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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bipartisan Emergency Legislation Proposed To Intervene In VA GOP Ballot Battle

By Susan Duclos

Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Virginia are jumping into the ballot dispute which recently roiled the state of Virginia when two of the four GOP candidates that submitted signatures to be included on the VA GOP primary ballot were disqualified after VA's certification process.

FOX News:

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia primary, a contest with 49 delegates up for grabs.

The failure of other candidates to qualify -- notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry -- led to complaints that the 10,000-signature requirement is too stringent.

Cuccinelli, who is a Republican, shared the concerns.

"Recent events have underscored that our system is deficient," he said in a statement. "Virginia owes her citizens a better process. We can do it in time for the March primary if we resolve to do so quickly."

Cuccinelli's proposal is expected to state that if the Virginia Board of Elections certifies that a candidate is receiving federal matching funds, or has qualified to receive them, that candidate will upon request be automatically added to the ballot.

Two former Democratic attorneys general are also backing the move, along with a former Democratic state party chairman and a former Republican state party chairman.

Former state Attorney General Tony Troy called the Virginia process a "legal and constitutional embarrassment."

Fellow former top Virginia prosecutor Steve Rosenthal said: "This is not a Democratic or Republican issue. If it takes emergency legislation, then we need to do it."

Sources told Fox News that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to support the emergency legislation as well.

Related WuA pieces on this issue:

Virginia GOP Changed Rules For Primary In November 2011?

Rick Perry Sues Virginia For Ballot Access