An Elector Refuses To Vote For Trump

A Republican elector from Texas announced over the weekend that he won't be casting a vote for Donald Trump when the electoral college meets in December, explaining that he doesn't think Trump is qualified to serve as POTUS. Yet this man won't become a faithless elector, either. Instead, he plans to resign from the electoral college entirely, so that he can be replaced "with someone that can vote for Trump." For an elector who refuses to vote for Trump, this just ensures that Trump will ultimately receive that vote, just from a different elector.

"I do not see how Donald Trump is biblically qualified to serve in the office of the presidency," Art Sisneros wrote in a blog post Saturday. "Of the hundreds of angry messages that I have received, not one has made a convincing case from Scripture otherwise. If Trump is not qualified and my role, both morally and historically, as an elected official is to vote my conscience, then I cannot and will not vote for Donald Trump for president."

Sisneros is in a powerful position right now. He is one of only 538 people in the country who will get to vote directly for the next president of the United States — and in his opinion, Trump is not qualified to be president. But rather than use his unique position of power to, you know, make a difference, Sisneros is voluntarily sacrificing his power to somebody who will make the same decision he, himself, refuses to make. This is like claiming that you oppose theft and then convincing someone to steal a television for you.

Sisneros' justification for this is that he "sinfully made a pledge that I would" vote for Trump if he won the state of Texas. This is a reference to an affidavit that the Texas Republican Party required all GOP electors in the state to sign, which obligates them to vote for the party's presidential nominee if they win the state.

But this document isn't legally-binding; it's simply an agreement that Sisneros made with the state branch of the GOP. While it's never advisable to break contracts willy-nilly, one might think that trying to prevent an unqualified president from taking office would be a tad bit higher priority than honoring a non-binding agreement with the Texas Republican Party.

As it stands, the rest of Texas' Republican electors will vote to replace Sisneros, ostensibly with somebody who will vote for Trump when the electoral college meets on Dec. 19. By choosing to resign, Sisneros has opted not to take a stand, and not to exercise the enormous historic responsibility that he has assumed. Instead, he's simply opting out of the process entirely, ensuring that his moral position has precisely zero effect on the direction of the country. Way to go.