BREAKING: Gingrich 2,000 Ballot Signatures Short?

UPDATE (2:43am):  …and it’s official.

@VA_GOP After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary.

We’re done here, folks.

UPDATE (1:52am):  NEWT IS OUT.  RPV TO UPDATE SHORTLY.

UPDATE (1:41am):  Well folks… if you’re truly this interested, stick around for the RPV press release… otherwise, I relinquish control of the live-blogging and say g’night and Merry Christmas Eve!

UPDATE (1:39am): Final update from RPV should be coming in the next hour or so.  Still not looking good for Newt on the inside.

UPDATE (1:31am):  “Soon…” this will be over.  Still doesn’t sound good for Newt.

UPDATE (1.11am):  Ron Paul folks are already apoplectic that the verification is taking so long.  One RPer online is threatening lawsuits (yikes!) while most are calmly assessing this for what it is.  It does raise an interesting question: how will Ron Paul’s rank and file keep the loons — and they know who they are — in line so as not to scare away the mainstream folks?  If Ron Paul’s time has truly come… is the movement ready for their ranks to triple in size with a general election?  Or are they going to hand it to Romney with every “black helicopter” comment?

UPDATE (12.53am): Sources at RPV are telling me that the 2,000 signatures do not have addresses on them… meaning that they cannot be verified.  Newt Gingrich may very well be off the ticket in Virginia, folks…

Rumor has it this evening that one of the petition gatherers was not qualified to circulate petitions… which technically disqualifies those signatures in Virginia.

This would mean that the only two campaigns that qualified in the Virginia primary will be Ron Paul and Mitt Romney.

However… and there’s always a however… former State Senator Marty Williams back in 2007 was accused of having a handler circulate petitions to get him on the ballot that was not legally able to do so.  The court ruled that, though the petitioner was not legally entitled to circulate the petitions, the enfranchisement of those who did sign the petitions trumped the lack of qualifications the petition gatherer held.

Ergo, even if this report is right, Gingrich will have the names needed to qualify for the Virginia ballot.

If… these reports are true…