Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules
December 27th, 2011
07:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules

(CNN) - Rick Perry, whose campaign suffered a blow when the Republican Party of Virginia rejected its petition to appear on the state's primary ballot, challenged the "constitutional validity" of the ballot rules Tuesday.

Perry's campaign filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District, saying the statutes in Virginia law regulating access to the primary ballot were "among the most onerous in the nation and severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures."

Perry was one of four candidates to submit petitions to the Virginia elections board in the hopes of appearing on the state's GOP primary ballot. Candidates are required to obtain 10,000 signatures from registered voters, and must ensure that 400 signatures come from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.

After combing through Perry's petitions, the Republican Party of Virginia determined that they didn't meet the requirements. The board also rejected former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's petitions.

Perry's campaign said the restrictive access to the ballot would wind up hurting Virginia voters.

"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," Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan said in a statement.

Gingrich's campaign said they were also looking into legal recourse following the Virginia decision. Initially, Gingrich's organization announced they were pursuing a write-in campaign, but further analysis of Virginia state law determined that write-ins were prohibited in primary elections.

Speaking Tuesday to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gingrich said the rules were complicated, but that the failure to get on the Virginia ballot was ultimately a blunder.

"This was a mistake. And we feel badly about it. I think it will be the only state that we're not on the ballot," Gingrich said.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Rick Perry • Virginia
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. encore


    December 27, 2011 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  2. Hannibalee

    I am but one voice saying, "My dad always said don't try to stay where you're not wanted."

    December 27, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Ideas, Ideals, not Ideologies

    So much for democracy. The more I watch this process the more I wonder if repretative democracy really works. Such a system inherently disenfranchises some voters even when they have access to the ballot box. Simple democracy where every vote counts will automatically do away with with the two party system.

    December 27, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  4. Jeff

    10,000 signatures with a minimum 400 from 11 congressional districts in a state with about 8 million people doesn't sound onerous to me. Looks like a frivilous s lawsuit from the guy who doesn't believe in them.

    December 28, 2011 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  5. tcaros

    Now there's a genius who want to be President.
    Perry is running for President of the United States, but he forgets to register in Virginia. Do you want this man handling our affairs if he can't even remember to get on the ballot?

    December 28, 2011 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  6. wtkelly1984

    Losers whine about the rules when they lose. All had the same time and the same rules, if Perry and Gingrich and the others couldn't get on the ballot following the rules then they don't deserve to be on the ballot,

    December 28, 2011 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. Thomas

    Ron Paul and Mitt Romney both got enough signatures to get on the how come Perry and Gingrich think they can be exceptions to the rule..? The rules apply equally to everyone. They failed to meet the be it. I guess its down to Paul vs Romney in Virginia....Deciding on who is more conservative isn't too challenging between those two 😛
    Ron Paul has been the most consistent Congressman in the last three decades. And by conservative I mean defining it as true limited government and reducing the size of it. Gingrich and Perry both endorse liberal republican policies....big government war mongering for starters.

    December 28, 2011 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  8. DVH

    How ironic that GOP voter suppression tactics are affecting GOP candidates! This is all part of the right's plan to make elections and voting a privilege, not a right as enshrined in the Constitution. When it reduces Democratic turnout, it's OK but as soon as it affects them, not so much.

    December 28, 2011 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. hextarski

    It's too bad for Perry and Gingrich. But the rules are the rules. I think this will ultimately sink both of their candidacies.

    December 28, 2011 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  10. stta

    Perry is showing great leadership. If the people you delegate to acquire the petitions don't know the rules or can't follow them, then challenge the rules? If he would make a bad decision in the White House that crushed the economy or created a war is he going to ask for a redo? People do make mistakes but when mistakes are made, a true leader shows how to respond to a mistake not challenge the playing field and not blame someone else for it. If he had a problem with the rules they should have been challenged before his petition was rejected. That would be the sign of a true leader.

    December 28, 2011 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  11. Sam Adams

    Gee, the GOP law in VA bites the GOP. Who would have thought that it would work that way?

    December 28, 2011 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  12. Matt

    Can't understand how most of the Republican field can expect to do at least a fair job of running the country when they screw up getting on every primary/caucus ballot in the country to get their own party nomination. SMH.

    December 28, 2011 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  13. partysstink

    Once again in the Gov. if the law doesnt say od do as they want they sue to make it do so.

    December 28, 2011 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  14. jack cardwell

    Perry is so adament about states rights, now because he is either too stupid or lazy to comply with another states rules he wants to sue. Guy is a full flegled idiot,

    December 28, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  15. Gary in Tampa

    I guess the GOP's love of State's Rights only matter when they don't infringe on Perry or Newt's faltering campaigns.

    December 28, 2011 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  16. steve

    Hi, I'm Rick Perry and I stepped in it again.

    December 28, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  17. Vance

    Follow the rules gentlemen. In all these years you two are going to try to change the rules now? Really? And you are running for what office? Such wonderful examples of American politics.

    December 28, 2011 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  18. Orwell proven

    Go home, back to Republistan.

    December 28, 2011 01:53 am at 1:53 am |
  19. Fog

    If you can't follow the rules, secede from the campaign!!

    December 28, 2011 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  20. Jason

    If Gingrich and Perry don't have the foresight or organizational skills to fulfill a basic requirement such as this, I don't want either of them holding the reins in the White House.

    December 28, 2011 05:10 am at 5:10 am |
  21. russ1022

    just like another Texas Gov. If you cant win by following the rules, go to court...

    December 28, 2011 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  22. NoTags

    Anyone too stupid to follow the ballot rules in Virginia is too stupid to be POTUS. Sorry Newt and Rick, you lose.

    December 28, 2011 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  23. Tim O'Donoghue

    Looks like Rick is in need of some bench legistation, I wonder which activist judge he'll pick?

    December 28, 2011 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  24. Bill

    If Perry and Gingrich spend so little time learning and following the duly passed and instituted laws of a state (and allegorically the nation) – do you want either as your President? Gingrich has absolutely no excuse, he lives in Virginia...his failure to know and follow his home state's laws is inexcusable...inexcusable!!! They both should retire to their rocking chairs sitting on their patio.

    December 28, 2011 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  25. Mike

    Maybe Virginia foresaw these 2 idiots coming and wrote their laws to outwit them.

    December 28, 2011 07:23 am at 7:23 am |
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