigns, says she can’t support Romney

By MIKE BAKER

One of the Republican appointees to the Electoral College abruptly resigned from her post Thursday after publicly questioning whether she would support the party’s presidential ticket when casting official votes after the November election.

Melinda Wadsley of Ames, Iowa, told The Associated Press that she could not in good conscience vote for party nominee Mitt Romney. Wadsley was among three electors who had told the AP for a story published Thursday that they were exploring alternatives should Romney win their states.

“I have always been a straight ticket Republican, and for the first time in my life I am an undecided voter, therefore, I need to resign my position as a Republican presidential elector,” Wadsley said in an email exchange.

Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said in a statement that the state party’s central committee would begin the process of selecting a replacement, essentially allowing the party to confirm a die-hard Romney supporter.

Wadsley and others had expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul’s conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters.

“They’ve never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I’m disgusted with that. I’d like to show them how disgusted I am,” Wadsley had told the AP earlier, saying she was considering withholding her electoral vote from Romney. She is an Iowa mother of three who was selected as a Republican elector earlier this year and said Paul was the better choice.

She had also noted that the Electoral College was founded with the idea that electors wouldn’t just mimic the popular vote.

The defection of multiple electors would be unprecedented in the last 116 years of U.S. politics. It also would raise the remote possibility that the country could even end up with a president and vice president from different parties.

If Romney prevailed in an extremely close presidential election, for example, defections could deprive him of the Electoral College majority needed to secure the presidency. That would throw the presidential election to the U.S. House for the first time in nearly two centuries. The Senate would elect the vice president if neither running mate got a majority of the electoral votes. If Republicans retained control of the House, and with the each state delegation getting a single vote, Romney probably would prevail. But if the Senate remained in Democratic hands, Vice President Joe Biden would be the favorite.

Because so-called faithless electors are rare, the position of elector is largely viewed as symbolic. Each party chooses people to serve as electors in the 50 states, and electors from the winning party convene in each state capital in December to officially select the president and vice president.

As Paul supporters fought for more prestigious delegate slots during state-level conventions this year, they also quietly accrued electors – some in Democratic states likely to be won by President Barack Obama, but also in a handful in states that Romney could take.

In Nevada, for example, Paul’s forces seized control of the state convention and won a majority of delegates. They also placed four Paul supporters among the state’s six electors.

The electors said they have had no organized discussion over how to cast their electoral votes and there have been no efforts by the campaigns to get them to vote for either Paul or Romney.

Nevada’s electors are approaching their duties in different ways.

Jesse Law, an elector and Paul supporter, said he may have qualms with Romney but has always intended to cast his electoral vote for the party nominee.

“I just want to beat Obama,” Law said.

But Ken Eastman may not cast his Nevada electoral vote for Romney, if the former Massachusetts governor wins the state. Eastman said he wants to explore options with Republican leaders in Clark County, a group now dominated by Paul supporters.

“I’m undecided at this point,” Eastman said, adding that he’s “pretty disgusted” with the national Republican Party and how it has worked to suppress Paul’s grassroots movement. He said the GOP has not been open to an influx of people with different ideas.

In Texas, elector Billie Zimmerman said she sees Paul as the only candidate able to save the country. She considers Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to be just another couple of Republicans who will disappoint her, and she called the GOP convention a “shocking display of deception and treachery and cheating.”

Zimmerman said she hasn’t decided how she’ll cast her electoral vote.

Along with the three electors looking at alternatives, Nevada GOP elector Ken Searles said he may vote for Paul as a protest, so long as his vote wouldn’t change the outcome of the election. Another elector, Kathleen Miller in Alaska, said she is planning to vote for Romney but left open the possibility of a Paul vote if the outcome of the election was certain and Republican leaders continued what she called “shenanigans.”

About half the states, including Nevada, have laws requiring electors to follow the popular vote. Nevada’s statute carries no punishment, and it’s unclear how it would be enforced. Election officials said they may turn to the courts to enforce the law if an elector strayed.

Tensions between the Republican Party and Paul supporters have been escalating for much of the year. At the Republican National Convention last month, Paul supporters booed as the party adopted new rules to make it more difficult for similar insurgent campaigns to gain traction in the future.

Paul has not endorsed Romney. His did not respond to requests for comment on the possible defection of GOP electors.

The Romney campaign sidestepped questions about the electors, with political director Rich Beeson saying Republicans “are united to defeat President Obama to get our economy back on track and Americans working again.”

Often chosen during the convention process, electors are designated by each party to cast votes if their presidential candidate wins the state. A presidential candidate needs 270 of the 538 electoral votes to win.

The last time the House determined the presidential outcome was in 1825, when it selected John Quincy Adams after none of the four candidates won a majority of the electoral votes.

There have been a handful of faithless electors in recent years. In 2004, one Minnesota elector voted for John Edwards for president instead of his top-of-the-ticket running mate John Kerry. Many observers assumed that was simply a mistake. The Minnesota vote was done secretly, and no one ever claimed responsibility.

A District of Columbia elector abstained in 2000 to protest the lack of congressional representation for the district.

The last time multiple electors defected was in 1896, when William Jennings Bryan was the presidential candidate of both the Democratic Party and the People’s Party, with both parties choosing different vice presidential picks. Twenty-seven electors in that race chose the People’s Party ticket, even though it didn’t win the popular vote.

Contact Associated Press writer Mike Baker on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/HiPpEV

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Comments (44)

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  1. music man7175 says:

    Good!! Get the Hell out. You are a Judus Iscariat anyway. You probably was a Harry reid or Pelosi spyanyway. Get out and stay out.

    • Glen Scutt says:

      The fault lies entirely with the Republican National Party. They decided to refuse to follow party rules in order to ‘stick it’ to the Paul people. Romney’s nomination was already ‘in the bag.’ They simply went out of their way to rob the Paul people their moment in the sun.

  2. music man7175 says:

    Moderation when the politicians are tearing everybodies families personally apart. Give me a break

  3. Bob Hynes says:

    Bullseye!!!
    These Ron Paul folks need accept that their good ole Ron didn’t get enough votes to win the Republican nomimation and in our Republic 2 party sytem——until a 3rd Independent party emerges, they need to go home and suck their thumbs for at least another 2 years.

    • I think there were a lot of positive ways Paul’s candidacy effected the focus of Romney’s campaign (and by extension the election overall) but political prudence really does dictate that his supporters throw their collective weight behind Mitt now. He might not be their ideal choice but they’re a lot more likely to find their principles satisfied by him than Obama. Sometimes perfection can be the enemy of the good: in the real world you take the best of what’s available.

    • tom english says:

      He didn’t get the votes, only because both parties have passed laws over the years to make sure no 3rd party will ever get full ballot access… Do your research before you try to sound smart. Oh, by the way, I don’t vote at all, so dont blame any bias on me… I don’t like any of them.

      • Kurt Y Hall says:

        You don’t vote, and yet you ask nto to receive any blame. You, dear sir, ARE the problem.

      • Dale Joy says:

        You, Tom English, said you didn’t vote at all, so that makes you just as responsible for those who vote. Do your research before you try to sound smart!

    • Bill Balmer says:

      Well BOB I think what chapped alot of butt in Iowa, which you know has a very visible and attention attracting primary. After months of fanfare and hupla the victory was given to Mittens. But after a good count was done Paul had won. I think that left a bad taste in alot of folks mouth. I dont care myself, but it happens when the nuts gain control of the tree.

  4. It’s all moot. Romney ain’t winnin’ anyhow.

  5. The same nonsense happen during the Bush and Gore election, the Media started interviewing electors and suggesting historic leagacy’s for people that were to change their vote at the last minute.

    This is not unprecedented, there have actually been many people over the years that did not cast their vote as they had been charged to do. This writer is typical of the media attempting to create an aura of uncertainty and peril, it’s actually become quite common.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faithless_elector

  6. U_Sons a_beaches says:

    Here is the typical republican voter these days YES quoted directly from their own words just like hearing Romney say Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.
    Romney did say it AND He wrote and participated in the op-ed article and wanted to change the title of the Bankrupt article BUT wait HE FINALLY approved the title of that article. If you think not, then therein lies another issue. You mean to say Romney does not have enough weight when involved in an article to get his subject line communicated?

    That title of the op-ed was sent up by Romney to see if it would stick. It didn’t stick well and he now retracts exactly as he did on the 47% statement “out of his own mouth”. It didn’t fly well.

    But I digress on the statement by a Republican electoral college elector:

    ‘ In Texas, elector Billie Zimmerman said she sees Paul as the only candidate able to save the country.

    She considers Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to be just another couple of Republicans who will disappoint her, and she called the GOP convention a “shocking display of deception and treachery and cheating.” Zimmerman said she hasn’t decided how she’ll cast her electoral vote. ‘


    Kind of makes you wonder how much more it would take to become decided doesn’t it?

    Deception , Treachery and Cheating….yep those character flaws will keep me undecided too when I choose a friend, a business partner or anything of a serious nature every time?

    It’s a really tough call? how about doing the right thing for the country? Hmmmm?

  7. Nathan Wimberly says:

    The rats are jumping ship. Mitt the twit caught in a crossfire.

  8. J M says:

    What ever happened to thinking about what’s good for the country? You know, ALL of us. Are we all expected to be sheep and totally accept what’s good for the Party? This great country of ours was NOT founded by corporations. It was founded by people. You know the ones that actually have birth certificates who wake up in the morning eat breakfast and go to work; the ones who struggle to pay all their bills and hope they aren’t disposed of by greedy businesses. Somehow I don’t think our forefathers ever envisioned what we have now.

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