A Republican electoral college voter announced on Dec. 5 that he will act as a "faithless elector" and refuse to cast his vote for Donald Trump on Dec. 19.
"The election of the next president is not yet a done deal," former firefighter Christopher Suprun, who was one of the first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon, wrote in a New York Times op-ed. "Electors of conscience can still do the right thing for the good of the country. Presidential electors have the legal right and a constitutional duty to vote their conscience."
Suprun said that he made the decision not to cast his electoral vote for Trump, not because of policy disagreements or the fact that Trump did not win the popular vote, but because the president-elect "shows daily he is not qualified for office."
Citing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the former firefighter compared the national tone at the time to that under a Trump presidency, saying that the president-elect does not have foreign policy experience or the "demeanor needed to be commander in chief."
"George W. Bush is an imperfect man, but he led us through the tragic days following the attacks," the op-ed read. "His leadership showed that America was a great nation. That was also the last time I remember the nation united. I watch Mr. Trump fail to unite America and drive a wedge between us."
Suprun also pointed to the Federalist Papers, saying that they argue in favor of electoral college members voting their conscience and keeping away demagogues, the unqualified and those beholden to foreign powers. He urged the 305 others expected to cast their votes for Trump to join him and coordinate a plan to cast their votes for "an honorable and qualified man or woman such as Gov. John Kasich of Ohio" instead.
The retired firefighter joins the ranks of a handful of others, known as the "Hamilton electors," who intend to break from their ranks in protest against Trump, notes the Guardian. As of Nov. 30, there were seven people who publicly announced that they would vote against both Hillary Clinton and Trump, while one Texas man stepped down from the electoral college rather than vote for the Republican president-elect.
"I owe no debt to a party," wrote Suprun. "I owe a debt to my children to leave them a nation they can trust."