Here’s an interesting cavaet to add to the entire debacle that has lead to Newt Gingrich and three other Republicans from appearing on the Virginia GOP primary ballot. It turns out that Virginia requires you to give your registered address when signing the petition and that’s what excluded a lot of signatures:
A Gingrich campaign official prior to the move by the RPV said the problem is how the rules are set up, arguing that the party is, for apparently the first time, cross-checking the addresses that signature-givers gave against the electronic voter database file for accuracies. A name without a proper address match was tossed, the official said.
“What one needs to ask is ‘what percentage of valid, registered voters self-identify a current address that matches voter rolls that the voter might not have updated since 2008”? Are you 100% certain that your address you and all of your neighbors matches current voter rolls? It strikes me that this is not an accurate means to identify registered voters signing for ANY candidate, not just Gingrich,” the official wrote.
Sound familiar? Well it should because this is pretty much the same thing as the voter ID requirements the GOP has been pushing throughout the country. The only problem is that this time it didn’t get the minority or Democratic voters like they intended and instead cost them their own voters. That makes Newt’s excuse I posted earlier a little more ironic:
“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot. Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates. We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
A “failed system”? They are just requiring that people who sign actually be verified – the same thing the GOP is pushing for people who vote. Actually this form of voter ID is even much simpler. They don’t have to provide an actual “ID”. Instead people manually verify the addresses against whats on file. So the simplest form of Voter ID is being called a “failed system” by Newt. What’s that say for the more stringent Voter ID laws around the country?
Hopefully some in the media will ask the candidates to comment on this. Does this “failed system” indicate that Voter ID is a failed system? Newt’s statement sure makes it sound like he’s speaking out against Voter ID now. Will the media press him on that?
Maybe we will find out this week.