Near chaos erupted in the Republican National Convention as “Never Trump” supporters pushed to have a roll call vote to unbind delegates and let them vote according to their conscience. The Never Trump delegates believed they had enough states signed on to allow for a roll call vote, but were surprised to learn that three states had withdrawn their signatures.
Enid Mickelsen, Chair of the Rules Committee, moved to adopt the Republican rules, including the rules that delegates would be bound by their state’s vote. They took a vote, and the ayes and nays sounded the same, but the chair ruled for the ayes. See the video below:
Chaos erupted as delegates felt their voices had not been heard.
A brief break occurred, as the RNC sought to regain some calm. Delegates were yelling out for a roll call vote, with overlapping chants of “USA!” and “Trump!” from the other side. One delegate tried in vain to be recognized, but her mic was off:
After the break, Rep. Steve Womack, the chair, returned.
“Delegates, I need your help and your cooperation,” he told the crowd.” Without objection, the chair will put the question on adoption of the report from the committee on rules. The chair would remind the hall that it’s absolutely critical that we are able to discern the ayes from the nays. Those in favor of the rules package will say aye.” See the video of the vote below:
There was a huge chant of “AYES” from the delegates. When he asked for “No” votes, they were also loud, but clearly not as loud this time around.
Next, Womack recognized a delegate from Utah, Phil Wright. Wright made a motion for a roll call vote on the rules. The motion was immediately seconded.
But that’s when the Never Trump group was hit with an unpleasant surprise. Earlier, they were certain they had enough signatures on a petition to force a roll call vote. They would need signatures from the majority of delegates from seven states to force a roll call vote, and they had a petition from nine: Colorado, Washington, Utah, Minnesota, Wyoming, Maine, Iowa, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. They wanted to force a vote to change the rules so that delegates could vote in the first ballot based on their conscience, not on how their state voted. This, they hoped, would allow them to remove Donald Trump as the nominee.
Womack announced that Mickelsen had received a request earlier from nine states seeking a roll call vote, just as the “Never Trump” group expected. But then he added that Mickelsen received withdrawals from three states, falling below the threshold required to get a roll call vote. So the chair found insufficient support for a record vote.
Melody Potter from West Virginia resolved for committee on the platform be adopted and the dreams of having a roll call vote died.