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Signer Petitions in Question

Anita Kumar

About 400 of the 13,354 signatures provided to the Virginia State Board of Elections by lieutenant governor candidate Michael Signer are missing required information, according to state and Democratic party officials.

If the 4,000 signatures are thrown out, his name would not appear on the ballot.

The state requires candidates to submit at least 10,000 signatures, including those of least 400 registered voters in each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts, to be on the June 9 Democratic primary ballot.

The state board of elections determined that the notary used by Signer made an error when he did not ensure the addresses of those collecting the signatures were included on the paperwork.

"The candidate should not be penalized for the notary's error,'' Nancy Rodrigues, board secretary wrote in a letter to the state party.

The Democratic Party of Virginia is reviewing the matter and will make a determination later today, but will likely allow the signatures to be included, according to Jared Leopold, a party spokesman.

"Certain ballot pages contained a technical error by a notary public which did not affect the validity of the signatures and which unfortunately escaped the attention of campaign staffers,'' Signer's campaign wrote in a statement. "Mike regrets that this notary's error was not identified by campaign staffers and regrets the inconvenience the error caused to DPVA staffers and officials. He looks forward to a spirited primary election on June 9."

Signer, an attorney who worked for former governor Mark R. Warner, faces Jon Bowerbank, a businessman from Russell County, and former Finance Secretary Jody Wagner in the Democratic primary. Pat Edmonson, a member of the Virginia Beach School Board, withdrew from the race last week.

"Mike Signer's campaign broke the rules while submitting their petition signatures, and should take responsibility for doing so,'' Wagner campaign manager Elisabeth Pearson said. "Improperly submitting the petitions is concerning enough, but attempting to blame a notary and the DPVA for their mistake is unfortunate and insulting to the party and Democrats across Virginia. The fact is that this was an organizational error that was avoided by every other campaign in the state. The Democratic Party of Virginia has well-established, public rules to guide the nomination and petition process, and it's unfortunate that the Signer campaign failed to follow them."

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) will face lawyer Patrick Muldoon for the Republican nomination next month.

By Anita Kumar  |  April 15, 2009; 9:47 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Lieutenant Governor's Race , Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Jody Wagner  
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Dear Anita - please correct the typo in the first line of the post - it should be 4,000, not 400. Since people are such sticklers for detail, let's point out every little thing. And, like Jody's statement, let's be nasty.

Posted by: NoVaDem1 | April 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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