The Sept. 9 Kansas City Star reports that Mayor Richie Robb, who is mayor of South Charleston, West Virginia and a Republican, threatens to “vote against Bush in the Electoral College even if Bush carries the state.”
The Republican Party needs to look carefully at the people they send to the Electoral College. Electoral College rules say that the people in each state cast their ballots for the party slate of electors, who they trust will vote for the candidate of their choice.
Rules for selecting electors are pretty flexible. Parties in each state are simply charged with the responsibility of submitting to the State’s chief election official a list of individuals pledged to their candidate for President and equal to the State’s electoral vote. These are usually chosen at State party conventions or chosen by party leaders.
There is no rule that requires electors to vote for the candidate to whom they are pledged. There is also no rule that says parties cannot refuse to send an elector they don’t trust.
Mayor Robb said that he protests what he believes are misguided policies. “It’s not likely that I would vote for Kerry,” he says, “But I’m not going to cheerlead us down the primrose path when I know we’re being led in the wrong direction.”
Although he is at least honest about his political opinions, Mayor Robb’s statement is totally irresponsible. The voters of West Virginia depend on him to vote their will, not his. My question now is, “How do we know we can trust Electors to vote the way they are charged by the voters?”