When voting in the February 12 Republican primary, citizens will be asked to sign an oath stating, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president.” If one refuses to sign the oath, they will not be allowed to vote.

I was so shocked when I heard this story, that I thought I must have misunderstood. I actually saw it on the news a couple of days ago, but didn’t research it further as I thought it was so outlandish it couldn’t possibly be true. Several news organizations have picked up on Virginia’s “oath,” however, and it seems I didn’t misunderstand. The Virginia Republican Party really is this slimy and stupid.

Supposedly, the Party is requiring such an oath because of “crossover” voters. In the “Communist-wealth” of Virginia,  just as in Tennessee, one does not register to vote as a member of a particular political party. So, a Democrat can vote in a Republican primary and vice versa. This does pose a problem as Democrats can “cross over” and vote for the Republican who would be less likely to beat said Democrat’s candidate of choice. With enough people doing this, the outcome of an election could be greatly effected.

The way to solve this problem is not by forcing voters to sign an oath, but to require – as many other states do – voters to register with a particular political party. When one registers to vote he/she will register as either a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. You may then only vote in the primary for the party with which you are affiliated. Problem solved.

My guess is that the party is trying to plan ahead for a Giuliani nomination in ’08. There are legions of Republican voters who will vote third party if Rudy Giuliani gets the Republican nomination for president, and I’ll bet dollars to doughnuts that this is the real motivation behind the “oath.”

Some have argued that the oath is “just a piece of paper.” There is no one to enforce the oath, so you can simply sign it with no intention of abiding by it. For some, that may be fine. I, however, don’t make promises of any sort that I don’t intend to keep. If I even had an inkling that I may not be willing to vote for the Republican nominee (and, if it’s Giuliani, I will not), then I cannot, will not, sign that oath. I would then not be allowed to vote in the primary.

This oath is an affront to our voting process and I am shocked that anyone with any sense would find it acceptable.