Big Government is reporting today on an interesting twist of events that has resulted in Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry being excluded from the Virginia Republican primary ballot. It seems that in the Presidential primaries of 2000, 2004, and 2008, 10,000 signatures were required, but those signatures were not checked.
The article reports:
The only reason the Virginia Republican Party checked the signatures for validity for the current primary is that in October 2011, an independent candidate for the legislature, Michael Osborne, sued the Virginia Republican Party because it did not check petitions for its own members, when they submitted primary petitions. Osborne had no trouble getting the needed 125 valid signatures for his own independent candidacy, but he charged that his Republican opponent’s primary petition had never been checked, and that if it had been, that opponent would not have qualified. The lawsuit, Osborne v Boyles, cl 11-520-00, was filed in Bristol County Circuit Court. It was filed too late to be heard before the election, but is still pending. The effect of the lawsuit was to persuade the Republican Party to start checking petitions. If the Republican Party had not changed that policy, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry would be on the 2012 ballot.
As much as I would like to see both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry in the Virginia primary, I support the idea of checking signatures (I also support voter ID laws). I think we need to make sure that our elections truly do represent the idea of ‘one man, one vote.’