Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Presidential Elections 2012 - #3523 - Did the Virginia GOP Change the Rules on Primary Ballot Access in November 2011? - Redstate

Richard Winger over at Ballot Access News has an EXTREMELY interesting post (link via here) on the mess that the Virginia Republican party has found itself in over… access to the ballot in Virginia. For those coming in late, background here and here: the very short version is that the VA GOP only certified Mitt Romney and Ron Paul for its primary ballot. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich both had too many signatures tossed; Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachmann didn’t even try. Of the seven candidates, one (Romney) had more than enough signatures (15K) to bypass the verification process entirely. All of this has caused a lot of agitation among Republicans following the primary process, of course; and not just from people who disapprove of what the VA GOP has done. There has been a good deal of defending of the outcome; and one argument heavily used in this defense has been that the campaigns all knew the rules and that previous Republican campaigns were able to get on the ballot, so clearly a competent current Republican campaign should have done so. One small problem with that: as Winger argues, the rules were allegedly drastically changed. In November of this year. Winger’s article is too long to reproduce here, so I’ll summarize it: prior to the 2012 elections it was Republican party policy in Virginia to simply deem any candidate that brought in ten thousand raw signatures as having met the primary ballot requirements under Virginian state election law....... And that’s true of every other candidate who has appeared on the primary ballot in Virginia. None of them qualify for an apples-to-apples comparison – and this remains true no matter how many signatures were collected. If you know that your signatures will not be checked if you get above 10K, you are simply operating in a fundamentally different environment than one where you know that your signatures will be checked. Read more.........  Article contributed by Steve Peters.

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