Rich Pedroncelli, Associated Press
In this June 3, 2016, photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures to a his camouflaged "Make America Great" hat as he discuses his support by the National Rifle Association at a campaign rally at the Redding Municipal Airport in Redding, Calif. The primaries have ended. The nominees are picked. And the general election begins with Hillary Clinton already ahead of Trump in the race for the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
Art Sisneros considers his pledge to cast an electoral ballot for Donald Trump a sin. The Texas Republican said he should never have promised to support a candidate “biblically” unfit to serve as president.
“I believe voting for Trump would bring dishonor to God,” he wrote on Saturday.
But as a Christian, Sisneros also considers it sinful to break the promise he made to vote for the Republican who won Texas’ popular vote.
So the welding supply salesman found another way.
“Since I can’t in good conscience vote for Donald Trump, and yet have sinfully made a pledge that I would, the best option I see at this time is to resign my position as an Elector,” Sisneros, a Reformed Christian, wrote on his blog, “The Blessed Path.”
Americans do not vote directly for a presidential candidate. They vote for a slate of electors, and Texas has 38 — representing its 38 electoral votes. Because the GOP candidate won the Lone Star State’s popular vote, all of Texas’ Republican electors will head to the state Capitol on Dec. 19 to cast their electoral ballots, which will be opened in Washington during a joint session of Congress in January.
While 26 states bind their electors to vote for a specific candidate, Texas does not. So Sisneros could choose to be a “faithless elector” and break his pledge to cast his electoral vote for Trump.
But his faith rules out this option, he wrote, because on promise-keeping, “God’s Word is clear.”
When Sisneros resigns, his fellow electors will choose someone else to cast the ballot for Trump.
“The people will get their vote. They will get their Skittles for dinner,” wrote Sisneros, who lives in the East Texas town of Dayton.
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“Skittles for dinner,” Sisneros wrote earlier in the blogpost, is what children may want to eat, but what their parents, in their offspring’s best interest, forbid. In much the same way, electors owe it to the people to vote their consciences, despite the popular desire for Trump.
This republican approach — in which representatives exercise their judgment on behalf of those who elected them — reflects the Founding Fathers’ vision, Cisneros wrote.
“I will sleep well at night knowing I neither gave in to their demands nor caved to my convictions,” Sisneros ended his blog post. “I will also mourn the loss of our republic.”