The GOP's loyalty oath

Want to vote in Virginia? Just sign here first.


Tim Grieve
November 28, 2007 9:47PM (UTC)

So you live in Virginia and want to vote in the state's Republican presidential primary? That's fine -- so long as you first sign an oath swearing that you'll vote for the GOP presidential nominee come next November.

The oath is completely unenforceable, but it can't sit well with Virginia Republicans who might entertain the idea of voting for a Democratic or third-party candidate in 2008 if the nominee the GOP picks isn't to their liking.

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As the Roanoke Times opines, the oath leaves such voters with a touch choice to make: "lie," "stay home from the Feb. 12 elections and keep your options open," or "commit to an unknown Republican candidate nine months before the election."

"Honorable Virginians do not give their word lightly and will not lie, even under these obtuse circumstances," the Times says. "We hope, too, that they put candidates' ideas, character and experience ahead of party affiliation. Honest, responsible voters therefore can only skip the primary."

That, or vote with the party that doesn't require such an oath in the first place.

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Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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