Virginia Ballot Rules Need Revision, Washington Post Says in Editorial

Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012 10:11 AM

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The requirements for getting on the ballot for Virginia’s presidential primary need revision and the state’s legislature should address them as soon as possible. However, it’s too late to change the rules for the 2012 ballot, The Washington Post wrote in an editorial.

“If the aim of Virginia was to host a presidential primary that no one cared about, it seems to have succeeded,” the Post wrote. The paper noted that just two GOP candidates, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, managed to qualify for the ballot under a system it labeled as having “little regard for the interests of voters.”

The 10,000 signatures required to get on the March 6 ballot is “an unusually high number” and its rules and how and where the signatures can be collected are “among the nation’s most stringent.” However, the Post added that those that failed to make the cut, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, “must accept responsibility for not gathering the requisite number of names; the rules are well known and have been in place for years.”

The Post noted that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II made the right decision not to seek emergency legislation to allow others on the March ballot; “changing the rules midstream is unfair, so an overhaul should be done for future contests.

“Nonetheless, those most hurt by their failure are the voters,” the Post said. “Elections are about choices, and voters are best served by having the broadest field of candidates.”


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