As we noted, Newt Gingrich isn’t a serious candidate for the GOP nomination: he didn’t bother to follow the rules in Virginia regarding collecting signatures. For a grifter like Newt, with years and years of ethical lapses associated with his name, you’d think he’d go to the effort of following the actual law instead of relying on the wink-and-nod of the old system.
In order to understand it, you need to understand how candidates are chosen for the ballot in Virginia — namely, by collecting thousands of signatures. If a candidate runs for a slot on a party ballot (e.g. as a Republican or a Democrat), party officials are responsible for verifying the validity of the signatures, which have to meet a number of criteria. If a candidate runs as an independent, the State Board of Elections verifies the signatures.
As Winger reports, up until this year the state GOP did not verify the signatures with the diligence that you might expect. “[I]n the only other presidential primaries in which Virginia required 10,000 signatures (2000, 2004, and 2008) the signatures were not checked,” Winger writes. “Any candidate who submitted at least 10,000 raw signatures was put on the ballot.”
Put another way, Winger says Republican officials used to essentially ignore the legal requirement that signatures be verified, accepting raw signatures instead. But this year, things were different. The state GOP gave the list of signatures a close look, Winger says, which is why Gingrich and Perry (who both professed to turn in more than 10,000 signatures) didn’t make it.
(Michael) Osborne ran as an independent after he says the Republicans denied him a shot at the GOP ballot line. Then he filed a lawsuit against his local GOP in October, claiming it was unfair that he had to have his signatures verified by the state while his GOP opponent only had to get the sign off from the Republican Party. The legal action is still underway, but Winger wrote the suit led the state GOP to switch up its verification procedures (or, put a different way, start having some.)
“I blame Gingrich,” he said. “The law’s very clear. If he didn’t get the signatures and other people did…the law’s the law and it should be fairly applied to everybody.”
(click here to continue reading Is This Man The Reason Newt Gingrich Isn’t On The VA Ballot? | TPM2012.)
Talk about voter fraud…