“The voting regulations should be the same in the primary as they are for the general election. Americans in every State should have the right to write in the name of any person they want to vote for. As it stands, Virginia is telling its citizens who they must vote for and that’s not the American way.” - DRH
By Dell Hill
As I’m sure you’re all aware, the primary situation in Virginia is a terrible mess. Only two Republican candidates were certified to have their names on the primary ballot - Mitt Romney, the establishment’s choice from ‘day one’, and political lunatic, Ron Paul. When Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich had thousands of signatures invalidated by the verification process, Republicans were left with ONE choice. By law, write ins aren’t allowed in Virginia primaries.
I’ve been patiently waiting to hear what guest blogger, Richard Falknor at Blue Ridge Forum had to say about this three-ring circus and we wait no more. I’ll have a comment or two after Richard speaks his piece.
“And when an unresolved presidential primary rolls into Virginia, voters should be able to choose from the full slate of remaining major candidates—not just those who were able to collect 10,000 petition signatures, including 400 from each congressional district.” — Ashby Law
What a mess! And what’s an honest conservative to do in the March 6, 2012 Virginia Republican primary election?
The Virginia Republican Rube Goldberg primary rules here and here allowed only Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Ron Paul to qualify for the March 6, 2012 primary ballot. (We are grateful to Moe Lane and Paula at RedState for unearthing the details over the holiday weekend of this latest adventure of the Virginia branch of the Stupid Party.)
Virginia to Conservative GOP Primary Voters: Our Way or the Highway?
Our concern is about effectively disenfranchising thousands of Virginia conservative voters during the GOP primary.
Whether the other non-qualifying or non-competing GOP candidates “knew or should have known the rules,” the rules themselves are flawed. They may or may not be the “Virginia Way” but they are not the American Way.
The many Virginia conservative voters will have to “choose” between a slick governmentalist and a widely recognized loon – or worse as Leon Wolf points out today.
Even more painful, Virginia conservatives cannot even write in their own primary candidate.
What will the Virginia GOP Establishment now do about this flawed ballot-access system?
The new (and useful) Transom daily email newsletter today declares –
“Virginia’s rules are a vestige of the Byrd-machine past and not reflective of how the overwhelming majority of states put up requirements. But the effect of this, if it stands, is simple and obvious: Ron Paul will win Virginia. It’s a primary that has no party registration and will be the only question on the ballot, without the possibility of write-ins (banned in Virginia primaries), and no incentive for Romney to devote resources here versus more competitive states, it’s an opportunity for Paul to really maximize his sizable following in the Old Dominion. And that’s why the Virginia GOP is scrambling today to find a way to get either Perry or Gingrich back on the ticket, through litigation or otherwise.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)
We would demur only from the Transom’s suggestion that the practices of the “Byrd-machine past” are indeed in the past. In our view, the Virginia GOP has inherited many of the attributes of a “machine” culture. It is just a well-manicured “ruling class” organization – not the traditional thuggish image of a Tammany Hall — but a machine all the same.
The Ron Paul Temptation for Virginia Conservatives?
In the other part of the GOP forest, some Virginia conservatives – even otherwise capable leaders — are or have been Ronulans.
They may well see a Paul victory as fatally embarrassing the GOP Establishment in Virginia. And such a victory is quite possible because the primary is an open one and Democrats can participate with their own “operation chaos.”
As for Ron Paul himself, we invite readers’ attention to Debbie Schlussel’s post yesterday “Ex-Ron Paul Aide to Schlussel: ‘He HATES Israel,’ Banned Sympathy for 9/11 Victims/Support for US Military, Upset We Fought Nazis”; and to Cliff Kincaid’s post (AIM) yesterday “Ron Paul Under Fire for Praising Accused Traitor”.
Of course, a Paul victory, apparently endorsed by “conservative” voices, could have fearful long-run consequences to the conservative brand in Virginia.
Stay tuned for any developing (and timely) remedies for the Virginia GOP primary mess. At least allowing write-ins in the GOP primary?”
Dell’s Bottom Line:
The time to right a wrong is as soon as the wrong is recognized. And, Virginia, that time is now. At this moment, you’re the laughing stock of the nation. Your requirements seem to have changed a month before the filing deadline, raising the total signature requirement by a substantial amount, and your requirement of at least 400 signatures from each of the State’s political districts makes it almost impossible for any viable, but comparatively poor candidate to even have a chance of winning. Ten thousand signatures should be more than enough to get a candidate’s name on the ballot. Let the voters decide, Virginia!
If conservatives in Virginia would like to “send a message”, I’d suggest - for the primary only - they submit spoiled ballots and, therefore, let the Republican hierarchy of Virginia know that this is your form of protest. It would also send a message to both Romney and Paul that you do not support them; that you won’t even hold your nose and gift them with your vote.
Oh, and one more thing. The voting regulations should be the same in the primary as they are for the general election. Americans in every State should have the right to write in the name of any person they want to vote for. As it stands, Virginia is telling its citizens who they must vote for and that’s not the American way.
If you really don’t want either candidate to win the primary, why vote for either one? Or vote for both, thereby having your ballot classified as “spoiled”. Spoiled ballots are counted and reported to the election commission, so the whole world would know just how many Virginia conservatives dislike what they’ve done.
Let The Voters Decide!