Election 2016

Texas GOP Elector Resigns Rather Than Vote For Donald Trump

Art Sisneros, of Dayton in Liberty County, says his conscience will not allow him to cast his vote in the Electoral College for Trump. The state’s remaining 37 Republican electors will name Sisneros’ replacement when they meet in Austin in December.

A Republican elector from Greater Houston has resigned. Art Sisneros announced the move in a blog post, saying he would step down rather than vote for Donald Trump for president in the Electoral College. He describes his decision as a matter of conscience.

Sisneros is a welding supply salesman from Dayton in Liberty County and a devout Christian. He ran to become a Republican elector before Trump secured the party’s nomination for president. And he says he’s been wrestling with his decision ever since.

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

Houston Public Media's Coverage of Election 2016

“As a Christian that is guided by the Bible,” says Sisneros, “I saw that I didn’t believe that Trump was biblically qualified, in what guides all that I do, and so, so I couldn’t personally vote for him.”

Sisneros says that left him with limited options. He could vote for someone other than Trump, becoming what’s known as a “faithless elector.” But that would have required him to break a pledge he’d signed to vote for the nominee of his party.

“There’s a sense of, I need to keep my word to those people that I ran and signed the pledge [to],” Sisneros says. “And so, after weighing both of the options, I realized that the best thing to do would be to resign that position.”

The state Republican Party has accepted Sisneros’ resignation.

“We respect Mr. Sisneros’s decision and appreciate his willingness to step down from his position as a presidential elector in Texas,” says Michael Joyce, the party’s chief spokesman. “The responsibility of selecting his replacement now falls into the hands of the other electors from Texas when they assemble at the state capital, and we look forward to continuing to move forward with the process.”

Texas follows the “winner-take-all” rule. Since Donald Trump won the majority of Texas’s popular vote for president, the GOP gets to name all the state’s 38 electors. The remaining 37 will meet in Austin on December 19. Once they’ve chosen a replacement for Sisneros, the group will cast their votes for president and vice president. The state will then have nine days to send the electoral votes to the President of the Senate, Vice President Joe Biden. Congress will meet in joint session on January 6 to count the votes and officially declare the winners of the 2016 election.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas delegations in the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the Texas governorship, the state legislature, and county and city governments. Before taking up his current post, Andrew...

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