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Bolling Endorses Party Registration

Tim Craig

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) has endorsed a bill by Del. L. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William) that would allow Virginia voters to register with a political party.

Bolling sent a letter to lawmakers today that says party registration would "maintain the integrity of the party nomination process in Virginia" and allow candidates "to more effectively identify voters and efficiently communicate with them."

There have been growing calls among Republicans to implement party registration. Virginia voters currently do not register by party, meaning they can decide on the day of the primary whether they want to vote in the Republican or Democratic nomination contest. Some conservatives argue Democratic-leaning voters should not be allowed decide who the GOP nominates for state, local and federal offices.

But Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said recently he prefers the current system because he thinks most Virginians like being labeled as independent.

By Tim Craig  |  January 15, 2008; 4:19 PM ET
Categories:  Bill Bolling , Election 2008/Congress , Election 2008/Local , Election 2008/President , Election 2008/U.S. Senate , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig  
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Comments

most Virginians might like being labeled as independent, but that doesn't make it true

Posted by: Anonymous | January 16, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

The current virginia system is effective in providing voters choices. This is a blatant ploy to prevent moderates within either party from having any influence. As someone who is more toward the center of the political spectrum I don't vote straight party lines in elections, and I may care passionately about a Republican or Democratic nominee in primary season and want to sometimes vote for a Democratic nominee or a Republican nominee depending on which party has the more moderate candidate to represent my views. I'm not alone in this regard by a long shot.

Preventing those not registered by parties only means the Democratic nominee will only be slected by extremely partisan liberals and likewise the Republican nominee will only be selected by extremely partisan conservatives. As far to the right as Bolling and Lingamfelter are, this clearly benefits them but would be a huge detriment to the political process. We would only see more partisanship and extremism in the eventual nominees, and more pandering to the base in primary season. This is good for those in the base are on the receiving end of the pandering but bad for everyone else.

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