RICHMOND – Qualifying for the presidential ballot in Virginia would get easier under a bill that passed the state Senate Monday.
Under Sen. Dick Black’s SB 690, the number of valid Virginia voter signatures presidential candidates must submit to qualify for primary or general election ballots would drop to 5,000 signatures with 200 each from of the state’s 11 congressional districts.
At present, the requirement is 10,000 signatures, including 400 from each district.
The bill from Black, a Loudoun County Republican, comes months after only two Republican presidential candidates – Mitt Romney and Ron Paul – in a broad field qualified for Virginia’s GOP primary last March.
Black has argued that Virginia has some of the most restrictive ballot access rules in the nation and he maintains presidential candidates deserve certain allowances because those standards different from state to state.
His bill was approved on a 23-17 vote. It now heads to the House of Delegates.
- Julian Walker, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot