A Texas Republican elector officially resigned this week, saying he cannot in “good conscience vote for Donald Trump”.
Art Sisneros was elected in May at the Texas GOP Convention to be one of the state’s 38 electors. Sisneros said in a blog post this week that he believed voting for trump “would bring dishonor to God”.
Political strategist Brendan Steinhauser said, “This is very rare for someone to say I cannot vote for the person that the people selected.”
Right now there are 26 states that have laws requiring electors to vote the way the people do. Texas isn’t one of them. The state’s 38 electors aren’t bound to vote for candidate Texans chose.
“So you can be what is called a faithless elector,” Steinhauser said. “In other words, someone who doesn’t vote for the presidential candidate that received the electoral votes for that state.”
So instead of being a “faithless elector” and voting for a candidate other than Trump, who won Texas by 9 percentage points, Sisneros says he is stepping down from his position altogether.
“It is very rare,” Curt Nelson, a Texas GOP elector said, “and everyone makes his or her own decisions.”
Nelson was elected alongside Sisneros earlier this year to represent Texas during December’s electoral vote.
“I actually signed an affidavit when I decided to run for elector,” Nelson said. “I signed an affidavit for the state party saying that I would support the nominee of the party, and that is a commitment I am intending to honor.”
Nelson said the 38 electors didn’t know who would be the party’s nominee at the time they were elected, but he said he is fully committed to casting his ballot for Donald Trump in December.
We reached out to Sisneros for an interview. He declined and said his family has received numerous threats since he announced he was dropping out.
The Texas Democratic Party released a statement following Sisneros announcement.
“We respect and applaud Mr. Sisneros’ decision to refuse to vote for Donald Trump,” Texas Democratic Party Deputy Director Manny Garcia said in the statement. “Texas Democrats welcome everyone from any party who is ready to hold Donald Trump and those Republicans that enable him accountable.”
The remaining 37 electors will convene in Austin on December 19th to cast their votes for President and Vice President as well as a replacement for Sisneros.
Those ballots will remain sealed until early January at a joint session at the U.S. House and Senate.