As a result of Virginia law, some residents of the state may not have the opportunity to vote for their desired candidate in the March 6 primary. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman have joined Rick Perry in seeking a court order to be included on Virginia’s primary ballot. However, a federal judge did say on Tuesday that the candidates are likely to prevail in the case because of a possibly unconstitutional provision.
According to Virginia state law, candidates seeking to be included on the primary ballot are required to obtain the signatures of at least 10,000 registered voters, with 400 from each of the state’s congressional districts. The problem the candidates face is the provision that only Virginia residents can collect the required signatures. The plaintiffs claim that it violates their right to freedom of speech and their right to freedom of association.
U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney will be holding a hearing on Friday to decide whether or not to include the four presidential candidates on the ballot. The judge has barred the distribution of absentee ballots until after Friday’s hearing and gave a five-page supplemental remark along with the order.