Woodbridge, VA- Ed Gillespie and his elitist team of lawyers are manipulating the Virginia Board of Elections in a last-ditch, rule-breaking effort to have Ed's name placed at the top of the ballot
Gillespie's gambit is an attempt at an end-run around rules established by Virginia's State Board of Elections (SBE) that stipulate that the first candidate to turn in their candidate's petitions to be put on the ballot will have his or her name placed at the top of the ballot for that candidate's particular race.
All the campaigns, including Gillespie's, are aware of this fact, given their effort to arrive at the BOE early to turn in their petitions.
An email from the Virginia State Board of Elections makes it clear the protocol for turning in ballots and ballot placement is a first-come-first-serve endeavor.
Brooks Braun, an attorney with the Virginia Board of Elections provided campaigns with advice on turning in their ballots in writing, saying "come early and stick around until noon if you'd like to save a spot."
Ed's team failed to do this.
Ed's team is now perhaps most acutely aware how ballot placement works after they showed up late Monday morning, March 13th -- well after the Stewart team -- to turn in petitions.
And now they are trying to use the party to change the rules.
Corey Stewart's Campaign Manager, Spence Rogers, and other staffers braved the cold beginning late Sunday night and early Monday morning. See the photo below time stamped at 10:12 PM on Sunday, March 12th.
When the BOE's doors opened at 9:00 AM, Spence and his team were clearly the first gubernatorial campaign in line to turn in Corey Stewart's petitions to have his name placed at the top of the ballot.
Showing up well after the doors opened, Gillespie's team are now scrambling and calling favors with their elite politico friends in Richmond to strong-arm and manipulate the Virginia Board of Elections into changing the rules.
The receipt below, filled out by Rob Vance with the Virginia Board Elections, clearly shows the Stewart campaign was first to arrive, and therefore should be first on the ballot.
Now Gillespie's team of lawyers are brazenly trying to strong-arm the Virginia Board of Elections by using the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) and its legal counsel to weigh in on Ed Gillespie's behalf.
In an email from Chris Marston, RPV's legal counsel, to RPV Executive Director John Findlay, Marston makes the claim that Corey Stewart's and Ed Gillespie's teams filed their petitions simultaneously with the VA BOE.
In the case of a simultaneous filing, Marston argues, ballot placement between candidates should be determined "by lot."
Marston, the Republican Party lawyer, furthermore tried to call into question attorney Braun's advice on turning in the ballots.
Even if Gillespie's team of party apparatchiks and lawyers were to change the rule in the case of a simultaneous filing, the filing was not simultaneous, since Gillespie's team was not even in the building when Stewart's campaign turned in their ballots.
The filing receipt given to the Stewart campaign by the Virginia Board of Elections proves that the two campaign's filings did not occur simultaneously.
The Republican Party of Virginia should stop playing politics and weighing in on the behalf of one candidate over another.
The rules were clear, and they should apply to everyone. It is time for the lawlessness to end in Richmond.
The Board of Elections should abide by their stated protocols and place Corey Stewart's name on the top of the ballot in accordance with their own stated rules.