Pledges have become something of a fad in the Republican primary this year. Except for Jon Huntsman, the GOP hopefuls have all signed pledges to radical right-wing groups like the FAMiLY Leader promising toban pornography and only appoint anti-abortion cabinet members and judges, among other things.
As the New York Times editorial board put it, “It used to be that a sworn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution was the only promise required to become president.” But today, “each pledge they sign undermines the basic principle of democratic government built on compromise and negotiation.”
Now the Virginia GOP is extending the trend to voters, requiring them to sign a loyalty oath to the party before they are allowed to participate in the primary:
The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary.
Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign will be barred from voting in the primary.
During a brief meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol, the State Board of Elections voted 3-0 to approve three forms developed by the election board’s staff to implement the loyalty pledge requested by the state GOP.