WASHINGTON - If you are planning to vote in Virginia’s Republican primary, you will need to sign your name to a 9-word statement: "My signature below indicates that I am a Republican." Would you sign it?
Presidential candidate Donald Trump is not very happy about it and he took to Twitter to voice his issue with the signature request.
It begins, Republican Party of Virginia, controlled by the RNC, is working hard to disallow independent, unaffiliated and new voters. BAD!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
R.P.Virginia has lost statewide 7 times in a row. Will now not allow desperately needed new voters. Suicidal mistake. RNC MUST ACT NOW!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
The voters the Republican Party of Virginia are excluding will doom any chance of victory. The Dems LOVE IT! Be smart and win for a change!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2015
In Virginia, the primary is technically open to all registered voters. Some argue that requiring a voter to confirm their Republican status with a signature before voting in the primary essentially makes it a closed primary, and will discourage independent voters and those who have not yet identified with a political party from voting, possibly hurting candidates like Trump.
Keep in mind, there are many states that require a party registration of some form before voting in the primary election.
Why is Republican Party of Virginia asking voters to confirm they are, in fact, Republicans before voting in the GOP primary?
“The argument that people make in favor of closed primaries is that in states where only Democrats vote for Democrats and Republicans vote for Republicans -- you're more likely to nominate candidates who more closely align with the ideas and philosophy of the party,” said John Hart, Republic strategist and editor-in-chief of “Opportunity Lives.”
Beyond the Virginia primary, Fox Business will host the next Republican Debate on January 14 from South Carolina. And with the Iowa caucuses taking place on February 1 and the New Hampshire primary on February 9, every decision each candidate makes from this point forward will be even more crucial as they hope for victory.