Melinda Wadsley made the 2012 presidential election more interesting when she resigned her post as a member of the Electoral College on Thursday. Wadsley's reason centers around her wavering support of Mitt Romney and leaned towards a vote for Rep. Ron Paul instead of Mitt Romney. In a close race, even one electoral vote may swing the election to one candidate or another.
How did Iowans find out about Wadsley's stance?
An Associated Press article published Thursday claimed at least three GOP electors may not support Romney in the general election. Wadsley said Republican leaders have "never given Ron Paul a fair shot, and I'm disgusted with that. I'd like to show them how disgusted I am."
Two other electors mentioned in the AP story are from Nevada and Texas. Both claim to be undecided. Still more electors may choose to vote for Paul if the outcome of the election doesn't change. Paul's supporters famously took over state conventions in a few areas such as Maine, Minnesota and Nevada in the convention and delegation process.
How did other electors in Iowa respond?
A piece in the Des Moines Register reveals four of Iowa's six electors are staunchly for Romney. Another elector caucused for Rick Santorum and is new to the elector process. Jack Whitver, an elector and state senator from Ankeny, Iowa, told the Register, "To vote for someone who got third in Iowa... [doesn't] make a lot of sense... . To say you're not going to vote for our nominee is, I think, irresponsible."
What happened to Wadsley?
Another AP story told of Wadsley's resignation later in the day Thursday. The former elector said in an email, "I have always been a straight ticket Republican, and for the first time in my life I am an undecided voter, therefore, I need to resign my position as a Republican presidential elector."
How are electors chosen?
Each state's party chooses electors who cast votes for president every four years. In Iowa, GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said his party's central committee will choose Wadsley's replacement as soon as possible. Some electors are bound by law to cast votes for the candidate who wins the statewide election. In 24 states , so-called faithless electors can cast ballots for whomever they choose. Iowa is one of those states where electors are not bound by election outcomes.
In Iowa, the Secretary of State's office certifies electors who cast ballots at the state capitol Dec. 17. An elector must be a citizen of the United States , a resident of Iowa and 18 years old by election day. Electors must be nominated by each party.
Have electors changed their votes before?
An article written by the Des Moines Register and the Associated Press states the last time multiple electors changed votes was in 1896. That was when William Jennings Bryan ran on the Democratic and People's Party ticket for president. Twenty-seven electors sided with the People's Party in an election when Republican William McKinley was voted into office.
How did Wadsley fit into Iowa politics?
Wadsley is from Ames, Iowa. She is a part of the "Homeschoolers for Ron Paul " nationwide coalition, according to the former presidential candidate's website. She is a mother of three and called Paul the "best for this country."
William Browning is a research librarian specializing in U.S. politics.