Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Republicans against ballot access

It well known that the GOP is hell-bent on making it more difficult for people to vote. In nearly a dozen states Republicans have passed new voter ID and early voting laws specifically targeted at groups they fear may vote Democratic. Their cries of "voter fraud" are itself a fraud on the American people. Voter fraud is virtually nonexistent in the U.S.A.

Not content with keeping people from voting, Republicans in several states, including Virginia, are working overtime to keep candidates off the ballot. Yesterday, over objections and legal challenges by the Virginia GOP, the State Board of Elections ruled that former congressman and Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode qualified for the presidential ballot in the commonwealth. The board also certified Libertarian Party and Green Party candidates for the ballot.

With some help from the Green Party in collecting signatures (Greens like his stand on increased spending for passenger rail), Goode submitted over 20,500 signatures to the State Board of Elections. The law requires 10,000 valid signatures of registered voters with a minimum of 400 in each congressional district.

Will Goode's presence on the ballot impact the outcome of the presidential contest in Virginia? Apparently the state GOP believes the former congressman's name recognition and extreme right wing views will be attractive to tea party and xenophobic types that are a major block of GOP support in the commonwealth. There is some evidence to support that point of view. Late spring and early summer polls that included Goode's name showed he might pick up 5-9% of the Virginia vote with nearly all of that coming out of Mitt Romney's political hide. Virgil won't lay that many eggs, but even if he only lays one or two, in battleground Virginia the yoke will be on Romney.

Mitt Romney is the nominee only because $$$ made him the last man standing in a field crowded with wackos. He's flipped and flopped on nearly every issue under the sun. His Mormon religion isn't trusted by the evangelicals in the GOP. The only reason Romney even has a chance is Republican's over-the-top fires of hatred of President Obama that are stoked daily by Karl Rove and the Koch brothers money and slick ads. With their nominee neither liked nor trusted it is no wonder Virginia Republicans are horrified that Virgil Goode is on the ballot - he is everything they want Mitt to be!

We can expect the GOP, with help from the wild man in the Attorney General's office, to keep the challenges going if for no other reason than to raise questions about Goode in voters' minds in hopes it will reduce his appeal. Goode will be their morning-after excuse (couldn't be a crummy nominee or a bankrupt party) when Virginia's 13 electoral votes end up in the Democratic column for the second straight time!

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