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Oklahoma delegates filed a challenge to the RNC Committee on Contests over the election of at-large delegates and at-large alternates at the State Convention. It was put forward by 13 people who were credentialed delegates to the Oklahoma State Convention. Some of these had already been elected National Delegates and Alternates at Congressional District Conventions.

The notice of grounds for the challenge was filed on July 26th, 2012. The Statement of Position from the contestants was filed on August 1st, 2012. We received the State of Position from the Respondent’s on August 6th, 2012. We have a preliminary decision from the Committee on Contests upholding the State GOP. We are appealing.

We are challenging over the lack of a secret ballot vote (also known as roll call vote) on the election of at-large delegates & at-large alternates, which is required by Oklahoma Republican State Party Rules 18(d).

We are asking for the improperly elected at-large delegates and at-large alternates to be vacated. There are provisions within the National Republican Party rules to fill those positions.

The Oklahoma Republican Party responded to the delegates challenging the election of at-large delegates & at-large alternates claiming that a roll call vote was unnecessary because one roll call vote was taken on the rules amendment and it failed. Therefore, the OK GOP claims a second roll call vote would have been worthless.

The Oklahoma Republican Party states,

“Contestants’ Statement should be rejected because the delegates and alternates were chosen in a manner permissible under the rules of the Oklahoma Republican Party”

But, under Oklahoma State Party Rule 18(d) it clearly defines how at-large delegates & at-large alternates are to be elected. Rule 18(d) reads,

“Nominations at State Convention:  At the State Convention convened for the purpose of electing Delegates-at-Large and Alternates-at-Large to the Republican National Convention, qualified nominations of the State Executive Committee shall be placed before the convention by the State Chairman, and all other qualified nominations shall be received by the chairman of the State Convention in accordance with the rules adopted by such convention. Election of the Delegates-at-Large and Alternates-at Large shall be by roll call vote.”

There is nothing in the Oklahoma Republican Party rules which allows for delegates to be elected in any other manner. Besides, there are many reasons that a secret ballot (roll call) vote is necessary. One of the most obvious needs for a secret ballot vote is due to the fact that delegate votes are proportionate according to each county. One county may have 5 delegates present, with a total of 10 votes from that county. So, each delegate would be worth 2 votes. Or, another county may have 10 votes, with 20 delegates present. So, each delegate would be worth ½ a vote. This was well seen in the roll call vote which was conducted for national committeeman, where the winner only won by 1.8%.

The RNC Committee on Contests has decided the following,

“The Committee finds that the Contestants did not meet their burden of proof regarding the certification of Oklahoma’s National Convention delegation. The committee determined that the voice vote and the standing vote on the delegate slate constituted a ballot to elect the delegates to the National Convention…”

The delegates who have brought this Challenge to the RNC do not agree with the Committee’s findings and will be responding further. The rules were violated, so we are holding the Republican Party accountable to their own rules.

The delegates bringing this challenge are acting on their own, with no financial or advisory assistance from any party or campaign. We all want to see the rules upheld. We are, however, strong supporters of Ron Paul, the true conservative in the race.

You can view the website for the delegates filing this challenge at www.okliberty.com. All supporting documents can be viewed directly here. The documents that can be viewed are the challenge initially submitted, the response from the OK GOP and then finally the RNC’s Committee on Contest initial response.

-Qadoshyah Fish