Perry, Gingrich, Santorum, Huntsman off VA ballot

In the end, the judge made the practical decision; the candidates had waited too long to make their case.

Politico:

"They knew the rules in Virginia many months ago; the limitations on circulators affected them as soon as they began to circulate petitions," he writes. "The plaintiffs could have challenged the Virginia law at that time. Instead, they waited until after the time to gather petitions had ended and they had lost the political battle to be on the ballot; then, on the eve of the printing of absentee ballots, they decided to challenge Virginia's laws. In essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair."

The decision means Perry, as well as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, will not appear on the ballot in the state's March 6 primary.

Perry and Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot late last month after filing their signatures with the Virginia State Board of Elections, when the state GOP determined that neither candidate had enough valid signatures to meet the requirements. Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to appear on the ballot with the required number of signatures: Huntsman and Santorum did not file at all.

Virginia requires 10,000 signatures from registered voters, including at least 400 signatures from each of the state's congressional districts. The requirements are some of the most stringent in the country.

Perry challenged the constitutionality of the state's ballot access rules in court on Dec. 27, calling them some of the "most onerous in the nation" and asserting that they "severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures."

Given that some local election officials had already printed up absentee ballots listing only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as candidates, Judge Gibney bowed to reality and denied the candidates their motion. He made it clear earlier in the week that he was sympathetic to their arguments when he issued an order halting the printing of the absentee ballots based on the notion that Perry et. all were likely to prevail.

But VA election officials filed an immediate appeal of that order and Gibney, realizing the clock was ticking, reluctantly decided in favor of the state.


In the end, the judge made the practical decision; the candidates had waited too long to make their case.

Politico:

"They knew the rules in Virginia many months ago; the limitations on circulators affected them as soon as they began to circulate petitions," he writes. "The plaintiffs could have challenged the Virginia law at that time. Instead, they waited until after the time to gather petitions had ended and they had lost the political battle to be on the ballot; then, on the eve of the printing of absentee ballots, they decided to challenge Virginia's laws. In essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair."

The decision means Perry, as well as Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, will not appear on the ballot in the state's March 6 primary.

Perry and Gingrich failed to qualify for the ballot late last month after filing their signatures with the Virginia State Board of Elections, when the state GOP determined that neither candidate had enough valid signatures to meet the requirements. Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to appear on the ballot with the required number of signatures: Huntsman and Santorum did not file at all.

Virginia requires 10,000 signatures from registered voters, including at least 400 signatures from each of the state's congressional districts. The requirements are some of the most stringent in the country.

Perry challenged the constitutionality of the state's ballot access rules in court on Dec. 27, calling them some of the "most onerous in the nation" and asserting that they "severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures."

Given that some local election officials had already printed up absentee ballots listing only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul as candidates, Judge Gibney bowed to reality and denied the candidates their motion. He made it clear earlier in the week that he was sympathetic to their arguments when he issued an order halting the printing of the absentee ballots based on the notion that Perry et. all were likely to prevail.

But VA election officials filed an immediate appeal of that order and Gibney, realizing the clock was ticking, reluctantly decided in favor of the state.


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