The state board of elections has asked the attorney general’s office to investigate possible irregularities with petitions to get Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode on the ballot in Virginia.
It’s unclear how this might affect Goode’s effort to get on the ballot in his home state, one of the key battlegrounds in the November election. Goode’s candidacy could be wild card in a close contest between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
The state board decided to ask for the investigation after a review that originated with the voting registrar in Alexandria, who spotted problems with petitions compiled by a single circulator. It appeared that numerous petition entries submitted by the circulator were filled out by the same person, said Justin Riemer, the deputy secretary of the state board of elections.
Goode said he has filed more than 14,000 signatures to get on the Virginia ballot and plans to submit more before the Aug. 24 filing deadline. A candidate must have signatures from at least 10,000 qualified voters, including at least 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.
Goode said late this afternoon that he has heard nothing about the matter from state officials. The former congressman from Franklin County said members of the Independent Green party were collecting petition signatures for him in three Northern Virginia congressional districts, including the one that covers Alexandria.
“Most of the ones that came from Northern Virginia were done by the Independent Greens,” Goode said. “I got a few in Manassas and Manassas Park. . . and we may have gotten a few from Fairfax.”
Goode said “scores of people” have gathered petition signatures to get the Constitution Party on the ballot this fall.
“We had a preliminary count, but they hadn’t even checked all of the first petitions yet, when I turned in 14,375” signatures, Goode said.
– Michael Sluss