RICHMOND(AP) -- The state Board of Elections has rejected the Republican Party's bid to keep the name of Constitution Party presidential candidate Virgil Goode off the Virginia ballot.

The board acted Tuesday after the GOP raised questions about some signatures Goode tendered to qualify for the ballot.

The former congressman is seeking a spot on the ballot as the nominee of the conservative Constitution Party. He lost his congressional seat to one-term Democrat Tom Perriello in 2008.

Goode's presence on the ballot poses a risk to the GOP because he could drain some conservative support away from Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

That's of particular concern in Virginia, a swing state where polls show Romney and President Barack Obama virtually deadlocked.

The Constitution Party will be the first of the three third-party candidates listed on the November ballot, followed by the Libertarian Party and Green Party, State Board of Elections officials said Tuesday. They will follow the Republican and Democratic candidates respectively, which were drawn at the June 26, board meeting.

AP-WF-09-04-12 1447GMT

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