Rick Perry’s Virginia Petition Doesn’t Have Enough Valid Signatures

On December 23, the Republican Party of Virginia determined that Rick Perry’s petition to be on that state’s presidential primary ballot does not have enough valid signatures. See this story.

Governor Perry is one of only two Governors, in the last 60 years, who vetoed a bill to improve ballot access. On May 20, 2003, he had vetoed HB 1274, which deleted a Texas requirement that petition circulators must read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach. The bill had passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. The statement, which is still in the Texas law, thanks to Perry’s veto, said, “I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (whichever) Party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.”

Forcing a circulator to read this lengthy statement slows down the progress of any circulator, and shows that, at least in 2003, Governor Perry had no interest in fair ballot access. But, maybe the recent Virginia experience will affect his attitude about ballot access barriers. Thanks to Cody Quirk for the news.


Rick Perry’s Virginia Petition Doesn’t Have Enough Valid Signatures — 21 Comments

  1. How many EVIL corrupt robot party hack tyrants in Texas ???

    Perhaps repeal the 1845 Texas admission law and have Texas get OUT of the Union — and become an openly ENEMY foreign regime — to be liberated and get EQUAL ballot access laws and REAL Democracy ???

  2. The Arizona filing period began on Tuesday and ends January 9. So far only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney have filed for the GOP primary, along with three Arizonans, including Al “Dick” Perry.

    Two of us from Arizona have filed in the Green Party primary so far.


    Arizona has the easiest ballot access of any primary state. There is still time for you to get your name on the ballot.

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  4. Looks like it will be Paul verses Romney in Virginia. ALL the others failed (or did not try) to get on the ballot.

  5. I’m wondering what other states any of the candidates are at risk for failing to meet ballot access requirements. For example, are Gingrich/Perry etc likely (or at risk) for missing out on more than Virginia?

  6. #9 DC’s primary ballot access requirement is 1% of the party’s registered voters. The Republicans are a relatively small party in DC, but the signers of the petition have to be registered Republicans.

  7. Perry was correct in vetoing HB 1274 as it would have allowed registered Democrats to taint the primary process. There is no problem in having to read what you sign. It is called “personal” responsibility.

    But Virginia’s rules were changed this year and Romney’s signatures were not even validated because he reached a 15K threshold. But Paul did not, yet his name has been placed on the ballot without verification of his signatures.

  8. #12, there are no registered Democrats in Texas. Texas doesn’t have registration by party.

    Texas is the only state that says primary voters can’t sign a petition for a new party. Texas should repeal that restriction. Once upon a time, 10 states had restrictions like that, but all other states repealed them.

  9. I’m trying to remember what happened to the Republican ticket on the Texas ballot in 2008. As I recall, the Convention was held too late to get McCain on the ballot according to TX rules, leaving only Obama and third parties on the ballot, but McCain pushed through a ‘do it anyway’ ruling to push the fence down far enough for him and Palin to step over. Anybody have a link for that?

  10. @12 It is beyond idiotic to say the petitioner has to read it out loud. Personal responsibility means the person signing should read it – preferably without lips moving.

    Richard Winger is also correct @13.

  11. zane Says:
    December 24th, 2011 at 7:59 am

    …But Virginia’s rules were changed this year and Romney’s signatures were not even validated because he reached a 15K threshold. But Paul did not, yet his name has been placed on the ballot without verification of his signatures.
    Zane, what do you mean? The law has not changed. 10,000 signatures are required. Candidates file with SBE, then the petitions are turned over (still sealed) to the party. The process is the same as with all other VA primaries. The appropriate party chair certifies which candidates who filed are qualified. VA RPV this year set up a workroom with computers and volunteers, and allowed observers from the campaign. I don’t know of another time they’ve done this.

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  16. #13 Which States permit voters to participate in the nomination process of more than one party? The Supreme Court in California Democratic Party v Jones said that to do so violated the 1st Amendment right of political association. I thought you agreed with that decision.

    As Governor Perry noted in his veto message that a voter is disqualified from participating in the primary of a party if he signs the petition of a candidate of another party. By signing a petition, a voter voluntarily relinquishes their right to vote in certain election. It is reasonable that any relinquishment be done in an informed and consensual manner.

    HB 1274 would not have eliminated the statement (which appears on the petition form). It would have eliminated the requirement that the circulator point out the statement and read it to the voter.

    A petition solicitor might not even be a Texas citizen, and may be working on a commission. In effect, he is a salesman. The statute simply requires the salesman to point out and read the consequences of signing the petition to the voter prior to the voter signing.

    BTW, it is not apparent that HB 1274 was directed at the supplementary petition at all, but more likely at petitions to get on the primary ballot. For certain judicial offices in more populous counties, a petition in addition to the fee is required. Typically, the primary-nominating parties hold petition-signing parties for these offices. If a voter participated in this party, they might have to listen to dozens of repetition of the same statement.

    PS the veto occurred on June 20, 2003 not May 20, 2003.

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