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Almost a HUGE Ballot Access Victory in the Old Dominion!

Senator Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) actually introduced this bill:

Candidate petitions; number of signatures required for statewide candidates. Reduces the number of signatures that an independent candidate or a candidate for nomination by primary is required to gather on the candidate petition when seeking to qualify as a candidate for the United States Senate, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General from 10,000 signatures, including at least 400 from each congressional district, to 5,000 signatures, including at least 200 from each congressional district.

Excellent idea!  I just found it tonight and found that this bill actually PASSED the state senate on a 19-19 tie (Lt. Governor Northam broke the tie in the bill’s favor) BUT this happened:

01/24/17  Senate: Reconsideration of passage agreed to by Senate (34-Y 5-N)

YEAS–Barker, Black, Carrico, Chafin, Cosgrove, Dance, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Hanger, Howell, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McDougle, McPike, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Petersen, Reeves, Ruff, Saslaw, Spruill, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Surovell, Vogel, Wagner, Wexton–34.

NAYS–Chase, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Lewis, Peake–5.

RULE 36–0.


Yes it is really strange but a member of the majority can ask for reconsideration of a vote.  And the second vote was largely along party lines with my party being the bad guys again!  (However, Senator Glen Sturtevant DID vote to report it out ot committee and also voted yes.  Senator Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr., a Democrat from Norfolk and the Eastern Shore voted NO.)

Senate: Defeated by Senate (18-Y 21-N)

YEAS–Barker, Dance, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Lucas, Marsden, Mason, McClellan, McPike, Petersen, Saslaw, Spruill, Sturtevant, Surovell, Wexton–18.

NAYS–Black, Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Hanger, Lewis, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Peake, Reeves, Ruff, Stanley, Stuart, Suetterlein, Vogel, Wagner–21.

RULE 36–0.


So I do not know what happened but I will ask Senator Ebbin his take on it.  Keep ya’ posted.

However, this is a victory of sorts – a ballot access bill actually got out of committee and was actually briefly passed by a house of the Virginia General Assembly.  But it ended up defeated.

Let’s thank Senator Ebbin and Senator Sturtevant (click on the site and you’ll find a place to get their email) for their commitment to better ballot access.  As we Cubs fans were used to saying:  Wait ’til next year!


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)

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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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