Newt Gingrich wants Virginia legislators to change the law in time for him to mount a write-in campaign in Virginia’s March 6 presidential primary. But that appears virtually impossible, for practical as well as political reasons.
NBC 4, the network’s Washington affiliate, caught up with Gingrich on Christmas Day at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, the nation’s largest Roman Catholic Church. Gingrich’s wife, Callista, was singing in the choir.
“We’re disappointed, but it was our fault,” Gingrich, a McLean resident, said of his campaign’s failure to qualify for Virginia’s primary ballot. “And we hope to launch a write-in campaign. We’re getting an amazing number of people who … believe Virginians ought to have the right to choose and shouldn’t be restricted to two people.” When a reporter noted that state law prohibits write-in votes in Virginia primaries, Gingrich said: “There’s time for them to change it. If something’s wrong, they ought to fix it.”
That appears exceedingly unlikely this year, even if lawmakers were so inclined.
Section 24.612 of the Virginia State Code says: “The electoral board shall make printed ballots available for absentee voting not later than 45 days prior to any election.”
That means absentee ballots must be mailed to voters – such as Virginians serving in the military – no later than Saturday, Jan. 21.