The Virginia Department of Elections spent more than $62,000 to print and mail the controversial loyalty oath requested by the Republican Party of Virginia, according to a state official. At nearly $53,000, the largest expense was printing the nearly 3 million forms containing the so-called statement of affiliation, which could be shelved for the March 1 primary after a Republican party committee voted over the weekend to ask the state not to implement the oath. The State Board of Elections has called a special meeting for Thursday morning to discuss the Republicans’ request to stop the oath.
Martin Mash, a policy adviser for the elections agency, provided a list of costs Tuesday. In an email, Mash gave a direct cost estimate of $62,398, but said there may be other costs not factored in to that amount. The spending covers printing and mailing, but not staff time or legal work.
The Democratic Party of Virginia has blasted Republicans over the pledge reversal and the involvement of public funds. “The Republican Party of Virginia’s reckless actions have forced taxpayers to pay for their highly unpopular political saga, plain and simple,” Emily Bolton, communications director for the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a statement released Sunday after the GOP reversed course.