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VA Repubs Demand Loyalty Pledge from Voters

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

A Why Tuesday? reader passed along the news that the Virginia State Board of Elections approved a request from the VA Republican party to have “all who apply for a GOP primary ballot first vow in writing that they’ll vote for the party’s presidential nominee next fall.” Weird, right?

The AP story says that in Virginia, voters aren’t required to register to vote by party. The oath of loyalty seems to be designed to keep non-Republicans from, in the words of the article, “meddling” in the election. I was most interested in the following comment left on the site:

Posted on 11/27 at 08:27 AM
I had planned to go to the Republican primary to support a presidential candidate that I could vote for in the 2008. I am an independent voter so I have an interest in having choices that will appeal to me. As an independent there is now way that I could pledge loyalty to one party. This oath smacks of elitism. There is no way that I will vote for any Republican ever again.

We’ll keep an eye on this story. If you have any thoughts or other info, feel free to pass it along.

One Response to “VA Repubs Demand Loyalty Pledge from Voters”

  1. Jessica Menter Says:

    I just saw the VA Republican party’s request on the news this morning. It’s the most ridiculous request; it is not enforceable as elections are secret ballot voting. As of right now, you do not need to be registered with a party in VA to vote in that party’s primary. There is no voter registration by political party in the commonwelath of Virginia: “Any registered voter may vote in the presidential primary election.” (§§ 24.2-530 and 24.2-544 D)

    Why wouldn’t the Republicans try to pass a requirement for voter registration by politicial party to require that only republicans can vote in their va primary? Furthermore, it is also law in VA that a registered voter cannot vote in two primaries: “No voter shall vote for the candidate of more than one political party.”(§§ 24.2-530 and 24.2-544 D) Most democrats in VA would rather vote in their own primary this year because many Virginia democrats are moderate and concerned with who will be the democratic nomination. I get the impression from democrats across the state that they’d rather vote in the democrat’s election and help mold who gets the nomination over “meddling” in the republican’s election. That being said, the republican’s fear of democrats voting in the republican primary is understandable; the state in this november’s election started to swing more democrat. The democrats gained seats in the state house and more importantly took control of the state senate. VA currently has had two back to back Democrat Governors and Jim Webb (D) took incumbent George Allen’s(R) US senate seat last year. I just think this request is ridiculous, unenforceable, and illegal. This is bad for improving voter turnout rates as Independents will feel discouraged to vote. That is the last thing VA needs.

    If there are Virginian’s that have questions about this, this is the Virginia State Board of Election’s Toll Free Number: 800 552-9745.

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