Virginia Reminds Primary Voters - No Write-Ins; Romney and Paul Are Only Choices

Highlighting the weirdness of ballot access in this country and the difficulty of mounting a presidential primary campaign, both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have homes in Fairfax County, Virginia, but neither of their names will appear on the Virginia primary ballot there tomorrow.

Legal challenges spearheaded by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to add his and their names were ultimately unsuccessful.

And Virginia is not allowing Republicans to write in a name that's not on the ballot either.

At the Virginia Board of Elections website is a notice with all caps " ATTENTION: PERSONS VOTING IN THE 2012 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY" and a note about the no write-ins policy for Virginia's primaries:

"Virginia election law (§ 24.2-529) does not permit write-in votes for primary elections. No ballot issued during the Republican Primary on March 6, 2012 will contain an area where a write-in name may be included. In the case of electronic voting equipment, the option for a write-in vote has been disabled. In the case of paper ballots, if a name is written in a blank area on a ballot, or a name is scratched through and another is inserted, it will not register as a vote. In no way will defacement of an official ballot be tallied as a vote for any person other than those candidates currently listed.

"Virginia law requires that any person appearing on a party's presidential primary ballot receive signatures from at least 10,000 Virginians who are duly registered to vote with a minimum of 400 signatures required from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts. The Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) required that these signatures be placed on official petitions which were circulated by Virginia residents, and that these petitions be filed with SBE by December 22, 2011. The political parties in Virginia are responsible for the counting of those petition signatures and the state Republican Party certified to SBE that only two candidates met the requirements for ballot access: Ron Paul and Mitt Romney."

Read more here about the messy primary and delegate system, which has included a front-loaded election calendar, mistakenly awarded winners and the changing of rules after the fact.