Virginia’s New GOP Voter Affiliation Pledge Irks Trump

by | Dec 29, 2015 | Government

By Susan Larson. Screen shot from Twitter.

The Virginia State Board of Elections ruled December 16 that voters in the March 1, 2016, Republican presidential primary sign a “statement of affiliation” that says “My signature below indicates that I am a Republican.” The move followed requests from the GOP’s State Central Committee.

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump blasted them on Sunday, using Twitter.

“It begins, Republican Party of Virginia, controlled by the RNC, is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. BAD!” read his first Tweet.

He followed it with, “R.P. Virginia has lost statewide 7 times in a row. Will now not allow desperately needed new voters. Suicidal mistake. RNC MUST ACT NOW!”

Then, “The voters the Republican Party of Virginia are excluding will doom any chance of victory. The Dems LOVE IT! Be smart and win for a change!”

A fourth Tweet read, “Straighten out The Republican Party of Virginia before it is too late. Stupid! RNC”

John Findlay, executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia, issued the following statement regarding the GOP Statement of Affiliation:

“The Republican Party of Virginia’s State Central Committee (SCC) has set a reasonable threshold to participate in the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary, signing your name to a very simple nine word statement that reads: “My signature below indicates that I am a Republican.”

“The statement was primarily passed by the SCC with a simple goal: to ensure Republican voters select our Republican nominee in 2016. As this Statement of Affiliation gets discussed, many in the media are misconstruing its intent and terminology. It is not an “oath” or “pledge” in any way. It is not targeting any candidate, group of voters or an unreasonable barrier to voting. These nine words were used specifically to avoid any confusion or reference to past attempts.

“Requiring the signing of a Statement is a far lower barrier to participation than in States that require Party registration for voters participation in primaries.”

Andrew Cain wrote in the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Trump’s “fusillade” reflects “his distrust of GOP leaders.” “It also underscores a danger for the party that its front-runner could bolt and mount an independent run if he thinks party leaders are treating him unfairly.”

In Virginia, both the Republican Primary and the Democratic Primary are on Tuesday, March 1, 2016.

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