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Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman Fail To Qualify For Va. Ballot, Perry And Gingrich May Follow

Virginia is one of the hardest states to in the nation when it comes to ballot access, and this year at least three candidates found that out the hard way:

Four Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Ron Paul — submitted paper work in time to qualify for Virginia’s March 6 primary ballot.

No other GOP contender will be on the Virginia ballot. Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman did not submit signatures with Virginia’s State Board of Elections by today’s 5 p.m. deadline.

Those who submitted the required signatures must clear another hurdle. The Republican Party of Virginia has until Tuesday to certify which candidates qualify.

Romney was the first Republican presidential candidate to file his petitions. His Virginia campaign chairman, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, delivered them on Tuesday. President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign filed earlier this month.

The State Board of Elections will turn over the petitions to the respective political parties for validating. Republican will begin the process Friday morning and have sought volunteers to help with the process.

Candidates must submit the signatures of at least 10,000 registered voters, with 400 from each of the 11 Congressional districts.

Romney submitted 16,026 signatures; Paul 14,361; Perry 11,911 and Gingrich 11,050.

The state GOP decided that candidates who submit at least 15,000 signatures of registered voters on valid petitions with at least 600 signatures from each of the 11 districts will be deemed to have met the qualifications.

Romney and Paul are likely safe, since it would be next to impossible for 6000 to 4000 signatures to be invalidated (the most common reason for a signature being invalid being that it turns out that the signatory is not in fact at registered voter in the Commonwealth), but Perry and Gingrich are in serious trouble here. If merely 10% of their signatures get invaliditated, or if it turns out that they did not in fact get 600 valid signatures from each of the Congressional Districts, then they could end up being out of luck.

In all honesty, it doesn’t seem likely that Bachmann, Santorum, or Huntsman will still be in the race on March 6th, this is merely a reflection of how unorganized their campaigns are. Perry and Gingrich, though, are candidates that will probably still be in the race at that point and if one or both of them isn’t on the ballot, it’s going to be pretty embarrassing.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Considering Virginia, at 49 delegates, is the 14th largest contingent at the GOP nominating convention, it could have an interesting effect on the race if this state ends up being a purely Romney vs. Paul race.

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  2. nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan perot carter says:

    Ronald Ernest Paul vs Willard Mitt Romney

    Ron Paul vs President Obama
    may the best man win
    State of Virginia

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