While the bruising and highly contentious presidential election of 2016 has come to a close, with Donald Trump winning in a shock victory over heavily favorited Hillary Clinton, the process to the next president taking power after Barack Obama leaves office has not yet been completed. The electoral college, which is what actually elects the president, and not the popular vote, is soon to gather to begin the final process. In many states it is illegal for an elector to not vote with their party, but in other states the electors are not bound by any rules whatsoever. It is rare for an elector to break from decorum and to not vote for the winning party’s candidate, and when it does happen they are labeled as “faithless electors.”
Art Sisneros, an elector in Texas, where the state prohibits electors from voting outside of their party’s winner, has announced he will resign from his position as he cannot vote for Donald Trump and live with himself. In a large blog post Sisneros laid out his ethical, moral, and theological reasons for making the difficult decision. In part he wrote:
If Trump is not qualified and my role, both morally and historically, as an elected official is to vote my conscience, then I can not and will not vote for Donald Trump for President. I believe voting for Trump would bring dishonor to God. The reality is Trump will be our President, no matter what my decision is. Many are furious that I am willing to have this discussion publicly. Personally, I wish more civil officers would be honest about their convictions. Assuming a Trump Presidency is their ultimate goal, they will get that. The problem is, that isn’t what they want. They want a democracy. They will threaten to kill anyone who challenges their power to vote for Skittles for dinner. That is evidence alone to prove that our republic is lost. The shell may remain, but in the hearts of the people and functionality of the system our republic is gone. I also believe that a pledge is a man’s word that he will follow through on something he committed to. God’s Word is clear we should all “let our ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and our ‘no,’s ‘no.” I believe to resign is to honor the intent of the pledge as it relates to the people of my district. 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.
As the day creeps closer to the electoral college vote, it is all but assured that Sisneros will not be the only individual with a crisis of conscience unable to vote for Donald Trump as the next President of the United States.