A Word Of Warning For Those Wanting to Be A Delegate To The GOP National Convention

Georgia will begin the convention process next Saturday to elect delegates to represent Georgia at the Republican National Convention. County conventions will elect delegates to both district and state conventions where the national delegates will be nominated and elected. There has been rumors of some zealous folks with one of the presidential candidates trying to make it to the national convention at all costs. That includes lying in order to accomplish their goal.

Here’s the deal about the Georgia delegation to the RNC: delegates are, by law, bound to the candidate they are the allocated to for the first two ballots. From my understanding, since it is in the rules for the Georgia Republican Party that delegates are bound for the first two ballots, it is state law. So, if you’re a delegate for Candidate A and vote for Candidate B in the first two rounds of balloting, you will be charged with perjury which is a felony. That’s what I have heard from my district chairman who was relaying that from the state party.

I understand people’s zeal for a certain candidate, but I don’t believe a politican is worth committing a felony for and sacrificing my ability to vote. If you’re one of those folks considering that, I hope that you heed my warning.

Also, 7th District GOP Chairman Jason Thompson has composed an open letter concerning the matter as well.  Read it here.


  1. ives says:

    I think you are being a little overzealous with your allegations that a certain candidate’s supporters are planning on lying and committing felonies. Sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory.

    You are bound to the allocated candidate for the first round of voting. Then, if that candidate received over 35% in the first round, you are also bound to vote again for them in the second round. Otherwise you are freed after the first round. It’s called a brokered convention and it’s entirely legal.

    • Andre says:

      So that there is no confusion, here’s the code section that governs delegate voting at the National Conventions:

      O.C.G.A. § 21-2-196. Qualification oath of delegates and alternates to national convention

      Any person selected as a delegate or delegate alternate to such national convention shall file a qualification oath with the Secretary of State pledging support at the convention to the candidate of their political party or body for the office of President of the United States for whom they are selected to support. The oath shall state that the delegate or delegate alternate affirms to support such candidate until the candidate is either nominated by such convention or receives less than 35 percent of the votes for nomination by such convention during any balloting, or until the candidate releases the delegates from such pledge. No delegate shall be required to vote for such candidate after two convention nominating ballots have been completed.

      Now for some opinion:

      If candidate A accumulates 43% of the delegates, candidate B accumulates 35% of the delegates, and candidate C accumulates 22% of the delegates, I think it’s safe to say that candidate A and candidate B will keep their delegates through the second ballot. There’s no reason for either candidates’ delegates to change their votes, given that both candidate A and candidate B still have a path to the nomination.

      Candidate C’s delegates, however, will be courted by both candidate A and candidate B after the first ballot. 22% is a high hill to climb, but 22% is still enough to influence the platform, influence Party rules, influence Party leadership, and even get plum positions in the administration if the eventual nominee wins the White House.

      Each campaign should hire a delegate counter, whose sole responsibility is to understand the delegate selection rules from state to state. If the convention is brokered, each candidate should have a floor leader and 2 to 3 whips for each state. It is so important for the candidates to keep their delegates in line, and vote the way the candidates want them to vote. And finally, each candidate should have a high profile surrogate in each state to woo delegates from the other candidates.

      • ives says:

        In your scenario, candidate A’s delegates (43%) and candidate B’s delegates (35%) would be bound on the second vote as well.

        I can see a likely scenario in Georgia, for example, where Newt Gingrich could possibly win the bulk of the delegates in the primary but not achieve 35% in the first round of voting at the National Convention. In that case, his delegates from Georgia would no longer be bound after the first vote.

        Additionally, Georgia Code § 21-2-197 states: “Any delegate to a national convention whose presidential candidate withdraws … shall be an unpledged delegate ..”

  2. suissie says:

    I welcomed the information. Does this refer to factions which are strongly alligned with Tea Party movements LLC. Is it common for advocates of the tea party movement to also be in postions of power in local GOP party politics?
    I would love to hear from others regarding this phenomena.

  3. debbie0040 says:

    suissie, I can answer that question. There are a large number of tea party activists that have gotten involved within their local , district and state GOP. In fact, in 2011, many tea party activists won seats in their county executive committee and one was actually elected county GOP chairman in Valdosta. The GOP controls Georgia, so it is natural for activists to get involved with the GOP if they wish in order to have a seat at the table.

    This is happening nationwide, not just Georgia..

    Jason Thompson was right on target about the delegate process. I do believe at the national convention that if you are delegate and don’t vote on the first round and possibly the 2nd round unless released, for the candidate that won your district/state, then your vote will also be challenged and disqualified.

    • Lo Mein says:

      The good thing about all you people who will be GOP delegates from Georgia, will be that Gingrich (and probably Santorum) will have dropped out by the time of the national convention, just like Huckabee did last time. And just like last time, that means every single one of Georgia’s delegates will be free to vote for whomever they wish, 100% legally, from the very first ballot.

      Making “Super Tuesday” nothing more than a “super straw poll” beauty contest for Georgia.

  4. Rick Day says:

    OH JesusChristPeople! Quit dancing around: It’s the Ron Paulistas.

    My phone and email has been hit daily with people begging me to be a delegate for Paul. There IS a strategy for a brokered convention and it is possible that NONE of those 4 candidates will get 35% on the 1st ballot. The Paulistas know I have financial wherewithal to pay my own way.

    But NO! I will vote for Paul as many times as legally allowed. I sent him money. But I’ll be GOD DAMN if I would EVER be a delegate for the GOP.

    No love lost, I’m sure. But, just….no! (Stop calling me, guys!)

  5. debbie0040 says:

    I don’t think any candidate that has accumulated delegates will officially withdraw from the race until after the nominee is decided . They can suspend their campaigns prior to the convention, but not release their delegates.. If they withdraw the delegates are released, if they suspend – delegates are not released. This happened in 2008… Candidates did end up releasing their delegates once it was clear that McCain was going to be the nominee. This year is different with the GOP in all the states knowing what the stragetgy of the Ron Paul supporters are. You can bet the other candidates will want to make sure that any Ron Paul supporters cannot derail the process, so they will be less likely to release their delegates.

    I would be surprise if Ron Paul got even 5 % of the vote here tomorrow..

    • Lo Mein says:

      Then I guess you were surprised, debbie. 🙂

      Georgia Code § 21-2-196: “… a delegate or … shall file a qualification oath … pledging support … to the candidate … for the office of President … for whom they are selected to support. The oath shall state that the delegate … affirms to support such candidate until the candidate is either nominated … or receives less than 35 percent of the votes for nomination …, or until the candidate releases the delegates…. No delegate shall be required to vote for such candidate after two convention nominating ballots…”

      Georgia Code § 21-2-197: “Any delegate to a national convention whose presidential candidate withdraws … shall be an unpledged delegate …”

      So it looks like 21-2-197 says if a candidate “withdraws” the delegates are released, but 21-2-196 says the candidate has to release his delegates. There is a conflict in the laws, and “withdraw” versus “suspend” can be vaguely interpreted, which means any good lawyer can get the whole thing thrown out in court.

      I love America. What a country! 🙂

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