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Morning Read: More Virginia Ballot Fallout

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There is continued fallout from the way presidential candidates qualified to be on the ballot in Virginia. According to InsideNova.com, "poorly trained volunteers who reviewed presidential candidates' petitions at state GOP headquarters Dec. 23 arbitrarily knocked out 'pages and pages and pages' of signatures, according to a screener who was in the room."

The screener, William E. Wilkin, said that none of Mitt Romney's submitted signatures were individually verified, but the Perry and Gingrich signatures "were subjected to ful scrutiny." He said he wants Perry and Gingrich certified for the primary ballot. The issue remains in the court system, as lawsuits have been filed for both candidates.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post editorial board said Perry and Gingrich must accept responsibility since the rules "are well known and have been in place for years." The board also called the resulting loyalty oath requirement "foolish" and said that many voters may be discouraged because of it.

"... Those most hurt by their failure are the voters. Elections are about choices, and voters are best served by having the broadest field of candidates. ... Consider that Virginia has just about the fewest number of people qualifying for the statewide ballot of any state. Which means that come March, any importance that Virginia has in helping to select the Republican standard-bearer will be diminished by the exclusion of candidates who are seen as competitive," the board wrote.

* Your voting location and even your choices for representation in Congress are still up in the air in Virginia, according to WTOP. And you know what that means -- lawsuits! One has already been filed, and another could be filed this week, according to the radio station.

* Elsewhere in Virginia, the Washington Times reported that one of Gov. Bob McDonnell's appointees to the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, which is responsible for cleaning and maintaining the river, "has released a scathing letter refuting the McDonnell administration's justification for cutting funds to the 71-year-old compact." The appointee, Rob Hartwell, wrote in a Dec. 7 letter: "I wanted to point out some glaring errors ... and most importantly, show that it will cost Virginia at least $530,000 should this decision be enacted by the General Assembly."

* Turning the focus to D.C., the Washington Times reports that Mayor Vincent Gray and D.C. Council members will travel to New Hampshire later this month to promote statehood for the District. The reason -- they want to use state politicians as leverage, according to the paper.

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