BREAKING: Republican Party of Virginia rescinds ‘oath’ requirement

BREAKING: Republican Party of Virginia rescinds ‘oath’ requirement

The party's governing body has voted by acclamation to no longer require a Statement of Affiliation to vote in the March 1 GOP presidential primary

The Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee (“SCC”), meeting in Richmond, today voted to remove the requirement it had adopted in September 2015 to require voters in its March 1 presidential primary to sign a statement indicating they are Republican.

The move comes after outcry from various quarters of the party, notably from Donald Trump, who excoriated the party for what he alleged was a move designed to exclude voters sympathetic to his candidacy. However, this does not seem to have made any impact of the SCC’s decision.

The SCC’s vote in September was to adopt a specific, GOP-branded form that included the term “Property of the Republican Party of Virginia.” The intention was for the forms to then be collected and returned to the party. However, what the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections adopted was a form generated by Department of Elections staff keeping only 9 of the original 47 words adopted by the SCC, and replacing GOP branding with intimidating state board legalese.

Further, the Attorney General issued guidance that those people refusing to sign must be offered a provisional ballot instead, under the federal Help America Vote Act. However, even though tens of thousands of people might cast provisional ballots in this scenario, the code of Virginia (24.2-545) requires that voters must meet the requirements set forth by the party for participation in the party’s presidential primary. In other words, every local electoral board would be bound by law to NOT COUNT those provisional ballots.

One need not be a political guru to imagine what the headlines around the state and across the nation would be the day after the March 1 primary when tens of thousands of GOP primary voters had their votes cast aside. And, one does not have to be a lawyer to imagine what a candidate who felt injured by this would seek as a remedy.

Recognizing this, the SCC adopted a motion from First District GOP Chairman Eric Herr, and seconded by Fourth District GOP Chairman Jack Wilson, to rescind the requirement. The motion made clear that it was motivated not by any disagreement about the party’s right of free association, but by recognition that the McAuliffe administration and Attorney General Mark Herring had made exercise of that First Amendment right nearly impossible.

The motion was adopted by acclamation, meaning there were no dissenting votes.


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  • Lori Carlson

    Egg meet face…

  • Jeanine Martin

    Isn’t it wonderful when a body such as State Central Committee can admit an mistake and correct it? Kudos.

    • Backpacker10

      Admit a mistake? LOL….Try this: getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar trying to decide the presidential candidate yourself rather than allow the voters to do it. That was an attempt at abject tyranny toward a democratic system.

      • Etxdad

        “Admit a mistake? LOL….Try this: getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar trying to decide the presidential candidate yourself rather than allow the voters to do it. That was an attempt at abject tyranny toward a democratic system”.

        I agree with you whole heartedly on 99% of what you posted but, this is abjectively “tyrrany toward a “Republic system”.

        • Anti Everything

          Yup. I see clear ignorance in our country when so many refer to the land called the united States of America as two wolves and a lamb deciding what’s for dinner.

  • George

    The Democrat Attorney General has saved Republicans from their own foolishness.

    • White Votes Matter

      Republicans don’t know rescuing defeat from the jaws of victory is not a good strategy.

      Like a lot of the so-called “conservatives” who don’t understand the Bible DOES NOT say ‘spread the other cheek.’

  • Lawrence Wood

    My wife and I used this with my son when he was young (intelligent but with a tendency to be impulsive) when he wanted something or was contemplating an action that could have serious blow back on himself or others. It was the 48hr “think about it rule” ( we didn’t say no, we didn’t say yes to the request but rather invoked our agreed upon rule call). You would be surprised how many of his absolutely “must do” or “must have” requests faded into vapor two days later after he had thought about it further. It worked so effectively that I continue to use it today myself. You can’t avoid every mistake but you can avoid a considerable portion of the self inflicted ones if you work at it. I believe it was Albert Einstein that said “the measure of intelligence is the ability to change your mind.”

    • ameri…canwork

      Thanks for that !

  • mezurak

    Wait a minute! Weren’t those ballots and pledge forms already approved by the state? And were’nt they also approved for printing? Isn’t the state now the final arbiter of whether to use those ballots or not? And who is going to pay for those ballots that won’t be used? Just because the RPV is going to chicken out of something they shouldn’t have done in the first place doesn’t make a whit of difference to the state’s lawful decision.

    • Lawrence Wood

      How that is an interesting question. Can the SSC simply rescind this by vote acclimation once it’s in process under the jurisdiction of the SBE.

    • Cheryl Whittle

      Oh no, the Dems had nothing to do with this in my opinion. I have been a Republican all of my voting life, and this was a decision made by the Republicans. And none of the powers that be wanted to change it either. Oh they will suffer from this mess! I personally will not be a Republican after this primary voting is done. Those ballots and pledges were approved, and mailed out with the Absentee Ballots. I am very happy to hear that someone got through to them. But as you write, it is the state who will have to decide how to proceed. I am hopeful they will not require the signatures. That is what many of us Virginians have been working towards, to have this decision rescinded. But we shall see…

  • old_redneck

    Whine, whine, whine.

    Bull Elephant’s claims about how Democrats on the SBE sabotaged the RPV are bullshit.

    The RPV demanded that Officers of Election administer the statement. ANYTHING DONE BY OFFICERS OF ELECTION IS OFFICIAL ELECTION BUSINESS.

    If the state prints the forms and administers the forms — which is exactly what the RPV demanded — then, the forms belong to the state. For that reason, the signed statements become part of the election
    material that is collected by Officers of Election after the polls
    closed and that is locked up in the circuit court clerk’s office — it’s
    not yours.

    Everyone knows this had nothing to do with “loyalty” and everything to do with a shadow RPV campaign to collect voter ID data.

    Go to this Republican website and read the statement issued by the RPV SCC when they issued the oath:
    Click on the “See more” link.


    Sorry, assholes, Officers of Election and the official election process is NOT to be used for your partisan purposes.

    You people want to collect names, addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers? Then set up a tent at each polling place — outside the 40-foot limit — put your people in the tent, let ’em stand there in the rain and snow and wind, and you can collect anything you want. If you want the state to administer your oath, you abide by the state’s rules.

    The Brits have an adage: Take the queen’s shilling, do the queen’s bidding.

    Stop whining.

  • Where’s the apology?

    No apologies from Steve? Didn’t he write and pass the original one?

  • Kay Kay

    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herrig and McAuliffe administration seem to believe in law. The Republican National Committee, not so much and the Virginia Republican Party, not at all.
    We are a nation of law, not petty politics.

    • White Votes Matter

      “I have been just as furious as you at the compilation of lies which the communist and Semitic elements of our government have leveled against me and practically every other commander. In my opinion it is a deliberate attempt to alienate the soldier vote from the commanders, because the communists know that soldiers are not communistic, and they fear what eleven million votes (of veterans) would do.”

      – George Patton)

      • Kay Kay

        To those of us who listen, history has much to tell us.

        “May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won’t.”
        George Patton – (my kinda guy!)

        • White Votes Matter

          “We have killed the wrong enemy.”

      • Hibernia86

        Was George Patton really anti-Semitic or is this a fake quote?

    • zke007

      What a stupid statement about Fast Terry and Herrig. Do you read much

  • I am very glad that State Central made this decision. This is the kind of thing that happens when you cede your responsibilities to government in the form of a government funded and run primary. People are able to make the argument that the nomination contest is a function of government.

  • Alea Iacta Est

    In every country and all sides of the political spectrum, GATEKEEPERS continuously profess public advocacy. However, most GATEKEEPERS only want to lead and/or mislead their followers in order to ultimately benefit themselves and/or some “SPECIAL INTEREST”.

    Yet, shouldn’t they really advocate and work to give you/their followers/constituents the power to safeguard your/their own best interest? Isn’t the idea of having direct input by the people on matters that concern them worthy of consideration?

  • Just_My_Opinion

    Businessman Trump correcting another STUPID mistake.
    Go TRUMP 2016.

    • John Fredericks

      Spot on!

      • White Votes Matter

        Fox News hired an illegal alien Muslim activist to ambush Trump… and nobody among the GOP candidates object to it?

        Fox News and National Review have tipped their hands, showing everybody what they are doing behind their cards, may they go blind doing it…

        While Trump was raising money for veterans, the other dípshits were debating how many more of us they wanted to get killed.

  • John Fredericks

    This was a public relations and new voter alienation debacle from day one. I commend the State Central Committee -RPV and Chairman John Whitbeck for exercising the courage and wisdom to rectify their earlier decision and rescind this nefarious pledge. Now we can have a clean and fair primary. Let the best candidate win. Bravo to SCC. John Fredericks

    • Cheryl Whittle

      Oh, when I spoke with Whitbeck, he didn’t seem to be interested in rectifying, he just used the excuse that it was too late to change the decision because the Absentee Ballots had gone out the day before. No, this was pressure from something or someone else. And I am ecstatic they made this change!

  • JohninVA

    Most of the comments seem to ignore the statement that only 9 of the 47 words the Central Committee asked for were used and the remainder of the statement was made up by the State Board of Elections. That would certainly change the context and apparent intent. It may have been within the authority of the State Board to do so but I would be suspicious of the intent of the Red Herring in all this.

    • old_redneck

      Herring got it right.

      The real RPV intent had NOTHING TO DO WITH PARTY LOYALTY.

      The statement also asked people to list personal contact information. It was not a party loyalty oath. It was an attempt to use non-partisan election officials to collect data to be used for partisan political purposes. Typical GOP scam.

  • frank papcin

    what a shame that our so called leaders thought that a oath was the most important thing to be on their minds–what was it?–a feel good thing?–more important than immigration?–jobs?–national security?–the democrats destroying our way of life & country?
    makes me wonder what kind of people we elected, to represent us.

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  • Debbie Agliano

    The SCC rescinded the loyalty oath but the Code of Virginia still requires the SBE to use the loyalty oath. This isn’t over until the SBE changes code. Registrars and election officials are governed by the Code, not by the actions of the SCC.

    • SBE is holding an emergency meeting in the next couple of days to take care of this.

  • Cheryl Whittle

    I have sent letters, made phone calls, posted on Facebook concerning this and spoken to many people. I am a Virginian, and this was just wrong. Especially for those elderly who do Absentee Votes, who could be very confused by this mess, and if they didn’t send their ballot back correctly with their signature on the “Statement of Affiliation” and their signature witnessed, their ballot would not be cast. The Absentee Ballots went out and with the “Affiliation Statement” in the envelopes and a statement telling the voter it has to be signed, witnessed and returned with their ballots to be cast. Last I spoke with the powers that be at the Virginia Republican Office, specifically John Whitbeck, I was told it was too late to change their decision because the Absentee Ballots had gone out the day before. Well, something changed, and I am ecstatic! And I doubt it had to do with what the people wanted, but more about what the GOP would be facing if they continued on this illegal journey they were on…just my thoughts! But now people can approach the polls to cast their vote freely without anyone treading on their right to do so…here in our beautiful state of Virginia! Kudos to Freedom!

    • Peacemaker

      Sadly, if the SBE chooses to follow SCC and NOT require the oath on March 1, it presents a constitutional problem. After the voting began, all voters must be treated the same.

  • Bill the Cat

    Republicans just keep pi551n6 down the backs of their base….

  • disqus_mma68NTtry

    Trump Wins Again…Were going to be so great at winning against Political Correctness the American People Are Going To Win!!!!

  • Anti Everything

    Take an oath? Well the cops take an oath, judges, attorneys all take oaths, military leaders all take oaths (and the rest) politicians take oaths, but NONE OF THEM ADHERE to said oaths. Oaths don’t matter. This is another head fake bit of nonsense.

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