CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Republican Party of Virginia just landed on its nominating process to select its statewide candidates. The party hopes this will allow more voters to participate, but former 5th District Congressman Denver Riggleman says he’s still unsatisfied.
There will now be 37 sites across the commonwealth where Republicans can cast their ballot selecting their candidates, but Riggleman believes this will still disenfranchise thousands.
“Vehicles will simply drive to the location, cue up. When they get to the front of the line, they’ll be met by a Republican Party of Virginia election official who will give them a ballot,” Republican Party of Virginia Chair Rich Anderson said.
To follow COVID-19 protocols, voters will cast their ballot from their vehicle.
“They’ll do it by rank choice voting, where they indicate their first choice, second choice, third choice and so on for each of the three statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. Then they will simply drop it in a box,” Anderson explained.
To vote, you’ll need to register as a delegate by filling out a form with your area Republican Party committee. The state committee originally decided to hold one convention in Lynchburg, but backed away from that idea after Anderson proposed multiple sites around Virginia in an effort, he says, will open the process to more voters.
“There is a quality check in data systems to verify that the applicants are in fact Republicans,” Anderson said.
Riggleman says this process will disenfranchise GOP members across the commonwealth: “The committees can actually choose who they want in those background checks that they talk about. Again, a convention is just about keeping the same people in power who’ve been there before,” he said.
Riggleman called conventions anti-American, saying an open primary is the best way to get the most people involved in the democratic process. He says he’s so dismayed he may not vote to select his party’s candidates.
“Why would I participate in such a grotesque aberration of what a democracy or republic should look like? Then I think maybe I should participate in this disgusting aberration because if I don’t what other normal people will? That’s the issue that you have is that a convention does not attract 9-5 people who go to work, people who own businesses, people who want to live a life where the government leaves them alone, but still wants them there when they need a little bit of help,” Riggleman said.
The Fluvanna, Madison and Greene County Republican Parties require a completed form by Friday, April 16. To find your area’s form you can click here. Republicans will hold their statewide convention on Saturday, May 8.