That’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that Perry and Gingrich, either one of whom could still become the Great Grassroots Hope against Romney, might not have qualified either. You need 10,000 signatures to make the ballot but 15,000 are recommended since a bunch are bound to be thrown out as false or duplicative as the petitions are scrutinized. You also need at least 600 signatures from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts. Romney submitted 16,026 and Ron Paul submitted 14,361. Perry’s total: 11,911. Gingrich’s: 11,050. If they end up getting bounced, the Republican primary ballot for one of America’s key swing states will consist exclusively of … Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
I was reading that when it struck me that the article is only talking about one state. In order to get on the ballot in all 57 states each candidate would have to jump through numerous hoops of different requirements, deadlines and fees. If each state was similar to Virginia you would need 500,000 people to sign petitions. I’m guessing the filing fees are pretty substantial too.
Then there is the trouble and cost of holding primary elections. That’s public money. In a big state like California the cost of holding an election is in the millions. When they held a special election to recall Gray Davis in 2003 it cost over $25 million.
So what’s the point of doing all that if the parties ignore the results?
Why not require that whenever a party fails to abide by the results of a primary election (by reallocating delegates or “suspending the rules”) then that party has to reimburse each state affected for the cost of the primary election? If it is a “faithless delegate” who is to blame, assess the cost to he/she/them.