Texas governor Rick Perry filed a federal lawsuit on Tuesday challenging his disqualification from Virginia's primary. Perry is challenging the qualification process as unconstitutional. He says it keeps voters from selecting candidates of their choice.
Perry was disqualified from Virginia's 2012 primary election ballot after he failed to meet the deadline to collect 10,000 verifiable signatures with at least 400 qualified voters from each congressional district. In his complaint (PDF file), Perry said Virginia's qualification requirements are unduly onerous. Reuters reports that a spokesman of Perry, Ray Sullivan, said,
"Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States. We believe that the Virginia provisions unconstitutionally restrict the rights of candidates and voters by severely restricting access to the ballot. We hope to have those provisions overturned or modified to provide greater ballot access to Virginia voters and the candidates seeking to earn their support."
According to Reuters, Perry's lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond and names members of the state's board of elections and the head of the state Republican party as defendants.
The Virgina primary, according to IB Times, is crucial to Perry's candidacy. He was forced to go to court because the Virginia primary does not allow write-in candidates. According to National Journal, Perry Campaign said that it had collected 11,911 signatures by the deadline, but apparently some of the signatures were disqualified as unverifiable.
Former Utah Governor John Huntsman, Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum did not meet the Thursday deadline for submitting petitions.Only former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia primary to hold on March 6.