Virginia will hold a special U.S. House election for the 7th district on November 4, 2014. The term is just for the remainder of November, December, and a few days in January 2015. The Democratic and Republican Parties were permitted to nominate candidates for the special election by party meeting, so no major party candidate needed a petition.
But Virginia says any other candidate in the special election must submit 1,000 valid signatures, and the period for collecting them runs for only ten days, from August 5 through August 15. Even though the Fourth Circuit ruled in 1981 that states must make reductions in the number of signatures, or extend the deadline, in special elections (because the petitioning period is so much shorter), the State Board of Elections says any candidate affected by the rule must bring a lawsuit.