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Virginia Attorney General Intervenes in Primary Ballot Dispute; Update: Maybe Not

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By Doug Powers  •  December 31, 2011 01:18 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Possible good news for any GOP candidates not named Mitt Romney or Ron Paul that might still be in the running by the time March rolls around:

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is intervening in the Virginia presidential primary dispute and plans to file emergency legislation to address the inability of most Republican presidential candidates to get their name on the ballot, Fox News has learned.

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia primary, a contest with 49 delegates up for grabs.

The failure of other candidates to qualify — notably Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry — led to complaints that the 10,000-signature requirement is too stringent.

Cuccinelli, who is a Republican, shared the concerns.

“Recent events have underscored that our system is deficient,” he said in a statement. “Virginia owes her citizens a better process. We can do it in time for the March primary if we resolve to do so quickly.”
[...]
Sources told Fox News that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to support the emergency legislation as well.

As we talked about a few days ago concerning the Rick Perry lawsuit, changes would have to take place quickly:

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 Jan. 21.

The legislature does not convene until Jan. 11. To make the change, lawmakers would have to pass emergency legislation — a bill that goes into effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, rather than on the customary enactment date of July 1.

Update: Cucinelli has second thoughts.

**Written by Doug Powers

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