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Presidential Candidate Signature Requirement Lowered

To gain access to the primary ballot, presidential candidates in Virginia have had to submit 10,000 signatures of qualified voters.  This was the strictest requirement in the country, and because the DNC had a 5,000 max requirement, the Democratic Party of Virginia had to get hard-earned waivers of  that requirement from the DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee in 2004, 2008, and 2012.  In 2013, the Virginia General Assembly lowered the requirement in Va.Code sec. 24.2-545(B) from 10,000 to 5,000 statewide, and from 400 per CD to 200 per CD.  It also added language requiring the State Party Chair (who reviews the petitions) to certifiy that the requirements had been met.  (Candidates for statewide office – Senate, Governor, Lt. Governor, and Attorney General still must obtain 10,000 signatures.  Va. Code sec. 24.2-521(1)). The Democratic Party of Virginia has long supported lowering the number, and the inability of various GOP candidates legally to obtain the required number of signatures in 2012 no doubt facilitated the change.