Breaking: judge rules Perry, et al to remain off of the VA GOP ballot.

That’s all the information that we have now; no doubt the full details will be available later. Judging from current time constraints involving absentee ballots, I don’t particularly expect much likelihood of a successful appeal.  Ach, well: as I noted Tuesday, this remained a possibility.

(This is a placeholder post: as soon as I have the full details and a chance to read the ruling, I’ll be updating.) Continue reading Breaking: judge rules Perry, et al to remain off of the VA GOP ballot.

Court explains reasoning on VA absentee ballot court order.

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.

Annnnnd now VA AG Cuccinelli is *not* backing changing the primary ballot.

Interesting; and a pretty strong reversal from Saturday’s statement.

“I obviously feel very strongly that Virginia needs to change its ballot access requirements for our statewide elections,” Cuccinelli said in a statement.

“However, after working through different scenarios with Republican and Democratic leaders to attempt to make changes in time for the 2012 presidential election, my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system.

“A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law — something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.”

Continue reading Annnnnd now VA AG Cuccinelli is *not* backing changing the primary ballot.

VA AG Cuccinelli to fix primary ballot mess. [UPDATE]

[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]

#rsrh Important competence #protip for the VA GOP. [UPDATED]

[UPDATE: A reader has pointed out that the Virginia Board of Elections has since decided that the ninety day requirement applies to the party, not to them. These people are entertaining, no?]

If a state party organization is going to lecture campaigns about how they need to be fully cognizant of its internal rules – while using the excuse that said rules are ‘required’ by Virginian state law – it kind of helps if that organization passes internal rules that are not actually in violation of Virginian state law. Otherwise people might think that said organization was, I don’t know, doing its best to obscure the fact that it’s been mucking about with Virginian state law simply because there’s nobody who can tell it ‘No.’ Continue reading #rsrh Important competence #protip for the VA GOP. [UPDATED]

VA AG Ken Cuccinelli calls for primary ballot reform, write-in option.

This just keeps getting better and better for the Virginia GOP, doesn’t it? Via Ballot Access News, first we get the Attorney General for Virginia pointing out that the requirements for ballot access are far too restrictive:

I would throw out for consideration that we should lower our requirements to 100 legitimate signatures per congressional district.

Let’s face it, absent a serious write-in challenge from some other candidate, Virginia won’t be nearly as ‘fought over’ as it should be in the midst of such a wide open nomination contest. Our own laws have reduced our relevance. Sad.

…and suggesting that a write-in ballot is possible. Which, as a lot of people with perhaps vested interests in there not being any more candidates on the ballot would tell you, is: a, impossible; and b, so mind-bogglingly obviously impossible that anybody who suggests that such a thing would be possible would be as dumb as Newt Gingrich.  Of course, some of the people who are most pushing the ‘dumb as Newt Gingrich’ bit are perhaps not entirely clear about Gingrich’s actual position:

“And we hope to launch a write-in campaign. We’re getting an amazing number of people who … believe Virginians ought to have the right to choose and shouldn’t be restricted to two people.”

When a reporter noted that state law prohibits write-in votes in Virginia primaries, Gingrich said: “There’s time for them to change it. If something’s wrong, they ought to fix it.”

Continue reading VA AG Ken Cuccinelli calls for primary ballot reform, write-in option.

Did the VA GOP change the rules on primary ballot access in November 2011?

Apparently, yes.

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?