A pair of voters cast their ballots, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, at a fire station in Coral Gables, Fla. Mitt Romney entered the day as the heavy favorite over Newt Gingrich in Florida's winner-take-all primary. Rick Santorum and Ron Paul have ceded the vote to the two front-runners and planned to spend the day campaigning in Colorado and Nevada. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A bill that would have allowed voters to write in candidates on primary ballots was spiked in the Virginia Senate Tuesday.
Legislators introduced the bill after Newt Gingrich said he would stage a write-in campaign because he didn’t gather enough legitimate petition signatures to make it on the primary ballot.
In Virginia, voters are only allowed to write in candidates in general elections, not primaries.
The state requires candidates to collect 10,000 signatures, with at least 400 from each of the congressional districts.
Gingrich said he turned in more than 11,000, but some of them turned out to be invalid. Only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney qualified to be on the March 6 primary ballot.
Gingrich, Santorum, John Huntsman and Rick Perry (when the latter two were still in the race) unsuccessfully filed suit against the State Board of Elections to try and get their names on the ballot.
Had this write-in bill passed, it would not have impacted this upcoming election, but would have set a precedent going forward.
The bill was killed today in the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee.
The Virginia General Assembly has also stopped bills this legislation session that would allow for voters to register with a party affiliation, change the date of the primary for federal offices to the day of the presidential primary every four years and widen access to absentee ballots.
* Gov. Bob McDonnell came out against the ultrasound abortion bill this afternoon, reversing the strong stance he previously held in favor of the bill.
The governor said in a statement that he is asking the General Assembly to amend the proposed bill requiring ultrasounds before an abortion to make the procedure optional.
“I am pro-life. I believe deeply in the sanctity of innocent human life and believe governments have a duty to protect human life. The more our society embraces a culture of life for all people, the better country we will have…
Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure. “
The state had come under fire for the legislation, which would have required women to have invasive transvaginal ultrasounds prior to getting abortions.
Both SNL and The Daily Show mocked the bill.
* Former White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers endorsed U.S. congressional hopeful John Delaney in his new ad.
Delaney is running for the Democrat nomination against state Sen. Rob Garagiola.
Veteran Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s (R-Md.) currently holds the seat and is running for re-election.
* Maryland Republican leaders requested that discussion on the bill to legalize same-sex marriages be postponed. The bill will be debated on the House floor Thursday, where it is expected to be passed.