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Monday, December 26, 2011

Virginia GOP Changed Rules For Primary In November 2011?

By Susan Duclos

With the recent news that both the Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich campaigns submitted the required 10,000 signatures to obtain access to be put on the Virginia primary ballot but were disqualified during the verification process, this report by is extremely relevant.

But what has not been reported is that in the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked. Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot. In 2000, five Republicans qualified: George Bush, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, and Steve Forbes. In 2004 there was no Republican primary in Virginia. In 2008, seven Republicans qualified: John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Alan Keyes.

If this is indeed the first year the VA GOP actually performed the verification process, then comparing any other year to this situation is like comparing apples to oranges.

Changing the rules a month before the deadline is a significant screw up on the party of the VA GOP.

Furthermore, if a candidate submits 15,000 signatures the signatures aren't verified at all.

Under the Code of Virginia, any candidate who wants to have their name placed on the March 6, 2012 Republican Presidential Ballot or the June 12, 2012 U.S. Senate Primary must collect the signatures of 10,000 registered voters statewide, with at least 400 signatures of registered voters from each of Virginia’s 11 Congressional Districts.

“Any candidate who submits at least 15,000 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions statewide and has at least 600 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions from each of the 11 Congressional Districts shall be deemed to have met the threshold for qualification and will be certified (provided, of course, that other requirements of State law have also been met)”

“If any candidate submits fewer than 15,000 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions statewide or fewer than 600 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions in one or more of the 11 Congressional Districts, the Republican Party of Virginia will individually verify signatures until the 10,000 signature statewide threshold and/or 400 per Congressional district is met.”

Because Perry and Gingrich only submitted 11,000 plus signatures they had to be individually verified, yet Paul and Romney's signatures went through NO verification process whatsoever because they submitted over 15,000.