Judge Prevents VA from Printing Ballots Until Perry Hearing

A federal judge is preventing Virginia from printing ballots until he issues a ruling on Texas Gov. Rick Perry's ballot challenge.

U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. has ordered the Virginia State Board of Elections to send directives to each of the state's local boards, telling them not to print any absentee ballots until after the emergency motion is heard on Friday.

Virginia's primary is on March 6th. In order to get absentee ballots mailed overseas in time, Virginia needed to start printing ballots this weekend, and mailing them out by Jan 21.

"This is a positive development for the presidential candidates and the citizens of Virginia and we look forward to the hearing on January 13th," said Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan.

Only two GOP candidates, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul qualified for Virginia's primary. The state has some of the toughest ballot requirements in the country. Candidates must get 10 thousand signatures, 400 from each of the 11 counties. The Perry campaign is challenging the requirement that those soliciting signatures be either registered or eligible Virginia voters.

There are three other candidates taking part in the suit, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum. Michele Bachmann had also joined the lawsuit, but has dropped out of the race and therefore is not included in the order.