California may move presidential primary to March or earlier

April 11, 2017

California’s secretary of state and a Democratic lawmaker are pushing for the state’s presidential primary to move up three months in 2020 and enter the slot in the national election cycle behind Iowa and New Hampshire. [LA Times]

Senate Bill 568, introduced by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), would move California’s presidential primary up to the third Tuesday in March. The bill would also allow the governor to move the state’s primary even earlier if other states were to jump ahead of California. SB 568 would likewise move up California’s congressional and legislative primaries.

“A state as populous and diverse as California should not be an afterthought,” Secretary of State Alex Padilla said in a statement supporting SB 568. “By holding our primary earlier, we will ensure that issues important to Californians are prioritized by presidential candidates from all political parties.”

SB 568 is the second bill introduced in the Legislature this year that would move California’s presidential primary up to the third Tuesday in March.

California lawmakers previously moved up the presidential primary in 1996 and 2008. The 1996 presidential primary took place in March, and the 2008 one was held in February.

In 2008, California had its highest voter turnout in a presidential primary in nearly three decades. But, in 2012, lawmakers brought the vote back to June following complaints about the cost of standalone presidential primaries and California’s relatively little impact on the selection of Democratic and Republican nominees.


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kayaknut

They only way this makes sense is if they also change when a candidate who wins outright in a primary takes office. If a candidate wins in a primary they should take office in a few weeks or so, especially if they beat a incumbent, leaving an losing incumbent in office for even longer and allowing them to jam through new legislation is a bad thing.


slojustice

I would not call California diverse anymore. The takers far out number the makers.


Jorge Estrada

Obviously this has nothing to do with saving money or curtailing the waste of public time.