Virgil Goode to remain on Va. presidential ballot

Jill Gregorie Contributor
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Virginia’s Board of Elections will allow Virgil Goode to appear as a presidential candidate on state ballots in November, despite Republican efforts to block his candidacy, the Washington Post reports.

Goode is the Constitution Party’s presidential nominee. He represented Virginia’s 5th Congressional District from 1997 to 2009. He was initially elected as a Democrat before becoming an independent and then a Republican. Goode lost his seat to Democrat Tom Perriello in 2008.

Virginia is known for its particularly stringent qualification policies, as seen earlier this year when both Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry failed to qualify for the state’s Republican primary.

Goode needed 10,000 signatures from Virginia voters, including 400 from each of Virginia’s 11 congressional districts.  Although Goode claimed to have submitted more than 20,500, the state Republican Party challenged his signatures, arguing that they were too few and rife with ‘’errors and omissions,’’ the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

A Board of Elections spokeswoman said that the issue has been sent to the Office of the Attorney General for further review.

Goode’s presidential candidacy has the potential to impact the outcome in Virginia, a swing state where Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama are locked in a close race.

According to a July poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, Goode is currently drawing in 9 percent of the vote in Virginia, detracting from Romney but leaving Obama’s numbers virtually untouched.  A majority of his supporters would otherwise favor Romney.

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