Three parties have filed petitions to have their presidential nominees on the Virginia ballot, the Constitution, Green, and Libertarian Parties. The deadline was on August 24. The state requires 10,000 valid signatures.
Virginia permits petitions to be submitted on a flow basis, so the Constitution Party and the Libertarian Party had been submitting signatures for several weeks and having them verified. As of August 20, the Constitution Party had submitted 20,673 signatures, and they had been validated. Also as of August 20, the Libertarian Party had submitted approximately 15,000 signatures, and 9,700 had been validated, so the party turned in a supplemental petition on the deadline. The distribution requirement of 400 signatures per U.S. House district had been met for each of the two petitions.
The Green Party submitted 15,700 signatures on the deadline. However, approximately 3,000 of them had been collected before April, when the list of electors (which must include one for each U.S. House district) had been drawn up based on the old districts. Two of the electors were placed into different districts. The party tried to substitute, but the State Board of Elections refused, even though in 1989 a U.S. District Court in Virginia ruled in El-Amin v State Board of Elections that the U.S. Constitution requires that unqualified parties (and committees supporting independent candidates) be permitted to substitute new nominees for all partisan office, and even though the Election Code authorizes such substitution.
The State Board of Elections earlier said the election code section involving substitution in general does not apply to presidential elections, because presidential elections are in a separate part of the election code. The election code sections dealing with presidential elections also authorize substitution, but only for President and Vice-President, not for presidential electors. Probably the legislature intended to include presidential electors, and wrote the law badly.
Virginia has no residency requirement for presidential electors chosen by the qualified parties. In Virginia, only the Democratic and Republican Parties are ballot-qualified. The Green Party’s attorney hopes to persuade the Board to accept the petitions with the outdated list of presidential electors, and will probably sue if the Board does not accept all the petitions.