Legislation that would reduce the number of signatures required for candidates to gain access to the presidential election ballot from 10,000 to 5,000 is advancing in the final days of the General Assembly.

The measures would also reduce to 5,000 the number of signatures required to qualify for a presidential primary ballot. The number of signatures required for each congressional district was also reduced from 400 to 200.

Last year, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman and former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich failed to obtain the necessary signatures to appear on the Virginia Republican primary ballot. State board of elections rules require petition circulators to be eligible or registered Virginia voters.