The recent disqualification of GOP Presidential Candidates may have been in error. Gingrich, Perry, Bachman and others had their petitions denied based upon the failure of each of the signatures to be accompanied by the addresses of the petitioners.
Virginia law requires that each candidate for president submit a petition of 10,000 signatures, at least 400 from each congressional district, of Virginia residents who support their petition for president. But, there is a difference in the requirement depending upon whether or not the candidate is affiliated with a National Party.
The law requires a petitioner’s address when the group does not constitute a political party:
§ 24.2-543. How other groups may submit names of electors; oaths of electors.
A group of qualified voters, not constituting a political party as defined in § 24.2-101, may have the
names of electors selected by them, including one elector residing in each congressional district and two
from the Commonwealth at large, printed upon the official ballot to be used in the election of electors
for President and Vice President by filing a petition pursuant to this section. The petition shall be filed
with the State Board by noon of the seventy-fourth day before the presidential election. The petition
shall be signed by at least 10,000 qualified voters and include signatures of at least 400 qualified voters
from each congressional district. The petition shall be signed by petitioners on and after January 1 of the
year of the presidential election only and contain the residence address of each petitioner. The signature
of each petitioner shall be witnessed by a person who is a qualified voter, or qualified to register to vote,
and whose affidavit to that effect appears on each page of the petition. The petition shall state the names
of the electors selected by the petitioners, the party name under which they desire the named electors to
be listed on the ballot, and the names of the candidates for President and Vice President for whom the
electors are required to vote in the Electoral College.
A similar requirement for the inclusion of a petitioner’s address does not appear when the candidate is seeking the nomination of a national party.
B. Any person seeking the nomination of the national political party for the office of President of the
United States, or any group organized in this Commonwealth on behalf of, and with the consent of such
person, may file with the State Board petitions signed by at least 10,000 qualified voters, including at
least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district in the Commonwealth, who attest that they
intend to participate in the primary of the same political party as the candidate for whom the petitions
are filed. Such petitions shall be filed with the State Board by the primary filing deadline. The petitions
shall be on a form prescribed by the State Board and shall be sealed in one or more containers to which
is attached a written statement giving the name of the presidential candidate and the number of
signatures on the petitions contained in the containers.
I could be wrong, but I firmly believe that the decision to disqualify candidates based on the lack of an address will be overturned on appeal.
If not anything else, I gave you something to think about 🙂