Virginia Governor Signs Bill Lowering Presidential Petition Requirements

On March 18, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed SB 690, which lowers the number of signatures for all presidential candidates (both presidential primary and general election) from 10,000 signatures to 5,000 signatures.

Indiana now has the most difficult mandatory presidential primary petition requirement in the nation. Indiana requires 4,500 signatures, with 500 signatures from each of the nine U.S. House districts. Although 4,500 is a lower number than 5,000, the Indiana requirement, as a percentage of the number of votes in the state, is higher than the equivalent percentage in Virginia. Also the Indiana distribution requirement is far more difficult than the Virginia distribution requirement. The Virginia distribution requirement is now 200 signatures from each of the eleven U.S. House districts.

Very soon, a bill will be introduced in the North Carolina legislature to lower the number of signatures for newly-qualifying parties and independent candidates. The fact that Virginia now requires only 5,000 signatures for presidential candidates in the general election will be useful, as North Carolina legislators consider whether they should relax the requirement of 89,430 signatures to approximately 11,000 signatures.


Virginia Governor Signs Bill Lowering Presidential Petition Requirements — No Comments

  1. Never an EQUAL number of voters in all districts — disqualifications, deaths and moving around.

    Too many brain dead courts regarding spread signature stuff — starting with SCOTUS, as usual.

  2. “Jordon Greene Says:
    March 21st, 2013 at 9:30 am
    Great new Mr. Winger!!!”

    … I like the old Mr. Winger just fine.

  3. It’s the “per district” part of the law that gets us in Indiana. Rep. John Ashbrook, (R), in 1972, was 175 signatures short in two districts, and Rep. Morris Udall, (D), in 1976, was 35 signatures short in one district to get on the ballot.

  4. Do candidates in Virginia for other state wide offices (Governor, US Senate, etc…) still need to gather 10,000 valid petition signatures?

  5. This is great news. All of Virginia’s third parties lobbied in favor of this bill. Thanks also to Paul Goldman, who is a former chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia, and Ken Cuccinelli for their efforts in getting this passed.

  6. Maybe it is good news. Maybe not. Time will tell.

    The real problem for us, who have worked to find, recruit, and develop Independent Green Party candidates across decades in Virginia – across three decades – is this. Apathy. Political education. And yes political propaganda of the two larger parties.

    People, regular citizens, must understand they have a duty to each other, and and obligation to our social contract, to offer a positive alternative on the ballot.

    It is not enough just to yell at the TV, or each other.

    We must bring the discussion and debate to the ballot.

    Without a positive alternative of Independent Green Party candidates, Green Party candidates on the ballot there is not Green alternative.

    One thing we do share with the previous poster. We respect the Coouuch – as an honorable fellow. We may strongly disagree with the sitting Attorney General on political issues. But one thing is certain. He calls them like he sees them. Straight, and true. There are much worse things in politics.

  7. Andy,

    Yes. Is the answer to your question. And Yes, I suspect a smart and enterprising young lawyer will very soon point out this illogical inconsistency in Virginia law.

    I sure do hope so.

    ‘Cause if we could get that corrected quickly – we’d love to put our Independent Green Party candidate on the ballot for Governor, LT Gov, and Att Gen in May this year.

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