Why Alaska's delegates were counted for Donald Trump

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  • The Alaska delegates' votes were counted for Donald Trump, even though he lost the caucuses

Cleveland (CNN)When Alaska Republicans went to their caucuses on March 1, Ted Cruz was the top vote-getter, followed by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio.

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Cruz captured 12 votes, Trump 11 and Rubio five. And that's what Alaska announced when its turn came on the Republican National Convention floor.
    But Tuesday night, when the state called out its results, the convention secretary counted all 28 for Trump.
    That didn't please the Alaska delegation, and after all the states had voted, it raised the attention of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who was presiding over the vote, demanding an explanation.
    After a musical interlude, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus came on the stage after the delay to explain the rule that required Alaska's total to be 28 votes for Trump.
    "This is a rule that affects only about four states," Priebus told the hall. "In this particular case, the state rules ... says that the candidates that are submitted that run in the election, if they drop out, the bound vote gets reallocated to the only candidate left that's running."
    "So, because all candidates other than Trump dropped out, all of the former candidates' delegates were reallocated to Trump," said CNN delegate analyst and former Rubio staffer Will Holley.
    Alaska chairman Tuckerman Babcock says he disagrees with the RNC ruling, although the state is behind Trump as the nominee.
    "Alaskans wanted to respect the will of our primary voters and they voted to send delegates to the national convention 12 for Cruz, 11 for Trump and five for Rubio. That's what we're doing here, that's why I reported it that way," Babcock said. "Our rules are confusing. The RNC interpreted them a certain way, and reallocated everyone to Trump, officially. We don't agree with that interpretation and that's what the discussion was about."
    He added, "So I don't find the RNC's interpretation outrageous, just wrong."
    Priebus also noted that the RNC was willing to record votes for other candidates, a departure from previous years.
    "I know that was different than Tampa, and I hope that you all appreciated that," Priebus said.