We’ve received some additional information on some of the convention delegate filings for the 51st Dist. GOP convo. Among the filings said to have been accepted were three from one family where the signatures were all the same — not the same handwriting mind you — one person signed three forms with his own name. When contacted, this individual admitted to signing all three forms, yet apparently all three were still allowed.
Now, according to the call:
A pre-filing form is not valid without the filer’s valid name, address, phone number and signature. (emphasis added)
All legal and qualified voters of the 51st House District under the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, regardless of race, religion, national origin or sex, who are in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and who, if requested, express in open meeting either orally or in writing as may be required, their intent to support all of its nominees for public office in the ensuing election, may participate as members of the Republican Party of Virginia in its mass meetings, party canvasses, conventions or primaries encompassing their respective election districts.
In addition to the foregoing, to be in accord with the principles of the Republican Party, a person otherwise qualified hereunder shall not have participated in Virginia in the nomination process of a party other than the Republican Party after March 1, 2004. A single exception shall be approved for a voter that renounces affiliation with any other party in writing, and who expresses in writing that he/she is in accord with the principles of the Republican Party and intends, at the time of the writing, to support the nominees of the Republican Party in the future. Any voter that utilizes the foregoing exception, and thereafter participates in the nomination process of a party other than the Republican Party, shall not have the benefit of the exception thereafter.
A person who has made application for registration and meets all other qualification requirements, but whose name does not appear on the local registration books solely because of the books having been closed in connection with a local election, will nevertheless be deemed a legal and qualified voter. (emphasis added)
If the party is to do exactly with what the call says, then all forms without a phone number should be disqualified as well. As I understand it, there are several that do not include telephone numbers.
Secondly, there truly is no way for the party to determine if the people who have made application for registration “qualify” under the laws of the State of Virginia as it is the State Board of Elections and country registars offices that have the final say on who meets the qualifications — after all, they have the resources and the governmental authority to make such inquiries and issue determinations. The party does not.
When you look at the way that the call is worded, if we are to strictly construct the language used, then anyone who has simply made an application to register, but has yet to be validated as a qualified voter by the State Board of Elections, must be disallowed because there is no way that it can be verified that they are qualified under the laws of the State of Virginia. This is not an instance where one’s confidence in someone being a qualified voter can be at 85 percent. This is an all or nothing situation — either you are qualified or you’re not — just as either you are pregnant or you’re not. There is no inbetween.
Now, it is possible for someone to have been verified as a qualified voter by the SBE, but not appear on the local registration books due to an impending election. Any such person should be allowed to participate in the 51st convention. This is the only exception allowed by the RPV plan and the call — the word “solely” is used here after all. That is a far cry from someone simply having dropped off an application at the registrar’s office, though. (Anyone remember the ACORN voter registration scandal from ’04 when Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson and others submitted voter registration forms? Do we really want to open ourselves up to this type of potential mischief now or in the future?) When you have an elected official hanging out at the registrar’s office sifting through the box of applications that have been submitted, but not yet verified by the SBE, in order to try and determine who can participate in this convention, you know the system is broken.
RPV needs to clarify the meaning of this so there is no doubt whatsoever among anyone attending the 51st convo or other future party meetings anywhere in the Commonwealth. This will be the only way that supporters of both Julie Lucas and Faisal Gill can be satisfied that the eventual nominee is legitimate.