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Virginia's ACLU Against Republican Party's Loyalty Oath

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Pressure is mounting on the Republican Party of Virginia to reconsider a loyalty oath required from voters in this year's presidential primary, scheduled for March 6. The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia is threatening legal action if the party does not drop the oath.

Under the requirement, voters casting ballots in Virginia's Republican presidential primary will have to sign a promise to support the party's eventual nominee. In a letter to the state GOP, the ACLU of Virginia's Legal Director Rebecca Glenberg calls that unconstitutional. She suggests it undermines a voter's right to a secret ballot and may chill voter participation.

In a statement, the Virginia ACLU says the Republican Party could require a loyalty oath if it chose to use a convention or caucus method, but not as part of a state-funded, state-run primary.

Virginia's Republican Central Committee is expected to reconsider the issue at a meeting on Jan. 21. Chairman Pat Mullins says the bigger issue is the need for party registration in the Commonwealth.

2ACLU Prepares to Mount Legal Challenge to Loyalty Oath Requirement for Primary Voters


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