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IT DOES NOT SEEM FAIR: The Old Dominion ballot situation!

Should all of us interested in true transparency in politics let this go by because it helps my candidate (For those readers of my blog from Mars, that is Ron Paul)?  Igot to speak up.

Several of the GOP candidates will not be on the Virginia ballot.  Paul and former Massachusetts Governor Romney are confirmed by the state GOP to have a ballot place and Texas Governor Rick Perry is definitely out.  Former Speaker Newt Gingrich may or may not be on the ballot.  Three other candidates, all serious, did not even try to file for the Virginia ballot:  Minnesota Cong. Michele Bachmann, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.  Here is the R T-D report:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has failed to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 Republican presidential primary, according to the Republican Party of Virginia.

Volunteers at state GOP headquarters are continuing to assess whether former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has amassed the required 10,000 signatures of registered voters.

What can be done?

Virginia law is clear:  Va. Code 24.2-545 gives the state Republican party no choice:

 Any person seeking the nomination of the national political party for the office of President of the United States, or any group organized in this Commonwealth on behalf of, and with the consent of such person, may file with the State Board petitions signed by at least 10,000 qualified voters, including at least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth, who attest that they intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate for whom the petitions are filed. Such petitions shall be filed with the State Board by the primary filing deadline. (emphasis added)

The Virginia Code thus requires the 10,000 signatures if there is a primary.  But the party can decide if there is a party primary or another selection vehicle.

The duly constituted authorities of the state political party shall have the right to determine the method by which the state party will select its delegates to the national convention to choose the party’s nominees for President and Vice President of the United States including a presidential primary or another method determined by the party.   (Va. Code 24.2-545[A])

In fact the delegates and alternatives will be selected by congressional district conventions and the state convention.  But it may be too late to prevent a primary at this date.

I am no election lawyer.  I am not stating a legal opinion as what to do.  But we need to look into some other solution.  It is not fair to have a system that most of the candidates are excluded.  I urge both the Virginia Republican Party and the Attorney General’s office to try to find a way around this mess.  Thousands of voters will be disenfranchised.  Maybe have the conventions select the delegates and instruct them as well for the first ballot at the national convention.  The primary becomes meaningless.   The primary will be meaningless if this development is not addressed as soon as possible.


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)

3 Responses to “IT DOES NOT SEEM FAIR: The Old Dominion ballot situation!”

  1. Ken S says:

    You are truly a great American! I agree with you 100%. I am a Bachmann supporter and am very upset that her campaign did not even attempt to get on the ballot. I am trying to find out why. VA is too important in the Nov 12 election to have our GOP primary be seen as incomplete.

  2. Willie Deutsch says:

    sadly the party chose a primary quite a while ago. It would be impossible to go back and change this


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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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