The Republican Party of Virginia issued the following statement on August 26, 2021:
The Republican Party of Virginia (RPV) today announced it has filed a legal action against the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) and the Virginia Department of Elections seeking declaratory and injunctive relief based upon the invalid Declaration of Candidacy filed by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe that would result in McAuliffe’s disqualification from appearing on any general election ballot.
The complaint contends that Terry McAuliffe, a politician of nearly 50 years, filed a Declaration of Candidacy with the SBE without his required signature in violation of Virginia Code § 24.2-520. However, the Declaration does include signatures from two individuals claiming that they witnessed McAuliffe sign the Declaration despite his signature appearing nowhere on the face of the document. As a result, McAuliffe’s Declaration should have been rejected by the SBE and Department of Elections.
“Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of our democracy, and Terry McAuliffe’s clear violation of the law severely jeopardizes the integrity of our elections in Virginia,” said Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson. “For decades, Terry has used his political connections and proximity to power to avoid consequences for his reckless behavior and disregard for people and laws, but no amount of political favors and back-slapping can refute the fact that McAuliffe is a fraudulent candidate and cannot be Virginia’s next governor.”
The complaint and accompanying motion for a preliminary injunction detail the extent to which McAuliffe’s actions violated both the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Code.
McAuliffe’s inclusion on the general election ballot despite his Declaration being submitted with apparent false statements and not meeting the minimum standards for ballot qualification under Virginia law will burden the right to vote by diverting votes to an unqualified candidate, in direct violation of multiple provisions of the Virginia Constitution and Virginia law.
McAuliffe’s Declaration of Candidacy lacks his own signature and contains apparent false statements from two individuals that attested to witnessing McAuliffe sign an unsigned declaration, clearly making the Declaration invalid. Due to these defects, the SBE improperly certified a winner of the party primary that was never entitled to appear on the primary ballot, and therefore McAuliffe is not qualified to be on the general election ballot. The SBE’s acceptance of McAuliffe’s Declaration and its subsequent certification of McAuliffe as the Democratic nominee for the 2021 general election is in violation of Virginia Code §§ 24.2-504 and 24.2-512-538.
The Republican Party of Virginia is seeking declaratory relief that the Declaration of Candidacy must be declared legally insufficient and McAuliffe must be disqualified from appearing on any general election ballot in accordance with Virginia law. The RPV has further requested injunctive relief that stops the SBE from printing McAuliffe’s name on any ballots for the November 2021 general election.