OK, let me try to explain just what is going on in this court order involving the VA GOP primary ballot. For those who came in late: back in December, Virginia’s primary registration system ended up producing a result where only two Republican candidates (Mitt Romney and Ron Paul) qualified for the ballot. This resulted in some frankly unkind things said about virtually everyone involved in the process, from the candidates to the Republican party of Virginia – usually involving competence levels, although conspiracy theorizing certainly wasn’t underrepresented. While that was going on, Gov. Rick Perry filed a lawsuit (one later joined by Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum*) challenging the constitutionality of the process. Yesterday the judge hearing the case ordered the Commonwealth of Virginia not to issue absentee ballots; today’s order explains why.
Continue reading Court explains reasoning on VA absentee ballot court order.
[FURTHER UPDATE] Drudge is not reporting that Perry/Gringrich are on the ballot; but Bachmann, Gingrich, Huntsman, and Santorum have joined Perry’s lawsuit.
The Attorney General of Virginia “plans to file emergency legislation to address the inability of most Republican presidential candidates to get their names on the ballot;” as everyone reading this already knows, the recent Virginia primary ratification process ended up with only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul getting on the ballot. Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry had too many of their signatures invalidated by the process; the other candidates didn’t even try. As I understand the situation, emergency legislation will require a super-majority in the state (well, Commonwealth) legislature; but the fact that Cuccinelli is already getting bipartisan backup (and the reported support of the Governor) suggests that such a thing may be actually achievable.
Continue reading VA AG Cuccinelli to fix primary ballot mess. [UPDATE]
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. Continue reading Did the VA GOP change the rules on primary ballot access in November 2011?