Home > 2012 Presidential Election > Virginia Primary Ballot Shenanigans

Virginia Primary Ballot Shenanigans

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

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.

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  1. December 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I don’t think the requirements are terribly restrictive. Virginia has 6+ million people of voting age, according to the last census. Getting 10,000 of them (1/6 of 1%) to sign a ballot petition doesn’t seem like it should be that hard for a serious presidential candidate. However, the restriction against allowing write-in’s is one thing I can’t understand. I have yet to hear anyone explain that.

    • December 29, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      I did say a tad restrictive. Bottom line is these rules have been around for a while. Perry should’ve known about them and acted accordingly. If something fell through, that’s on him.

  2. December 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I agree with Ray here. If you can’t get 10,000 signatures out of 6+ million people of voting age, then apparently the state of Virginia doesn’t feel he’s worth of running for POTUS. Perhaps it’s time to stop slinging mud and pointing fingers, and start focusing on what you offer to the citizens of this country.

    • December 29, 2011 at 3:23 pm

      It’s a silly thing to file a lawsuit for. If you know you need 10,000 signatures to get on the ballot you’d better damn well get 10,000. You shouldn’t be filing a lawsuit only after you can’t get the signatures.

    • December 29, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      Gingrich has even less of an excuse. He lives there. Not so sure I could vote for a career politician who doesn’t even know the ballot rules in his own state.

      • December 29, 2011 at 4:13 pm

        How he screwed that up is beyond me. His home state should be almost a slam dunk for him. Instead, he’ll get none of the state’s delegates. Epic fail.

  3. December 28, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Its not often a liberal/progressive argues for states right’s; especially on voting rights issues.

    That is like mixing oil and water.

    Liberals championed against southern states that passed restrictive laws specifically designed to prevent blacks and minorities from voting during the Civil Rights movement.

    The argument over the power of the federal government vs.state sovereignty goes all the way back to the founding fathers and the Bill Of Rights where the 10th amendment says:

    “The powers NOT delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

    Personally, based on that, I don’t think Perry has a case. Discriminatory state voting laws have been overturned in the past, though, so we will see if he can make a case.

    But what is most amazing of all here is how differently a liberal view’s states rights when it involves someone with an “R” next to their name.

    • December 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      I guess I never have been a cookie cutter liberal! I agree that Perry shouldn’t have a case. He knows the rules. It’s his campaign’s fault if he can’t get the signatures (or just maybe he doesn’t have that kind of support in Virginia!).

      • December 30, 2011 at 1:11 pm

        But, Dave… you ARE a cookie cutter liberal!

        What you voiced is EXACTLY what every other liberal has said about Perry and his exclusion from the Virginia vote.

        My point here is simple…
        Liberals, including yourself, are acting inconsistent with a core liberal value of fair and open elections for one and only one reason… Perry has an “R” next to his name!

        If Perry had a “D” next to his name liberals would be screaming to high heaven how unfair it is!

      • December 30, 2011 at 1:39 pm

        It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he’s a Republican. If a state has a ballot requirement and candidate X fails to meet the requirement, who’s to blame? Would Perry being filing a lawsuit if he got his 10,000 signatures? I’m guessing not. Same goes for ANY candidate running for office. If you can’t meet the requirements to be on the ballot, you don’t get on the ballot. It’s that simple.

        What I hate more is this deflection of responsibility. It’s not the Perry campaign’s fault he didn’t get the signatures. It’s the rule itself that’s unconstitutional. (I’m picking on Perry here because he’s the one in the news here but it goes for anybody.) Why can’t a politician be honest and say he wasn’t able to get the signatures? God forbid a little honesty were to come out of a politician’s mouth.

      • December 30, 2011 at 3:25 pm

        Stick to your guns, Dave. Your argument is sound. I agree with it. I’m sure every single reader will side with you.

        But if you think I believe you are making your case independent of “D” and “R” ideology then you are mistaken.

        I firmly believe your whole argument is grounded in a little “R”.

        On the positive side, though, that is perfectly consistent with being a “raving liberal”. I can respect that.

        Just don’t try to pass yourself off as unbiased and I’m cool with it.

  4. December 28, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I see why they do it, but I think they should let them be on it. Why not? The reality is they won’t be able to because of the law, so suing will just be a waste of time and energy. But, what do I know?

    • December 29, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      There has to be some mechanism in place to prevent just anybody from showing up on the ballot but yes suing now is just a waste. I doubt his case gets much more than a look.

  5. December 29, 2011 at 2:16 am

    If the deadline has passed, and he hasn’t met the state’s requirements, then NO! He should have to follow the same rules as any other candidate — and that will be good advice to whomever is elected — be smart and don’t end up rushing around looking for exceptions when a deadline is upon you.

    • December 29, 2011 at 3:34 pm

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

  6. December 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Will it really matter if he or any of those who failed to file do? chuckle I think we can’t count them all out as “also ran” by then.

  7. January 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I have a “D” next to my name on my voters registration card, and right now, “D” stands for “Disgusted.”

  1. December 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm
  2. December 29, 2011 at 1:39 pm
  3. January 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

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