A court ruling today (January 21, 2012) confirms that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia GOP primary ballot. Thus, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum will not be on the ballot.
Virginia law requires 10,000 signatures to get a candidate onto the ballot.
Source: SportNews.com, from Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com)
The Missouri caucus (March 17) also does not have former House Speaker Gingrich. Yet, it has everyone else on the ballot, even orthodox libertarian Gary Johnson. (The state has a non-binding primary on February 7.)
LOYALTY OATH IMPOSED ON VIRGINIA PRIMARY VOTERS?
Ah, the chickens come home: Remember how much Republicans wanted loyalty oaths from Americans from the 1940s to the 1960s (and in some places until the 1980s)?
Well, now that courts are keeping the super Tuesday (March 6) primary a two-man race Virginia politicians are embarrassed by the oaths they wanted to impose on voters, binding them to support the Republican nominee for president.
A divisive “loyalty oath” requiring voters in Virginia’s March Republican presidential primary to support the eventual GOP nominee is being removed from the ballot in an expedited, last-minute request from the state Republican Party.Read the full link below for end of the AP story.
Scrambling to meet a Friday deadline for finalizing primary ballots, Virginia Republican chairman Pat Mullins and the party’s executive director, Dave Rexrode, polled the state party’s governing central committee by phone and e-mail.
The committee voted overwhelmingly to reverse its December decision to place the pledge on the GOP ballots, and the Virginia Republican executive committee made the decision official.
The central committee had planned to vote at a special meeting on Saturday, said Lee E. Goodman, an attorney and longtime adviser to the party, “but that would have been too late. The ballots are sent out on Friday.”
Rexrode rushed the executive committee’s authorization to Donald Palmer, executive secretary of the State Board of Elections, who said the proviso was being struck from the ballot.
Republicans, long suspicious that independents and Democrats were meddling with their nominating process in primaries, saw the pledge as a way to address the concern in a state where voters do not register by party affiliation. Virginia Republicans sometimes hold statewide conventions to ensure that only credentialed Republicans select their nominees.
Mullins began working to reverse the decision when it drew condemnation from across the political spectrum.
The American Civil Liberties Union threatened to sue the GOP unless it was rescinded. Democrats ridiculed it, saying it defines the GOP as an exclusionary party.
From the Washington Post, from the AP, January 17, 2012: "Va. Republicans ask state elections board to delete loyalty oath from March primary ballot".