What do Convention Delegates Do Besides Eat?

In the looming train wreck that is sometimes called the Republican National Convention, there is an argument being made by the Santorum and Gingrich folks that goes something like this:  “Sure, Romney has X delegates.  But only some of those delegates are legally bound to vote for him.”  As a result, many of them can vote their conscience on the first ballot.

Suppose that I am one of those legally bound delegates and I choose to vote for someone else or just don’t vote on the first ballot. What’s the remedy?  Can I be prosecuted under state law?  Sued for damages?  Does “legally bound” means that I can abstain but just not vote for someone else?  Or is my vote counted whether I vote or not?  If so, what exactly am I there for?

Calling all election law experts . . .

You may also like...

6 Responses

  1. Anon says:

    The title of this post is misleading. I was hoping you would shed some much-needed light on who convention delegates do.

  2. JoeJP says:

    http://www.gop.com/images/legal/2008_RULES_Adopted.pdf [as amended 2010]

    Not sure if this helps much but it does suggest delegates do more than eat.

  3. Gerard Magliocca says:

    Well, it is Spring Break.

    Title now corrected to say “What” rather than “Who”

  4. AYY says:

    It was better before you changed it. Can you change it back?

  5. Lee S. says:

    Better indeed… Perhaps we should discuss that after the convention.
    In my understanding, a bound delegate is held responsible by the state that he represents.

  6. bacchys says:

    Why would the state have any interest in whether or not a delegate to a party convention was faithful?