Perry's Va. ballot hopes were dead on arrival

Politics,Beltway Confidential

A source with knowledge of the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) petition signature verification process says Rick Perry was ‘dead on arrival’ and had no chance of getting on the ballot, even before the verification process began.

The source said more than 1,000 of Perry’s 11,911 signatures were automatically invalid because the sheets they were turned in on had not been notarized, a requirement set forth by the Virginia Board of Elections. Furthermore the source said the campaign also did not follow ‘simple’ rules such using double-sided petition sheets or correctly licensed notaries.

Even if Perry’s campaign had not violated the state’s other filing rules, the source said Perry’s campaign had a much higher rate of invalid signatures than the other campaigns.

Political pundits and activists who sympathize with candidates unable to make it on the ballot have argued that Virginia’s ballot access laws are too strict. However, the Virginia Board of Elections sent out an email to all the Republican presidential campaigns on March 6 laying out the rules.

The source said the Virginia debacle was an “epic failure” on Perry’s behalf, and the candidate’s failure to get on the ballot showed a total lack of organization and incompetence, which is not a trait voters should accept from a presidential candidate.

It is possible that Perry, who announced his campaign in August, never received a copy of the email the State Board of Elections sent out clearly stating the rules.  Furthermore, Perry would have had to begin collecting signatures almost immediately after announcing to collect as many signatures as Romney, who began collecting signatures in Virginia on August 1.

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