Donald Trump’s Virginia campaign chairman on Wednesday threatened legal action against the state GOP to stop the “statement of affiliation” that voters must sign in order to cast ballots in the March 1 Republican primary. Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, said Trump’s campaign believes the requirement is an attempt by the GOP establishment “to confuse and scare off” new Republican voters Trump is attracting. “If this is not corrected we’re not going to sit back and tolerate it,” Stewart said in a telephone interview. He said Trump’s campaign hopes to persuade state GOP officials to drop the requirement without taking legal action. But he said it is discussing legal recourse, adding that a suit would likely “involve RPV and the State Board of Elections.” The state GOP declined comment Wednesday on the legal threat.
The State Board of Elections — at the behest of the GOP’s State Central Committee — certified Dec. 16 that voters in the 2016 Republican presidential primary will have to fill out a form that says: “My signature below indicates that I am a Republican.”
Trump “is attracting a new breed of voters who are not establishment Republicans” and who “want to upset the apple cart,” Stewart said. He asserted that it is “highly suspicious” that the state GOP is requiring the statement at a time that Trump’s insurgent supporters pose a threat to the party’s establishment.