Notary Bulletin

Candidate Checks Petitions Before Filing

VIRGINIA — Gubernatorial hopeful Brian Moran paused before filing his candidacy petition. That’s because he discovered that state law had recently changed to require Notaries to use a seal. So Moran had his staff carefully double-check every petition page to make sure it had the requisite seal impression before handing them in to the election officials.

Though this bit of caution delayed Moran’s filing by four hours, it paid off by guaranteeing that every page of his petition, which included 16,000 signatures — far in excess of the required 10,000 — was valid. Moran undoubtedly has been paying close attention to other races in which candidates had their petitions challenged — and in some cases disqualified — because of improper notarizations.

In fact, he had to look no farther than the Lieutenant Governor’s contest, which has been mired in controversy — again thanks to a Notary. Candidate Mike Signer came a hairsbreadth away from being disqualified because nearly 4,000 of the 13,000 signatures he collected didn’t include a street address on the affidavit submitted by the Notary. Despite the Notary’s “technical error,” Democratic Party officials agreed to allow Signer on the ballot. Obviously, Signer needs to take a page from Moran’s campaign playbook in future and check his paperwork before he files it.

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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