Virginia Primary Ballot Shenanigans
Good morning all!
After four wonderful (yet exhausting) days off of work, I’m finally back to dedicating a little time to this site. I was pretty disconnected over the holidays. I figured that was a pretty good choice to focus on family instead of what’s going on in the world over the holidays (and it was a good choice) but now it’s time to get back into the groove again.
One of the first things I came across when perusing the news wasthe Republican primary balloting issues that are going on down in Virginia. Virginia’s primary is one of the “Super Tuesday” primaries that will take place on March 6. And it turns out that Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only candidates that have met the requirements to appear on the ballot.
As you can imagine, some of the other Republican hopefuls are less than happy about this. After Rick Perry failed to meet the requirements to get on the ballot he decided to sue the state of Virginia on the grounds that the ballot requirements are “severely restricting” and “unconstitutional”. Newt Gingrich failed to meet the requirements as well and he’s vowed to wage a write-in campaign to get on the ballot even though those aren’t allowed in Virginia.
It brings about a fair question as to whether or not the ballot requirements are too restrictive. Virginia requires 10,000 signatures – including at least 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts – in order to appear on the primary ballot. Perry has argued that it’s too difficult to obtain the required number of signatures (especially in a primary with a large number of candidates) and the restrictions prohibit freer access to get on the ballot.
I’m not an election expert by any means not am I terribly familiar with the requirements of states to get on a primary ballot but at first blush it seems like the Virginia requirement might be a tad restrictive. I believe that people should have the ability to get on a ballot if they wish to run for public office but I also believe that states have the right to put whatever restrictions they want to limiting the number of candidates that appear on a ballot. If Virginia makes a requirement and a guy like Rick Perry can’t meet the requirement then I’m not sure there’s not much recourse out there for him (outside of suing of course which always seems to be a popular option). Maybe Perry shouldn’t have spent so much time putting his foot in his mouth at the debates.
What say you? Should Rick Perry be able to get on the Virginia ballot if he wants to? Feel free to comment below.