Requiring signed loyalty oaths from volunteers who will go to the Electoral College is a "prudent" form of campaign protection, Ross Perot's campaign said in a statement Monday.
The independent presidential contender has been requiring volunteers who will carry out Perot's election, if he wins enough electoral votes in November, to sign oaths and submit signed, undated resignation letters in case disputes arise.
"The loyalty of our volunteers has never been questioned," Perot's statement said. "We simply feel it is prudent to obtain oaths from people chosen as electors for Mr. Perot and his vice presidential running mate."
Loyalty oaths are not new to politics. They were ruled legal in a 1952 Supreme Court decision.
Perot said because of the grass-roots nature of his campaign, his electors in December will be people who have pledged loyalty and support, "but otherwise have no history of supporting Mr. Perot because he has never run for public office."
Republicans and Democrats, the statement noted, use as electors "active national and state party leaders whose views and loyalty are well-known."
Democrat Bill Clinton dropped the idea of using loyalty oaths after his Texas campaign officials were criticized for suggesting them. Tony Mitchell, spokesman for the Bush-Quayle campaign, said the Republicans, too, expected electors to cast ballots along popular-vote lines.
"We are not requiring any loyalty oath and have no intention of using strong-arm tactics to achieve that," he said.