January 5, 2012
Governor Bob McDonnell and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling Thursday released statements asking the Republican Party of Virginia to rescind the proposed "loyalty oath" that all voters seeking to participate in the March GOP Presidential Primary in Virginia would be required to sign in order to cast a vote.
McDonnell said the following:
"Over the past few days I have reviewed the issue of the proposal that voters sign a loyalty oath as a requirement for participation in our upcoming GOP Presidential Primary in March. While I fully understand the reasoning that led to the establishment of this requirement, such an oath is unenforceable and I do not believe it is in the best interests of our Party, or the Commonwealth.
The effect of the oath could be one of diminishing participation in the primary, at a time when our Party must be expanding its base and membership as we head into the pivotal 2012 general elections this fall. For these reasons, I urge the State Central Committee to rescind the loyalty oath requirement at its upcoming meeting on the 21st."
In a letter to the Republican Party of Virginia’s (RPV) State Central Committee (SCC), Bolling wrote:
“In recent days various Republican Party leaders and activists have inquired about my position on the Loyalty Oath, so I wanted to share my views on this issue with you. While I certainly understand the rationale for a Loyalty Oath and respect the initial decision the SCC made in approving a Loyalty Oath, it is my belief that the Loyalty Oath should be rescinded. I am concerned that requiring a Loyalty Oath may send the wrong message about our desire to grow our party and create an opportunity for more people to become involved in the party.”
The oath was created to combat the possibility that the open GOP primary could be influence by Democrats or other voters who do not have the Republican party's best interests at heart.
The RPV has called a special meeting of the SCC for Jan. 21, at which time the committee will revisit the requirement for a Loyalty Oath.