CLEVELAND — Over angry objections from anti-Donald Trump forces, Republican Party leaders approved rules for the convention and rejected a demand for a state-by-state roll call vote.
Hundreds of socially conservative delegates opposed to nominating Trump protested noisily after the convention’s presiding officer, Arkansas GOP Rep. Steve Womack, abruptly put the rules to a vote and declared them approved by voice.
“Call the roll, call the roll,” opponents shouted. Practically drowning them out were chants of “USA, USA” by Trump supporters and party loyalists.
Minutes later, Womack had the convention vote by voice again, with both sides shouting their votes lustily.
The voice votes occurred even though earlier in the afternoon, dissident delegates submitted petitions from a majority of delegates from what they said were enough states to force a roll call vote under party rules. GOP leaders have wanted to avoid that vote, which was likely to lose but they feared would be embarrassing.
Womack said some delegates had withdrawn their signatures and that petitions from three of those states no longer qualified, leaving the insurgents short of the seven states needed to force a roll call.