Q&A: Texas Elector not voting for Trump says he’s not ‘qualified’

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Earlier this week, one of the members of the Electoral College from Texas said he will not vote for Donald Trump despite the fact that Trump won Texas.

Chris Suprun laid out his argument in an op-ed piece for the New York Times. He joined KXAN anchor John Dabkovich on the phone to discuss his stance on the President-Elect.

The Texas Elector says he is not happy with Trump’s post-election attacks on the First Amendment. He is now considering changing his vote to Ohio Governor John Kasich.

John: So explain to us, why not Trump?

Suprun: I don’t think [Trump] is qualified. He has disqualified himself with his massive financial conflict of interest, he continues to be a demagogue attacking people for disagreements, which is really an attack on the Constitution and First Amendment.

We’ve seen more than 50 of my colleagues in the Republican party with national foreign policy experience say he would be a danger if he were president.

John: As an elector, it’s not like you are an interior designer, you are not chosen for your taste in politicians. Your job is it not to carry out the mechanics of the election?

Suprun: It’s certainly not personal perspective, these are objective standards set up in the Constitution that the President can not have a financial conflict of interest.

President Trump has clearly had basically sales calls when he’s called foreign countries since his election and that’s improper. It would be impeachable, which would set up an entirely different Constitutional crisis than we’ve seen ever before.

John: Isn’t that something that needs to be litigated in court or go through impeachment hearings because if electors are going to choose who they want to, then why even have a popular vote?

Suprun: Well in point of fact the electoral college was designed to put an emergency brake on these types of candidates, who are demagogues and who have these financial conflicts of interest.

John: Is this a symbolic move or are you trying to convince other electors to do the same thing?

Suprun: My only attempt to convince other electors was on Monday with the op-ed. After that I had had a few calls to across the land where people have reached out to me, but I have not reached out to them.  And that’s where I’m going to take it, I laid out my argument when they call.

Often they say I understand where you’re coming from, but who else and we have a discussion. And we’ll see what happens, but I don’t think I’ll be alone.

Just last week a Republican elector resigned saying he would not vote for Trump. Art Sisneros told The Associated Press that he was wavering on supporting Trump because the Republican “is not biblically qualified for office.” His replacement will be picked a week from today.

How Texas votes

Texas has 38 electoral votes. One for each of the 36 congressional districts and two for our two U.S. senators.

But state electors aren’t bound to vote the way the state does.

When an an elector goes against the will of the people it’s known as a “faithless elector.”

  • 14 states have had it happen to them.
  • 26 states have laws requiring electors to vote the way the people voted.
  • No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.
  • According to the national archives, 99-percent of electors have voted as pledged.