Regarding the Dec. 25 front-page article “Gingrich fails to qualify for GOP primary ballot in Va.”:

When will Virginia politicians recognize that they make the presidential election process more costly by requiring candidates to jump through so many hoops to get on the primary ballot and that they fail to respect their constituents by blocking the candidates many prefer? 

Running for office should not be a rich person’s game. Seven candidates have spent enormous amounts of time and energy to participate in the numerous GOP presidential debates. They are nationally recognized as contenders for the nomination. Put them all on the ballot. 

It won’t cost Virginia taxpayers. It won’t cost the presidential contenders.  And it will allow me to vote for my candidate — not just the one or two that got through Virginia’s maze of rules and regulations.  

Joel J. Lutkenhouse, Burke

It is not surprising that Newt Gingrich did not qualify for the Republican primary ballot in Virginia. A piece of anecdotal evidence suggests why. On Wednesday, Dec. 21, I received a robo-call urging “all Republicans in Alexandria” to go to an address on Duke Street to sign petitions to help get Mr. Gingrich onto the ballot.

My wife and I are Democrats and have actively supported Democratic candidates for 20 years. But, more important, the call said the Duke Street location would be open on Dec. 19 and 20. The call, which we received at about 7:30 in the evening, also urged us to attend a rally for Mr. Gingrich from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday.

David A. Drachsler, Alexandria