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Governor Northam Should Add Ballot Access to the August General Assembly Session

Not Just Covid Rules, Either!

Virginia has some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the nation. That’s an opinion but the facts seem to bear it out.

  • Ten (10) percent in a statewide election for a party to get “political party” status. (It is an open question if a Presidential turnout of ten percent would meet that requirement and my legal opinion is NO.)
  • 10,000 signatures (with 400 from each congressional district) to place a statewide candidate on the ballot. (1000 for Congress)

And NO COVID exceptions! The Chair of the LP has tried to correspond with the Governor on this question and no response. The Virginia Board of Elections refused to uphold a proposed offer of 65% reduction in signatures in response to the suit filed to help several third parties get better ballot access in a time of COVID and trial was set for last Monday. There is an excellent chance your Presidential ballot (barring an unforeseen event) in thwill have:

  • Donald J. Trump/Mike Pence (R)
  • Joe Biden/???????????? (D)

Nearly 200,000 Virginians voted for candidates other than the Rs and Ds in 2016.

I exhort the Governor to add a serious ballot access effort to the August special session. Maybe the solution is an electronic signature effort with two-prong verification for the board of elections. Each party would have two years ballot access with 25,000 electronic signatures and can keep it with say 3-5% turnout in the next statewide election. (That is still over 75,000 votes at 3% based on the last gubernatorial election.)

It does little good to vote safety or early if your choices are limited to major parties. So, I beseech our governor: Add ballot access to your legislative call.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

One Response to “Governor Northam Should Add Ballot Access to the August General Assembly Session”

  1. Corey Fauconier

    In today’s political climate if people are not looking towards third parties, they are truly lost. Democrats are fooling people, not enough Republicans are standing up.

    Third parties demonstrate freedom of the people to think for themselves. Governor Northam is not concerned with the needs or the wants of the people. The Libertarian Party of Virginia needs to get some wins under its belt in order to prove to Virginia that a win is possible.


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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