Home Uncategorized Virginia Expects Independent and Unqualified Party Nominees to Collect 1,000 Valid Signatures in Only Ten Days, for Special U.S. House Election
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Virginia Expects Independent and Unqualified Party Nominees to Collect 1,000 Valid Signatures in Only Ten Days, for Special U.S. House Election

Virginia will hold a special U.S. House election for the 7th district on November 4, 2014. The term is just for the remainder of November, December, and a few days in January 2015. The Democratic and Republican Parties were permitted to nominate candidates for the special election by party meeting, so no major party candidate needed a petition.

But Virginia says any other candidate in the special election must submit 1,000 valid signatures, and the period for collecting them runs for only ten days, from August 5 through August 15. Even though the Fourth Circuit ruled in 1981 that states must make reductions in the number of signatures, or extend the deadline, in special elections (because the petitioning period is so much shorter), the State Board of Elections says any candidate affected by the rule must bring a lawsuit.

2 Responses

  1. “Even though the Fourth Circuit ruled in 1981 that states must make reductions in the number of signatures, or extend the deadline, in special elections.”
    Does this also apply to reductions in the time period for regular elections?
    I ask because the NH Legislature a few years ago reduced the time period for collecting signatures by nearly 2/3, but did not reduce the number of signatures required. I have a bill to reduce the number needed by 2/3; just looking for more evidence that such a move is necessary!

  2. There are no precedents that apply to the situation you mention in your comment. Partly that is because it is so rare for states to limit the time period in regular elections. I can only think of one other instance off the top of my head, Illinois in 1985.

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