Rick Perry Campaign Challenges Virginia Ballot Requirements in Federal Court

Dec 27, 2011 7:20pm

OSCEOLA, Iowa – Four days after failing to turn in a sufficient number of signatures to gain access onto the Virginia ballot in March’s primary, Rick Perry’s campaign today filed a federal suit to challenge the ballot requirements of the state.

The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, challenges the constitutionality of Virginia’s ballot requirements for presidential candidates.

“We want to be on the ballot, so we obviously think that there’s some conflict there from the standpoint of being able to get on the ballot, so we’ll get it all worked out,” Perry said today.

Ray Sullivan, communications director for Perry’s campaign, said in a statement, “Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States.” 

“Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election. We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot, and we hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support,” Sullivan said.

In order to qualify for the state primary on March 6, Virginia statute requires presidential candidates each obtain 10,000 voter signatures, including 400 from each congressional district. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney were the lone candidates to meet the threshold.

Newt Gingrich, who lives in the state and also failed to qualify, vowed an aggressive write-in campaign during the primary, but write-ins are not allowed on the Virginia ballot.

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