Lloyd W. Bailey

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Lloyd W. Bailey is a faithless elector, physician and ophthalmologist, now retired, from Rocky Mount, North Carolina, who achieved notoriety during the 1968 U.S. presidential election when he became the 145th faithless elector in the history of the United States Electoral College.[1]

A Republican-pledged elector, Bailey cast his vote for American Independent Party presidential nominee George Wallace and his running-mate Curtis LeMay, instead of for Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, who had carried his state.[2] Wallace and LeMay won elections in five states (Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi)[3] with their 45 electoral votes and Bailey's vote gave them a total of 46 electoral votes.

Bailey at first claimed that when he was chosen as an elector by state party convention he had not pledged to cast his votes for Nixon and Agnew. Bailey further claimed that since Wallace had won in the district he represented,[4] he was obligated to cast his votes for Wallace and LeMay. He also claimed that he forgot all about it until a party official reminded him of his electoral duties.[2]

Bailey, a staunch conservative and a member of John Birch Society,[1][4] later admitted that he did not vote for Nixon because the President-elect had announced his intention to appoint Henry Kissinger and Daniel Patrick Moynihan to government positions,[4] and had asked Chief Justice Earl Warren to stay in office through the end of June 1969.[2] Bailey stated that if altering his vote would have changed the outcome of the election he would not have done it, and that his vote for Wallace was simply a protest.[2] He became known as a "protest elector".

Due to Bailey's actions some members of Congress, most notably Senator Edmund Muskie[4] of Maine (a defeated Democratic Vice Presidential nominee) and Representative James O'Hara[4] of Michigan tried to invoke an 1887 statute under which both houses of the United States Congress may disqualify any vote by an elector that has not been "regularly given." However, the motion was defeated.[1] Bailey himself appeared at congressional hearings regarding this case.[2]

Bailey's actions prompted calls for reform of the system. Polls at the time showed that the vast majority of Americans, over 70%,[1] would support replacing the Electoral College with popular, direct voting as advocated by Birch Bayh, or retaining electoral votes without electors themselves, as proposed by Hale Boggs.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Reminder for Reform". TIME Magazine. 1969-01-17. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Tales of the Unfaithful Electors: Dr. Lloyd W. Bailey". EC: The US Electoral College Web Zine. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  3. ^ "Presidential Election 1968 States Carried". United States Presidential Elections. HistoryCentral.com. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Challenge to the Faithless Elector". Congressional Record (Senate). 1969-01-03. p. 9. Retrieved 2008-05-18.