Thursday, December 29, 2011

Virginia tea party activist files lawsuit to put Newt on state ballot

Virginia attorney and tea party activist Jonathon Moseley filed a lawsuit Thursday in the Circuit Court of Richmond County seeking to put Newt Gingrich on the ballot for Virginia’s March 6, 2012, primary election:
The lawsuit alleges that Newt Gingrich did in fact satisfy the requirement of Va. code 24.2-545 to file 10,000 petition signatures. Over 11,000 signatures were actually filed by Newt Gingrich’s campaign. The lawsuit contends that many of Gingrich’s petition signatures were improperly excluded.

Under Virginia law, Newt Gingrich’s 11,000+ petition signatures were handed over to the Republican Party of Virgina (RPV) by the State Board of Elections, where they are initially filed.

The Republican Party of Virginia has not explained what exactly where the defects that it found with Newt Gingrich’s 11,000 petition signatures. In a statement on December 28, 2011, the RPV clearly stated that it had not disclosed the supposed deficiencies.

However, public comments have suggested that missing, incomplete, or illegible addresses accompanying signatures on the ballot petitions are the main reasons that so many of Newt Gingrich’s signatures were disqualified.

Today’s lawsuit, Moseley v. State Board of Elections, argues that addresses are not actually required under Va. Code 24.2-545 and State Board of Elections regulation 1 VAC 20-50-20. That is, the failure to provide an address is not a “material” deficiency sufficient to invalidate the signature.

The lawsuit also argues that there is often not enough room on the standardized form created by the State Board of Elections to write a complete address legibly, however, the RPV was required to research any voter who could reasonably be identified to verify their voter registration status.

[Read More]
Moseley says he intends to amend the lawsuit to add additional Republican voters as co-Plaintiffs, and he is encouraging the Gingrich campaign to either join his lawsuit or file one of their own along similar lines.

A PDF file of the lawsuit is here.

- JP

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