Virginia GOP Primary to Require Loyalty Oath

Virginia GOP Primary to Require Loyalty Oath
Next year's Republican presidential primary in Virginia has made national news because it will not include Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, two high-profile candidates who did not collect enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. But the election also is attracting attention because it will require all voters to sign a loyalty oath pledging their support for the eventual GOP nominee.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the Virginia State Board of Elections unanimously signed off on the loyalty oath on Wednesday (December 28). The board cited a state law that "allows the political party holding a primary to determine requirements for voting in the primary," according to the Times-Dispatch .

The policy will not be limited to Republicans. Virginia allows any registered voter to participate in a presidential primary, meaning that Democrats or independents — there is no Democratic primary in Virginia — also would be required to pledge their support for the Republican nominee in writing.

The Times-Dispatch notes that Virginia Republicans have required voters to sign a primary pledge in the past. In 2000, the party asked voters to swear that they would not participate "in the nomination process of any other party than the Republican Party." 
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