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Newt Gingrich won't be able to mount Virginia write-in effort

December 24, 2011|By Paul West

Newt Gingrich's campaign, having failed to meet the ballot requirements for Virginia's Super Tuesday presidential primary, announced Saturday that it will ask his supporters to write in his name instead.

But Virginia law does not allow write-in ballots in primary elections.

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond law professor, said Virginia Code section 24.2-529 prohibits write-in ballots in primaries.

Gingrich's campaign has blamed Virginia's primary rules for his failure to qualify. But Tobias, in an emailed comment, said Gingrich "looks foolish and disorganized" for not qualifying and also for complaining about Republican party rules that "are meant to insure broad-based support, especially in rural districts."

To qualify for the ballot, the rules require a candidate to get 10,000 petition signatures statewide, including a certain number in each of the state's congressional districts.

The Gingrich campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

paul.west@latimes.com

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