On December 23, the Republican Party of Virginia determined that Rick Perry’s petition to be on that state’s presidential primary ballot does not have enough valid signatures. See this story.
Governor Perry is one of only two Governors, in the last 60 years, who vetoed a bill to improve ballot access. On May 20, 2003, he had vetoed HB 1274, which deleted a Texas requirement that petition circulators must read a 93-word statement to every voter they approach. The bill had passed both houses of the legislature unanimously. The statement, which is still in the Texas law, thanks to Perry’s veto, said, “I know that the purpose of this petition is to entitle the (whichever) Party to have its nominees placed on the ballot in the general election for state and county officers. I have not voted in a primary election or participated in a convention of another party during this voting year, and I understand that I become ineligible to do so by signing this petition. I understand that signing more than one petition to entitle a party to have its nominees placed on the general election ballot in the same election is prohibited.”
Forcing a circulator to read this lengthy statement slows down the progress of any circulator, and shows that, at least in 2003, Governor Perry had no interest in fair ballot access. But, maybe the recent Virginia experience will affect his attitude about ballot access barriers. Thanks to Cody Quirk for the news.