Scott Taylor Opponent Appeals Court Decision to Kick Her Off Ballot

Virginia elections board wants state Supreme Court to conduct expedited review

An independent candidate challenging Rep. Scott Taylor, R-Va., appealed a court’s decision to remove her name from the ballot. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Third-party candidate Shaun Brown is appealing to the Virginia Supreme Court to reverse her removal from the ballot for Virginia’s 2nd District, where her opponent, GOP Rep. Scott Taylor is entwined in ongoing litigation.

A circuit court judge last Wednesday tossed out every ballot petition sheet Brown submitted to the elections board after finding she listed an incorrect address for herself on each document.

The judge also ruled every petition sheet submitted by four of Taylor’s campaign staffers on Brown’s behalf be thrown out after he found them “rife with errors, inconsistencies, and forgeries.”

A special prosecutor is investigating the alleged forgeries by Taylor’s campaign staffers.

Brown argued in her appeal Monday that the circuit court “lacked jurisdiction and authority” to order the elections board to remove her from the ballot. She also claimed the Democratic Party of Virginia, which filed the lawsuit to boot Brown from the ballot in August, did not qualify as an aggrieved party and therefore had no “standing” to bring the lawsuit against the elections board.

The DPVA has accused Taylor of helping Brown, his 2016 Democratic opponent, in a backdoor maneuver to split the Democratic vote between Brown and the party’s nominee this year, Elaine Luria.

Taylor denied those claims.

Candidates for Congress in Virginia must collect at least 1,000 signatures from residents of the district to appear on the ballot in a general election.

In all, the judge scrapped roughly 2,500 signatures last week, putting Brown below the eligibility threshold.

The Virginia elections board filed a motion for expedited review to the Supreme Court so that it could begin printing the ballots by Thursday, Sept. 13, the final deadline to “begin the ballot printing process and still get the ballots to localities in time to meet applicable deadlines under federal law.”

The elections board said it is especially concerned with getting absentee ballots shipped in time to troops stationed overseas and other 2nd-District residents who are living abroad.

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