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21 August 2008

Attorney General Tells GA Delegates They Can't Switch Their Vote At The Convention

I've confirmed with two members of the state's Democratic National Convention delegation that Attorney General Thurbert Baker sent them a letter informing them that they could not switch their vote to another presidential candidate if they are a pledged delegate to someone else.

Two delegates pledged to New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, Shannon Marietta of Dougherty County and Cheryl Williams of Gwinnett County, both said they received a letter from the Attorney General stating that they could not switch their vote until Sen. Clinton released them or she received less than 35% of the vote during the roll call vote.

The Attorney General's letter cites an relatively unknown section of Georgia's presidential preference primary law that states Any person selected as a delegate or delegate alternate to such national convention shall file a qualification oath with the Secretary of State pledging support at the convention to the candidate of their political party or body for the office of President of the United States for whom they are selected to support. The oath shall state that the delegate or delegate alternate affirms to support such candidate until the candidate is either nominated by such convention or receives less than 35 percent of the votes for nomination by such convention during any balloting, or until the candidate releases the delegates from such pledge. No delegate shall be required to vote for such candidate after two convention nominating ballots have been completed. [Source: Official Code of Georgia Annotated 21-2-196]

Both Clinton delegates said they planned on voting for New York's junior Senator on the first ballot anyway.

I'm currently working on getting a copy of the letter.