Constitution Party of Virginia

CPV Statement Regarding "Suspected Fraud" on Petitions

August 7, 2012

The Constitution Party of Virginia (CPV) has not been notified of any investigation into petitions to place Congressman Virgil Goode on the Virginia Ballot for President of the United States. We do not know of any alleged improprieties, nor do we believe there are any that have been caused, encouraged, or knowingly tolerated by either CPV or the Goode campaign.

The idea that CPV or the Goode campaign would even tolerate any improper activities is ridiculous, for several reasons:

  • We have earned a place on the ballot in every Presidential election in the past twenty years. There has never been a single question of impropriety.
  • We expect the Virginia State Board of Elections to check our petition signatures for validity. They have in the past, and given us the numbers of valid signatures by petition circulator. In addition to our own experience of being closely checked by SBE, we are well aware that there were issues regarding the Gingrich petition effort. We would not turn in petitions we even suspected were fraudulent to authorities that have carefully checked our work every time.
  • We knew before we started this effort that given Virginia's status as a swing state we would face efforts to keep us off the ballot. We have been very careful to avoid giving a toehold to those who would restrict ballot access to the establishment politicians who have caused all the problems our country faces.
  • As most, if not all, campaigns do, we use paid signature collectors as well as volunteers to collect the huge number of signatures required to get on the ballot. The paid collectors, who in the end will likely have turned in the bulk of the signatures, know they only get paid for valid signatures. They are experienced collectors, and know the scrutiny (described above) their work will face.
  • Every petition is signed by the collector in front of a notary, right below a warning statement including a $2500 fine and prison term up to ten years. If someone violated the terms of the petition, then not only have they defrauded the citizens of Virginia but they have defrauded the Goode campaign. We encourage prosecution of anyone who has done so. (This does beg the question of where are the prosecutions of the Gingrich petitioners.)

The most important reason that we are confident there are no improprieties related to anything CPV or the Goode campaign has done, encouraged, or knowingly tolerated is this: The State Board of Elections has in its hands, almost certainly, enough valid signatures to put Congressman Goode on the ballot. There is no reason to commit fraud when the campaign had enough collected properly.

We call on Governor McDonnell and the State Board of Elections to immediately complete and publicize the validation of the Goode petitions. We are confident this can be done this week, since of over 14,000 signatures turned in on July 16, over 8,300 have been validated by SBE. Over 4,000 more were turned in August 1. We believe a validation showing that the Goode campaign achieved what the Gingrich, Perry, and Santorum campaigns could not will also show there is no motive for fraud.

We call on Attorney General Cuccinelli to fully investigate every aspect of this allegation, including whether there was collusion between non-partisan election officials and partisan operatives, or partisan activities done independently by non-partisan election officials.

All Virginians, all Americans, and certainly the media, should be very interested in a quick and impartial resolution of this matter. Americans who do not belong to the two parties that have bankrupted this nation already have huge hurdles denying them equal access to the ballot, put in place by those very parties. We should not tolerate any efforts to further restrict access to the ballot to protect the establishment parties.

Mitch Turner
Chairman, Constitution Party of Virginia

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