Bound delegates cannot abstainSubmitted by Minarchist on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 02:41
I'm very bummed but it appears bound delegates cannot abstain. These are the CA rules:
Each delegate to the Republican National Convention shall use his or her best efforts at the convention for the party's presidential nominee candidate from California to whom the delegate has pledged support until the person is nominated for the office of President of the United States by the convention, receives less than 10 percent of the votes for nomination by the convention, releases the delegate from his or her obligation, or until two convention nominating ballots have been taken. Thereafter, each delegate shall be free to vote as he or she chooses.... [
California Elections Code Section 6461.(c)]
It seems to me that abstaining would not be using his or her best efforts at the convention for the party's presidential nominee candidate from California to whom the delegate has pledged support.
I presume the rules are about the same in other states with bound delegates.
Oh well. I was hoping enough of Romney's bound delegates would be stealth Paul delegates who would abstain on the first ballot to keep him from getting a majority.
Update with wording from other states from Shazad:
Each delegate to the national convention shall use his best efforts at the convention for the party's presidential nominee candidate who received the greatest number of votes in the presidential preference election ... until the candidate releases the delegate ... withdraws from the race or until one convention nominating ballot .... [Arizona Revised Statutes 16-243]
The delegates are bound to the candidate entitled to their vote until released.
Each nominee for election as a pledged Congressional District delegate or alternate delegate shall express a commitment to a qualifying Presidential candidate and agree to be bound to vote for that candidate on the first such roll-call unless released by such candidate, as required by law.
If there is a roll call vote for President at the Convention, all delegates and alternate delegates whose selection is made subject by the Plan to qualifying Presidential Primary Candidates defined by Section 4.2 of the Plan, shall vote on the first such roll call for that presidential candidate unless released by such candidate. (G.L. c.53, §70I)
b. Length of Commitment: A person who is elected as a delegate or alternate to the National Convention on the slate of a and who is assigned to a Presidential candidate by the State Convention Chairman to represent that particular Presidential candidate at the National Convention and who does not resign from the position is pledged to support that Presidential candidate at the National Convention until the candidate is nominated or until the delegate or alternate is released from the pledges as follows:
1. First (1st) nomination convention ballot: delegate or alternate shall be released from the pledge only in the event of death, withdrawal, or by decision of the candidate. For the first ballot taken at the National Convention to determine the nominee of the Republican Party for the office of President of the United States, the totals of the votes of the members of the Texas delegation shall be announced as they would have been if the individual delegates had been awarded to or designated for the respective candidates for such office on the Texas General Primary ballot in accordance with the statewide result of the of the voting for such candidates. No poll of the members of the delegation shall be taken for the announcement of the vote.
2. Second (2nd) nomination convention ballot: delegate or alternate may be released from the pledge by decision of the candidate;
3. Third (3rd) nominating convention ballot: delegate or alternate shall be released from the pledge if the candidate has failed to receive twenty percent (20%) or more of the total vote cast on the preceding ballot; or by the decision of the candidate;
4. Fourth (4th) and subsequent nominating convention ballots: delegates and alternates are released from any pledge.
"The Delegate understands that he/she is bound by the results of the June 5th primary and must vote for [presidential candidate's name] on the first ballot at the national convention unless that candidate publicly announces that he/she no longer seeks the nomination." [Primary Election Petition to the Republican National Convention]
This is just a sampling, but every state is different. In some states it says explicitly that the delegate must/shall/is required to vote FOR the candidate. There may be some where it just says "cannot vote for anyone besides the candidate", though I haven't found it yet. Such an interpretation may be implied by some but in others it does explicitly state who the delegate must vote FOR, and not just who they can't vote AGAINST. In some states it mentions using your best efforts to support the candidate. Some states don't bind at all. Some states bind through one ballot, some through 2, some for all ballots. There may be some where it would be acceptable to abstain, but in others there would be penalties and the abstention might not even take effect.
Oregon Rules (Submitted by Micah_6_8 on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 01:50.)
From the Oregon Republican Party bylaws, Section XVII, Section B (http://www.oregonrepublicanparty.org/sites/default/files/ORP...):
Section B. Delegate Conduct at the Republican National Convention.
Candidates for delegate and alternate to the Republican National Convention must state which Presidential Preference Primary candidate they favor, and will be listed as running for one of the delegate positions assigned to that presidential candidate. Each person selected as a delegate or alternate shall sign a pledge that he/she shall vote at the National Convention for the candidate for the President of the United States he/she favors until the candidate is:
(2) receives less than 35% of the votes for nomination at the convention;
(3) releases the delegate from the pledge; or
(4) until two convention nominating ballots have been taken.
Should a delegate or alternate refuse to cast his/her vote in accordance with this pledge, as required by both the Bylaws of the Oregon Republican Party Central Committee and the Oregon Revised Statues, the Chairman of the Oregon delegation to the National Convention shall report to the convention floor that delegate’s vote in accordance with such laws and rules until such time as that delegate is released from his/her pledge.