Donald Trump's status as the presumptive Republican nominee may be called into question after Colorado delegate Kendal Unruh sent a letter
to the GOP convention rules committee suggesting an alternative to voting for the real estate billionaire on the first ballot.
Unruh, a member of the convention's rules panel, argues that despite custom, delegates are not obligated to follow through on pledges' to vote for a specific candidate. Typically, convention delegates usually fall in line with the winner of the state's primary or caucus. But Unruh contends that can be avoided by invoking "conscience," The Hill reports.
She proposes a rule to formalize that process: "If any such delegate notifies the secretary of his or her intent to cast a vote of conscience, whether personal or religious, each such delegate shall be unbound and unconstrained by these rules on any given vote, including the first ballot for the selection of the Republican nominee for President of the United States, without the risk of challenge, sanction, or retribution by the Republican National Committee."
"The matter of whether a delegate may vote their conscience—even when instructions or state party rules or state statutes attempt to compel the delegate to vote otherwise—has been considered in past conventions," Unruh said in the letter. "Each time, lacking an RNC rule to the contrary, the right of the delegate to vote their conscience has been upheld."
Over 1,000 people hooked up to a conference call Sunday night to discuss the proposed rule change, ABC News
reports. Fellow Colorado delegate Regina Thomson told listeners: "As delegates, you were not chosen to be rubber stamps. Down-ticket Republican candidates in every community are counting on us to do the right thing."
Speaker Paul Ryan of the U.S. House of Representatives lent credibility to the movement, telling NBC News:
"The last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that's contrary to their conscience," during an appearance on "Meet the Press."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker echoed that sentiment in comments Tuesday. "I think [Ryan's] comments are legitimate," Walker said, according to The Associated Press.
"I think historically, not just this year, delegates are and should be able to vote the way they see fit."
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