Virginia GOP Loyalty Pledge

It’s relevant to Maryland. It’s just one example. I thought that would be self-evident but perhaps not. My point is that signing the pledge is not binding and you may change your party affiliation at will–within your state’s rules, of course.

Is your party affiliation part of voter registration in Virginia? It is in California but I believe when we get to the polls we can ask for any parties primary ballot.

I suppose it can be used against you if you later become active in Democratic politics:
Your opponent can show it to the voters and proclaim “He’s not a real Democrat. You have two Republicans running in this race, please vote for the honest one.” Or if you become a member of some Democrat’s campaign staff, your opponent can spread rumors that the candidate is really a stalking horse for the Republicans because he has all these sworn Republicans on his staff.

Ohio has a law that some secretaries of state have interpreted to require loyalty oaths for everyone who switches parties. When it’s used, it has a notice in bold print that falsely signing it is a felony.

But if you just signed a scribble, or a fake name, how would they know it was you?

No. You do not indicate a party affiliation in Virginia.

I can make any number of squiggles.

My actual signature is 2 squiggles with a hint of the first letter.

Unless they require an ID with a matching squiggle, how will they know my name?

And: I’m amazed that there are still ‘open primaries’ (in which anyone can vote on any party’s ticket) - they are noted for raiding.

Virginia law requires all voters to provide an acceptable form of photo identification (photo ID) at the polls.

Go they then record which ballot the voter requested?

I assume they use the ID to indicate that this person has already voted - that is how the CA polls use it.

I’d imagine a large stink would be raised if they tried to tie the name to a Party - the whole point of an open Primary is to allow voting without stating a Party affiliation.

Yes, they record which ballot you request. How you vote is secret, but the fact you voted is a public record and, in a primary election, which party’s ballot you requested is also a public record.

In states where you don’t register by party, which primary ballot you request is the main data point campaigns have to try and determine which party you may prefer.

Only GOP voters have to sign such a pledge? Not Democrats, Greens, Libertarians or Silly Party voters in races in which candidates of their parties are running? Bizarre. Why would putatively-nonpartisan state or county pollworkers be doing the bidding of a single party in Virginia?

Because only that party asked. In theory, the Democratic Party would also have been able to do this but decided not to (both times).