GOP elector won't vote for Romney and resigns

September 14, 2012 - 3:34 AM
Romney 2012

Ginger Gibson, national political reporter for Politico, right, offers two pieces of her birthday cake to Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as they fly to Long Island, NY, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

AMES, Iowa (AP) — A Republican appointed to the Electoral College, Melinda Wadsley was expected to cast her vote for Mitt Romney if he won the state of Iowa in the presidential election.

Wadsley decided Thursday she couldn't in good conscience vote for Romney — she had backed Ron Paul during the GOP primary — and resigned to allow the Iowa GOP to choose someone else for that duty.

"I have always been a straight-ticket Republican, and for the first time in my life I am an undecided voter, therefore, I need to resign my position as a Republican presidential elector," Wadsley said in an email exchange with The Associated Press.

Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said in a statement Thursday that the state party's central committee would begin the process of selecting a replacement, essentially allowing the party to confirm a die-hard Romney supporter.

A mother of three in Ames, Wadsley was one of three electors featured in an AP story published early Thursday that noted some GOP electors were unsure they would vote for Romney if he won their states on Nov. 6. They had expressed frustration at how Republican leaders have worked to suppress Paul's conservative movement and his legion of loyal supporters.

"They've never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I'm disgusted with that," Wadsley told the AP for the story that preceded her resignation. "I'd like to show them how disgusted I am."

Each party chooses people to serve as electors in the 50 states. In December, electors convene in each state capital to officially select the president and vice president.

Occasionally a so-called faithless elector decides not to vote or to vote for someone other than the winner. The defection of multiple electors would be unprecedented in modern American politics.