Almost 400 GOP convention delegates have joined the effort to allow them to vote against Donald Trump, the party's presumptive nominee, The Washington Post reports.
"Short-term, yes, there’s going to be chaos," Free the Delegates co-founder Kendal Unruh told the Post. "Long-term this saves the party and we win the election. Everything has to go through birthing pains to birth something great. We’re going to go through the trauma of the birthing pains, but the reward will be worth it."
The effort began quite small on social media, but has grown to include people who are "non-rabble rousers," Unruh said. "The rule-following, churchgoing grandmas who aren't out protesting in the streets. This is the way they push back."
A conference call on Sunday
drew at least 1,000 participants, 250 of which are RNC delegates.
Trump has accused former rivals Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz of being behind the effort. Both have denied involvement, and Unruh, too, said the group is not involved with any former candidate.
The move would require a rule change at the convention. Currently, all delegates are required to vote according to the outcome of their state's primary or caucus on the first ballot, but can change in subsequent ballots if no candidate reaches the required majority on the first ballot.
Trump has achieved that goal, leading him to call the effort to free delegates to vote their conscience on the first ballot "illegal."
But Unruh was encouraged by House Speaker Paul Ryan's words Sunday on "Meet the Press" where he said, "it is not my job to tell delegates what to do, what not to do, or to weigh in on things like that. They write the rules. They make their decisions."
"Paul Ryan signed our permission slip," Unruh told the Post.
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