Home 2020 Elections With VA State Board of Elections Meeting Tuesday at 1 pm, PerkinsCoie...

With VA State Board of Elections Meeting Tuesday at 1 pm, PerkinsCoie and DCCC Urge Rejection of Republican Bob Good’s, Nick Freitas’ Requests for Filing Deadline Extensions

Good and Freitas "simply failed to take the care necessary to meet the deadline"

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Tomorrow at 1 pm, the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) meets to decide, among other things, whether or not Republicans Bob Good (who was nominated, over Rep. Denver Riggleman, in a bizarre VA05 GOP convention on June 14) and/or Del. Nick Freitas (competing for the VA07 GOP nomination, with the nominating convention set for July 18) should be allowed to have their names on the November ballot, despite both failing to file paperwork properly with the SBE. See below for information about tomorrow’s SBE meeting, as well as a legal filing by PerkinsCoie, on behalf of its client the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), arguing the SBE to reject the Republican Party of Virginia’s…and Bob Good’s belated requests to extend the June 9 deadline for filing the required Certificate of Candidate Qualification and/or Statement of Economic Interest forms.” The reasons cited include the following (note: bolding added by me for emphasis):

  • First, the filing deadline was clear and unequivocal, and neither the Republican Party nor Mr. Good have provided any legitimate reason why the Board should extend the deadline at this point. The fact that other nomination process deadlines were changed or extended by gubernatorial action or court order is irrelevant; the June 9 deadline remained unchanged, and many candidates took care to meet it. Mr. Good and Delegate Freitas did not miss the filing deadline because of the coronavirus; they simply failed to take the care necessary to meet the deadline. Granting the Requests at this late date would send a clear message to future candidates and the voting public: deadlines for submitting documentation to obtain access to the ballot in Virginia are meaningless. In particular, granting the Republican Party’s request would allow Delegate Freitas to qualify for the ballot despite his repeated inexplicable disregard for complying with ballot qualification deadlines. The Board is undoubtedly aware that he has now failed to meet the filing deadline for two years in a row.”
  • “Second, the Republican Party and Mr. Good submitted extension requests after the June 9 deadline had already passed. Although the Board clearly has the statutory authority to reject these requests, it does not have clear statutory authority to grant them. To the contrary, the relevant legislative background of Va. Code Ann. § 24.2-503 indicates that the legislature intended to give the Board a limited authority to grant extension requests, in order to change the previous rule under which the Board had ‘unfettered discretion to grant or withhold extensions, potentially permitting Board of Elections staff to permit late entries by favored candidates.’ If the Board now provides an extension nearly a month after the deadline, it would be acting in contravention to that limited statutory authority.”
  • “Third, if the Board grants the Requests at this late date, then it would effectively signal that there is no temporal restriction applicable to the timing by which the Board can grant extensions. Taken to its logical conclusion, this would mean that the Board could grant anextension to a filing deadline up to the eve of an election. That clearly is not the law, and it does not comport with the Board’s limited statutory authority. Moreover, there is no precedent for the Board granting a ten-day extension of the filing deadline more than a month after the deadline has passed, or for the Republican Party’s request for an extension for ‘all candidates’ who missed the deadline to be granted an extension, regardless of the reason for the candidates’ noncompliance (e.g. where, as in this case, the candidates failed to make any reasonable attempt to comply with the deadline and instead missed it due to their own negligence).”