Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Maryland House Bill to Move Presidential Primary Back Three Weeks Unanimously Passes State Senate

The state House version of a bill to shift the Maryland presidential primary three weeks deeper into April passed the state Senate by a unanimous vote (47-0) on Tuesday, April 7. HB 396 got the thumbs up last week from the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee but with an amendment. That minor tweak does not affect the fourth Tuesday in April date described in the current version of the legislation, but was a part of the version that passed the Senate today.

Presumably the bill will now return to the state House for it to consider the changes made by the Senate. Similar amendments have been added to the Senate-passed version currently before the state House.

Overall, there seems to be sufficient support for moving the Maryland primary back to the fourth Tuesday in April to not only avoid the 2016 presidential primary conflicting with religious holidays next year, but to align the Maryland primary with contests in neighboring Delaware and Pennsylvania.

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