Northern Virginia Senator Chap Petersen has introduced an emergency legislation to block the ‘statement of affiliation’ on the Republican Primary ballot on March 1st. The legislation would prevent any political party from requiring voters in a primary to sign any kind of oath. For the bill to become law it must get 80% support in the House of Delegates and the State Senate, followed by the Governor’s signature.
From the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Petersen said in a phone interview that he is concerned about the prospect of state employees assisting party officials in implementing what he termed a “party purity test.”
“I think it’s a problem ethically, and I think it’s a problem logistically,” Petersen said.
Senator Petersen wrote, “I’m happy to save the Republican Party from itself.”
Speaking on behalf of the Republican Party of Virginia David D’Onofrio said:
“Obviously, it’s interesting that a liberal Democrat from Northern Virginia would introduce this,”
He also said both political parties have required similar ballot statements without any objections from the legislature.
“Until Virginia has party registration, this is an inelegant tool to ensure the Republican process,” D’Onofrio said, adding that making sure Republicans choose the GOP nominee “doesn’t seem like an unreasonable standard.”