Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Bill to Cancel Presidential Primary Passes Washington State Senate

On April 6, the Washington state Senate passed a bill canceling the Evergreen state's presidential primary for 2012. SB 5119 passed by a vote of 34-15 before the full Senate. Originally, the bill was introduced at the request of the Democratic governor, Christine Gregoire, and Republican secretary of state, Sam Reed, but has seen mainly Democratic support throughout its time in the Senate. That was true of the final vote as well. 26 Democrats and 8 Republicans made up the ayes while the remaining 14 Republicans and one Democrat voted in the minority.

The bill if enacted would only temporarily cancel the presidential primary. Provisions within the legislation would cause the law to expire on January 1, 2013. A Republican-sponsored amendment to tie the use of the primary beyond 2012 to the parties utilizing as a means of allocating at least half of their delegates was not adopted.

The House version of the bill (HB 1324) was passed out of committee earlier in the day.

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