Nick Freitas belongs on the ballot
The issue of Delegate Nick Freitas (R-30th House of Delegates District) not making the November 5th, 2019 ballot lead me to post on his page:
As one who has been responsible for several candidate verification processes over the years (and one who has made mistakes), this is a procedure that is fraught with potential problems.
First you have the interface of a state bureaucracy with an organization that is run almost exclusively with volunteers that turns over every couple of years. The Office of Elections and local registrars have professional staffs (paid for by we the people) that are generally professional, efficient, and polite – however they do make mistakes.
Commonwealth law allows political parties to select their candidates without interference from the State or local election offices – however as we see in this case – they can negatively affect the right of the people to decide.
Go to the Virginia Office of Election website and you will find detailed guidance on how to participate in the State-run primary and scant reference to how the Party selects its candidates. Perhaps that’s best – because I don’t want the State involved, however I don’t want them to be the ultimate arbiter in this process either. They shouldn’t have a veto.
Add to this that even if you do everything right, you really don’t know that until AFTER the deadline. I can only speak to how I did it this year. I asked for a confirmation that the package was received and accurate – they only confirmed receipt. After checking with the county registrar, it appeared that we might be missing things. I again requested in the closing days verification and received confirmation from Elect but I didn’t get a good night’s sleep until after I knew for sure. I had to ask three times and engage two different organizations to determine that all was well.
My particular motivation was born of my experience (and prior errors), that might not be common in all 135 of Virginia’s jurisdictions.
The final problem is that if there is a hiccup, the arbiter is a local (county or city) and ultimately a Commonwealth committee made up of one Republican and two Democrats who are selected for their political reliability. So, a bureaucracy that is generally ambivalent to a process that is tangential to their normal duties can veto candidate selection by the people and the only recourse is a politically charged board whose self-interest is in denying Republicans access to the ballot. What could possibly go wrong?
Delegate Nick Freitas belongs on this ballot in November. The people say so and they should not be denied.
Hey Delegate Nick Freitas - I got a great idea for a bill in the next session.