More ballot problems for GOP candidates

I have been complaining that only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified to get on the Virginia primary ballot.  But candidates, except for those two, are also having ballot problems in Ohio, Illinois, D.C., Missouri, and Arizona:

Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who came within a few votes of winning the Iowa caucuses, didn’t get on the ballot in Virginia or the District of Columbia. His campaign also filed incomplete slates of delegates in Illinois and Ohio, which could limit his ability to win delegates in those key states.

Virginia has been a tough ballot to crack for several GOP candidates because the state requires campaigns to collect signatures from at least 10,000 registered voters. Romney and Paul were the only ones who made the ballot for the March 6 primary.

Perry sued, and was later joined in the lawsuit by Gingrich, Huntsman and Santorum. But on Friday, a federal judge in Richmond refused to add them to the ballot, saying the candidates should have challenged Virginia’s primary qualifying rules earlier.

Santorum is the only major candidate who will be left off the ballot in the District of Columbia primary April 3, said Paul Craney, executive director of the DC Republican Committee. The party provides two ways to get on the ballot: Pay $10,000, or pay $5,000 and collect signatures from 296 registered Republicans in the heavily Democratic capital city. . . .

Huntsman, the former Utah governor, failed to get on the ballot in Arizona or Illinois.

The requirements to get on the GOP ballot in Arizona are pretty easy — all you have to do is fill out a two-page form. Twenty-three candidates managed to do it properly, so they will be on the ballot for the state’s Feb. 28 primary.

Huntsman, however, was left off the ballot because his filing had a photocopied signature and wasn’t notarized, said Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett. . . .

Gingrich, the former House speaker, didn’t make it on the ballot for primaries in Missouri or Virginia, though he has joined the lawsuit to get on the Virginia ballot and Missouri won’t award any delegates based on its Feb. 7 primary. Instead, Missouri Republicans will hold caucuses March 17.

Perry, the Texas governor, made the ballot in Illinois, but he will only be eligible to win one delegate in the state’s March 20 primary — a contest in which 54 delegates will be up for grabs. . . .

Illinois has a unique way of awarding delegates to candidates. The winner of the state’s GOP primary doesn’t necessarily get any delegates. Instead, Republicans will vote for the actual delegates, who are listed separately on the ballot but are identified by the candidate they support.

Each of the state’s 18 congressional districts will elect three delegates, for a total of 54. To appear on the ballot as a delegate, candidates had to collect signatures from at least 600 registered voters in the district where they are running.

Only one Perry delegate filed signatures by the deadline, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. Gingrich, Paul and Romney filed full slates, while only 44 Santorum delegates filed signatures.

Ron Michaelson, who served as executive director of the Illinois State Board of Elections for nearly 30 years, said he doesn’t remember presidential candidates having these kinds of problems in previous elections.

“They’re concentrating so heavily on the early states, devoting so many resources there that they’re not looking down the road far enough,” said Michaelson, now a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois in Springfield.

via GOP candidates fail to get on some primary ballots | NewsOK.com.

Huntsman, since this article was written, has dropped out of the race.  Since the presidential race is not a popularity contest but, you know, an election, shouldn’t some of these others who can’t get on ballots drop out too?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • DonS

    This race is over, so the ballot problems don’t really matter any more for this cycle. I understand that Virginia will be revising its ballot qualification procedures for future elections, as they are really a little too onerous, given that candidates need to file for ballot access in all fifty states. I understand the idea of having restrictive ballot qualification procedures to avoid having 40 names on the ballot and resultant voter confusion, but Virginia’s procedures are ridiculous.

    For federal elections like these, it would seem that there could be some kind of “common application”, like they have now for many colleges and universities.

  • DonS

    This race is over, so the ballot problems don’t really matter any more for this cycle. I understand that Virginia will be revising its ballot qualification procedures for future elections, as they are really a little too onerous, given that candidates need to file for ballot access in all fifty states. I understand the idea of having restrictive ballot qualification procedures to avoid having 40 names on the ballot and resultant voter confusion, but Virginia’s procedures are ridiculous.

    For federal elections like these, it would seem that there could be some kind of “common application”, like they have now for many colleges and universities.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You all notice that the smart and conscientious candidates managed to hire competent people who read the rules and busted their tails to meet them on time. If the guy can’t manage a team well enough to get on the ballot, I am a little concerned about how well he would do as president where that is all you do.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You all notice that the smart and conscientious candidates managed to hire competent people who read the rules and busted their tails to meet them on time. If the guy can’t manage a team well enough to get on the ballot, I am a little concerned about how well he would do as president where that is all you do.

  • DonS

    sg, it’s not just about competency. It’s about money and time. It takes a lot of money to comply with VA’s onerous provisions, because you have to collect 10,000 voter signatures, 400 per Congressional district (the latter requirement is the particularly hard part). These kinds of rules eliminate late entries or late-breaking candidates like Santorum, who simply didn’t have the money or resources to get on many of the ballots on time. So, the question is whether that is what we want.

  • DonS

    sg, it’s not just about competency. It’s about money and time. It takes a lot of money to comply with VA’s onerous provisions, because you have to collect 10,000 voter signatures, 400 per Congressional district (the latter requirement is the particularly hard part). These kinds of rules eliminate late entries or late-breaking candidates like Santorum, who simply didn’t have the money or resources to get on many of the ballots on time. So, the question is whether that is what we want.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, we got rid of a complete lack of restrictions and the proverbial cigar smoke-filled rooms, so we had to replace them with something tedious, onerous and designed to eliminate any real competition. We call them ballot qualifications, caucuses and primary elections.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, we got rid of a complete lack of restrictions and the proverbial cigar smoke-filled rooms, so we had to replace them with something tedious, onerous and designed to eliminate any real competition. We call them ballot qualifications, caucuses and primary elections.

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg @ 2 – spot on!

  • Klasie Kraalogies

    sg @ 2 – spot on!

  • Pingback: Prison Planet.com » It’s Over – Only Two Republican Candidates On Virginia Ballot « ~ BLOGGER.GUNNY.G.1984+. ~ (BLOG & EMAIL)

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  • Cincinnatus

    sg@2′s point notwithstanding, onerous ballot access requirements are a major obstacle to diverse third party activity in the United States. I’m totally fine with loosening as many as possible. It shouldn’t be difficult to get one’s name on the ballot, and many of the requirements that do exist were crafted in collusion with the two major parties precisely to stifle potential competition from minor parties who can’t afford the expense of collecting many thousands of signatures, proving financial viability, etc.

  • Cincinnatus

    sg@2′s point notwithstanding, onerous ballot access requirements are a major obstacle to diverse third party activity in the United States. I’m totally fine with loosening as many as possible. It shouldn’t be difficult to get one’s name on the ballot, and many of the requirements that do exist were crafted in collusion with the two major parties precisely to stifle potential competition from minor parties who can’t afford the expense of collecting many thousands of signatures, proving financial viability, etc.


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