Resource: Libertarian Party v. Va. State Bd. of Elections

By: Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

September 1, 2020

Stanford-MIT Healthy Elections Project

Third parties and their candidates for US House, Senate, and President sued the Virginia State Board of Elections to eliminate the petition signature requirement for the 2020 election due to COVID. After a one day bench trial on 7/13/20, the Court concluded that the signature requirements were unconstitutional as applied to the plaintiffs this election year. The deadline for collecting signatures for House and Senate candidates was extended to August 1, and the signature threshold number was reduced to 35% of the statutory figure. Candidates for President had the signature threshold reduced to 50% of the statutory figure. A previous consent decree entered in the case allows petition circulators to witness signatures over the internet so long as the circulator can actually see the voter sign the form. The original form must also be returned to the circulator so that the circulator can sign the affidavit.