Only 40 of Oklahoma’s 43 delegate votes for president were counted Tuesday night, because of one absence and two supporters of Ron Paul who refused to cast their votes for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, even though they were bound to do so.
The roll call for the state was 34 votes for Romney and six for Rep. Ron Paul, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination.
The six who voted for Paul were Paul supporters who had been committed to former candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Because Santorum and Gingrich released their delegates, the Paul supporters were free to vote for Paul.
But two Paul supporters who were required by state law to vote for Romney tried to vote for Paul, and their votes were voided.
James Dunn, an outgoing Oklahoma member of the Republican National Committee, was absent so his vote wasn’t counted. He also supported Paul.
John Bates, of Edmond, was one of those Paul supporters who violated his pledge to vote for Romney.
He said later that he did so because the people that elected him as a delegate were Paul supporters.
“Had I not (voted for Paul), I would have disenfranchised those who voted for me,” he said.
There has been a lot of friction between Paul and Romney supporters in some states and that was evident here Tuesday on the floor of the convention a couple of times.