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Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Democrat Terry McAuliffe asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Virginia Republicans that seeks to remove him from the ballot in this year’s closely watched race for governor over an alleged paperwork error.

In a filing Friday evening, attorneys for the former governor now running for a second term against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin said the suit was based on a “legal lie” and would effectively invalidate hundreds of thousands of votes cast in the Democratic primary.

The complaint filed earlier this week by the Republican Party of Virginia against state election officials argued that McAuliffe should be disqualified from running in the November general election because of the omission of his signature on an official form declaring his candidacy.

McAuliffe argued in his filing that nothing in Virginia code requires a candidate to sign the declaration of candidacy.