The Washington Post

House passes bill to ease ballot requirements

The House of Delegates passed a bill Tuesday that would ease requirements for candidates trying to get onto the Virginia ballot.

The legislation, approved on an 80-18 vote, comes after several presidential candidates, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich, failed to qualify for the state’s March primary ballot.

Virginia requires candidates to collect 10,000 signatures, with at least 400 from each of the congressional districts, to appear on the ballot. Those who collect signatures must be residents of the congressional districts and eligible to vote.

The bill says that signatures only have to be collected by those who are residents of Virginia. A presidential candidate who does not live in the state would also be able to collect their own signatures.

The bill now heads to the Senate. If passed, it would take effect immediately upon signature of Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). McDonnell’s office did not immediately respond to questions about the bill.

It would pertain not to this year’s presidential race, but would change the rules for those running for U.S. Senate and Congress.

Only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) will appear on the Virginia primary ballot.

Gingrich and other GOP candidates, including former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, sued to get on the March 6 ballot but a judge ruled against them.

U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. said he thought a provision requiring the candidates to use only state residents was unconstitutional, but none of the candidates had managed to collect the required 10,000 signatures. The bill does change that those who collect signatures have to be residents.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans