A Republican leader in Virginia is heading to court to see if he can receive protection from prosecution if the vote he casts at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, is not for the presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump, but rather for someone else.
Virginia election law states that party delegates have to vote for the winner of the primary, or else they face a fine of $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
But Carroll Boston “Beau” Correll Jr., a Republican Party delegate who dislikes Trump for president, wants a judge to save him from that law, and has filed a federal lawsuit set to be heard on July 7, NBC 12 reported.
Correll says his First Amendment rights, as played through his right to select the candidate of personal choice, trumps Virginia’s election law.
“Correll believes that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as president of the United States and that voting for Donald Trump would therefore violate Correll’s conscience,” the lawsuit states, NBC 12 reported. “Accordingly, Correll will not vote for Donald Trump on the first ballot, or any other ballot, at the national convention.”
If Correll wins, the message sent to other Virginia delegates would be they could follow suit and vote for their candidate of choice, rather than for the candidate who won the primary, based on state voters’ selection. Trump won Virginia with nearly 35 percent of the votes. Seventeen of the state’s 49 GOP delegates are bound by election law to vote for Trump in the first ballot.
Trump, in previous statements reported by NBC 12, has dismissed the “NeverTrump” move.
“Number one,” he said, in a past interview, “they can’t do it legally. Number two, I worked for over one year, and we won all of those delegates.”