More on the 51st Convo Delegate Filing Forms

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.

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22 thoughts on “More on the 51st Convo Delegate Filing Forms

  1. We need a better way of nominating people. I have been following VA politics closely for about three years now and i have yet to see a R nominating process that didn’t have issues.

  2. Just another example of the Kopko Mafia running things. These people should not be allowed to vote at the convention. How embarrasing would it be, if Kopko’s convention were to be invalidated by RPV?

  3. BTB: the ruling on the “applied for registration” was by the RPV, so they wouldn’t invalidate it. The credentials committee is making rulings on the acceptance of delegates, that committee is run by Mike May and Michelle McQuigg, two trusted public officials who were chosen by BOTH candidates. Your characterization of them as “Kopko mafia” is both wrong and offensive to them.

  4. Riley, my post is up about the RPV response. You will see they have clarified this, in that they say we have to accept “applied for registrations”, and they have recommended a May 21 deadline.

  5. Riley, my guess is that you reported what you are told, and that your source is the reason for the inaccurate information. I cleared the following response with Mike May:

    As to the suggestion that 3 delegates were accepted on the same signature, that is false. Mike May (credentials commitee co-chair) has given me the facts. There were four forms with the same signature — a father and his three family members. The father signed all four forms. Then there were three additional forms with the individual signatures of each family member. All seven forms were submitted, rather than the 3 invalid forms being discarded. The committee correctly rejected the incorrect and duplicate forms, but accepted the properly signed forms (the father’s original, and the family’s three duplicates with proper signatures).

    And in an abundance of caution, the committee is requiring a sworn statement for all cases where the signature on the forms was ever in doubt because of duplicates where the signatures did not look the same. They are also requiring sworn statements if there are any discrepancies between the name listed on the form and the name provided by the registrar (e.g. if a delegate’s registration name is “Donald Duck”, but they put “Don Duck” on the form), and also if there is a discrepancy between the address listed on the form and the address listed on by the registrar (provided that person’s address per the registrar is still in the 51st).

    So in NO case is a delegate being accepted on the basis of a form with an invalid signature or with any other invalid information. Only forms submitted by May 21st that have valid signatures are being accepted.

    It is especially important, given the volatility surrounding this convention caused by some vocal gill-haters, that responsible bloggers get the entire truth, and not stir the pot with inaccurate or incomplete information.

    I have spoken with Mike May about this issue. I sent the following statement to Mike May and received his approval before posting:

    He expressed concern that the committee’s job was hard enough without people leaking partial information. He also said while he reads the blogs regularly, he has not had time to comment and respond to every issue that was being raised in the blogosphere. He advised that if any blogger whatsoever wanted information regarding the credentials committee process, he was available. All they need to do is give him a call. He also emphasized his neutrality in the race and his attempts, along with his co-chairman Delegate McQuigg, to keep everything honest and above board.

    I urge anyone who has a question to take Mike up on his offer, rather than engage in speculation and the spreading of half-truth and rumor that will only harm our reputation without achieving anything.

  6. What Mike May didn’t tell you is how much lenience he and Michelle have given the Gill campaign with the preponderance of fraudulent and duplicate (in some cases fraudulent AND duplicate) documents. It’s fair to say Mike and Michelle wanted to let everyone who SHOULD be able to vote do so, but what is clear here is that the Gill campaign found out about instances where the father signed for the family etc, went back to them and had them sign the forms again themselves (which is why they became duplicates), but for some reason they neglected to take out the original fraudulent documents before submitting them- alphabetically. At its worst this is a calculated effort by the Gill campaign to defraud the convention, and at best they were intentionally trying to “fluff” their numbers to scare Lucas off right at the pre-filing deadline.

    The credentials committee has set up a situation where all that is required for someone to vote who submitted a fraudulent document is to sign another document saying they are who they say they are- which means a hill of beans considering they were willing to defraud an affidavit in the first place!

    They (Mike and Michelle) were put in a tough position in the first place, but considering the vastness of Gill’s “problems” with his pre-files, they ought to have stayed on the side of taking greater measures to stop an all-out mockery at the convention. This is going to be guaranteed chaos, and the media will have a field day with it.

  7. Word is, both Mike and Michele are supporting Faisal…one would think that, if there were to be co-chairmen, there would be one from each campaign. It’s just another “gotcha.”

  8. Anke, that statement is not neccesarily true. I’ve heard otherwise, and both campaigns agreed on the chairmen.

  9. What “word” is that, AWCheney? From your trustworthy Sources Who Cannot Be Named?

    One of the few complaints that those supporting Julie Lucas in fora like this one — and I have long thought that she needs to be saved from her “friends” — is the complaint that there is not equal representation on the Credentials Committee, which is pro forma. If there was a legitimate complaint to be made, it should have been made long ago.

    Perhaps this is just the first volley in the latest and most desperate gasp from a desperate campaign.

  10. Hit “Say It” too soon.

    First sentence of second paragraph should read “One of the few complaints that those supporting Julie Lucas in fora like this one — and I have long thought that she needs to be saved from her “friends” — nave NOT made is the complaint that there is not equal representation on the Credentials Committee, which is pro forma.”

  11. At its worst this is a calculated effort by the Gill campaign to defraud the convention, and at best they were intentionally trying to “fluff” their numbers to scare Lucas off right at the pre-filing deadline

    If someone can explain how having two delegate forms for the same person can POSSIBLY defraud the convention, explain it to me. Only one person can show up, give their ID, sign their name, and vote. So even if the credentials committee was entirely clueless and couldn’t eliminate duplicates, there’d be no fraud.

    And if someone can tell me they think Lucas is so weak that she’d be scared off by filing numbers, speak up now. There is NO advantage to filing duplicates, so it is likely someone simply put the forms in alphabetical order and didn’t compare one form to the next.

    Frankly, you all miss the bigger issue. The delegate forms are NOT filed by “candidates”. The delegate forms are signed documents between the people who sign them, and the republican committee running the convention. Yes, candidates like to collect the forms so they can track them, and turn them in to prove “their” support.

    But the delegate form does not belong to the candidate, and if anything the candidates should be required to turn in EVERY form signed. It’s NOT the candidate’s job to pick and choose delegate forms — I’d rather have that job done by the bi-partisan credentials committee.

    Suppose a Lucas supporter got a delegate form, but as they were leaving the signee said “by the way, I’m voting for your opponent!!” Would they be allowed to throw out the form? Under what conditions do you want to allow candidates to discard “executed” forms?

    Do we really want the candidates doing the signature verification and throwing out signed delegate forms? I don’t. It’s the CREDENTIALS committee’s job to decide if people who asked to be delegates to the convention are accepted or not, NOT the candidates or their staff.

    If a candidate finds out that people who were going to support them didn’t get their forms right, I would expect the candidate to go back and get proper forms. But suppose the previous forms were mailed in? If the candidate asked to have them returned, I would say NO. Only the person signing a form can ask for it to be removed.

    I guess you could make an exception for clear duplicates. But delegates are ALLOWED to file duplicate forms. The form does NOT say that you can only fill out one form (check it out). You might do more than one form just to make certain you get in. Or you might do one at the meeting, and then forget and do one when a candidate comes by, and then when the other candidate comes you are convinced they are better, and that candidate asks you and you file again.

    There is no fraud in a duplicate. Note that we have duplicate signatures on voter petitions all the time. It’s not a fraud, they are simply eliminated. Candidates try to do so themselves, but there is nothing on the form that says only sign once, and I’m certain I’ve signed some more than once.

    Of course, those with an agenda and a candidate to support will argue whatever helps their candidate. People will attack the committee made up of two chairs picked by BOTH candidates, and two people from each campaign.

  12. “If someone can explain how having two delegate forms for the same person can POSSIBLY defraud the convention, explain it to me. Only one person can show up, give their ID, sign their name, and vote. So even if the credentials committee was entirely clueless and couldn’t eliminate duplicates, there’d be no fraud.”

    Charles,

    When a campaign turns in approximately 30 duplicate delegate forms which have the same name, address, etc., everything is the same except the signatures, there is a PROBLEM and it is FRAUD.

    Someone else signed for all these people on a delegate form!!! A question you may want to ask is who did this? Another question to ask is how many other delegate forms were filled out and signed by someone else?

    Because the orginial people also turned in their forms, these forged signatures were caught. How many other forms were forged and the orginial people did not turn in their forms. We will never know and that is how this could defraud the convention.

  13. The loss of Dion is a disaster. He was a controlled-growth Democrat. The party has unfortunately been defined by John Jenkins, Hilda Barg, and other good-ol-boy Democrats whose pockets have been lined by developers. Nichols is no better and is in fact worse. He is a developer himself. Dion would have helped to change that image. Unfortunately, the Jenkins crowd thought it more important to nominate anybody than a gay man than choose someone who was good on the growth issue.

  14. Anonymous, we have rules so that we have a mutual understanding of what is required. We don’t need rules just as an excuse to make absurd allegations.

    Fraud involves the intent to gain something by deceit. What exactly does this “fraud” gain Faisal Gill? Some people submitted their forms twice and got confused about who should sign. Mistake? Yes. Treachery on Faisal Gill’s part? Why bother? Gill could turn in 10,000 forms. If these delegates do not show up, he still loses.

    The point of the forms and prefiling is to provide the credentials committee time verify that the people who show up at the convention have a right to be there. Nothing more, nothing less.

  15. “Some people submitted their forms twice and got confused about who should sign.”

    You must be joking…confused over such a simple thing?? These people do speak and read English, yes? They would have to if they are actually citizens…it’s part of the process. If they ARE NOT citizens, why were they recruited in the first place? This raises a whole new set of questions.

  16. I don’t know where the “30” number came from, we were talking here about 3. We know what happened, a father signed for three other adults. There’s no excuse for that, and those three forms should be removed. If that left no forms for a person, that person could not be a delegate.

    Now, the three people who then filled out and properly signed their forms committed no fraud. They never faked their signatures. They want to be delegates, the properly signed and executed forms. They certainly should not be punished because someone else signed forms with their names on them.

    And the fourth person properly signed and executed his own form. So his form was not fraud, and had to be accepted.

    If there is any question raised about any other signatures, the committee is requiring the delegate to sign a sworn statement. That should verify the signatures.

    The committee took this very seriously. This was not a pro-forma decision. But in the end, this is not about Gill, or Lucas, who collected forms and turned them in. It’s about the delegates who filled out and signed the forms.

    There are things that would be a real problem, like voters who don’t live in the district. The credentials committee’s job is to ensure that all delegates meet the criteria for participation on the day of the convention. The committee chairs were chosen by mutual decision of the candidates, and each candidate provided two other people.

    Anybody who supports a candidate, but attacks the committee itself as being stooges or being unqualified to do their job, or letting things slide, is essentially questioning their own candidate’s ability to choose wisely the people who they trust, to pick good staff and representative employees.

    I think that type of attack is unfounded, and is being used as a sour grapes argument by those who fear the outcome and want to question the results. I on the other hand trust this committee to debate, act, and decide in an ethical and unbiased manner.

    I disagree with some of their decisions, but I don’t question their desire or attempt to do what is right. I think it speaks poorly of the supporters for a candidate to spend so much time tearing down every person associated with the process, when so many were chosen by their own candidate.

  17. Charles and Tom,

    The fraud isn’t about duplicate forms. Same name, Same address, same signature, these get eliminated, no problem.

    The issue, which you keep avoiding” is when an individual fills out and then SIGNS delegate forms for his or her entire family. This is fraud. Clearly, it is against the rules. To make matters worse, the individual(s) in question ADMITTED to doing this.

    What does Gill gain? He gains a few extra delegates, who may or may not have been eligible to vote, but should otherwise be disqualified, because they did not sign their own filing forms.

  18. BDB, you keep repeating an incorrect statement. “He gains a few extra delegates, who may or may not have been eligible to vote, but should otherwise be disqualified, because they did not sign their own filing forms.”

    The three delegates in question each submitted a VALID delegate form with THEIR OWN SIGNATURES. There were duplicate forms with their father’s signature. Nobody is being accepted with their father’s signature, those forms were discarded. If they hadn’t also submitted forms with their own signature, they wouldn’t be delegates.

    None of those three committed ANY fraud. THEY didn’t submit their forms with invalid signatures, their father did.

    The father submitted his OWN form with his own signature. That form is not fraudulent, so he also qualified.

    I’m not sure what punishment would be allowable or appropriate for his signing the other forms, especially given that the error was corrected, but the penalty wouldn’t include a denial of voting rights, not without a due process hearing and state action. Even if this rose to a legal issue (BVBL suggested that these forms do not carry legal penalties), the right to vote is not deniable for penalty except if convicted of a felony, something the credentials committee cannot do.

    Anyway, since I address specifically the issue you mention back in post 6, I don’t know why you think we are avoiding it. The issue of signing other people’s form’s is a serious one, and the credentials committee took it seriously, is taking it seriously, and is putting a lot of procedures in place to ensure that the delegates who show up are the ones who submitted forms, and are qualified under the RPV plan to vote in this convention.

    Again, I trust the credentials committee, consisting of 2 chairs picked by both candidates, and two members for each candidate, to do their job seriously and respectably.

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