Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Legislation is on the way to move Pennsylvania presidential primary up

Word broke on Tuesday that legislation is forthcoming in Pennsylvania to shift the presidential primary in the Keystone state up to the third Tuesday in March for the 2024 cycle. 

State House Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-181th, Philadelphia) and Rep. Jared G. Solomon (D-202nd, Philadelphia) said in a statement:
Pennsylvania has been a pivotal battleground state and will be again in 2024. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s presidential primary is the fourth Tuesday in April, long after many states have voted for a presidential nominee. This makes our commonwealth one of the last states in the nation to weigh in despite being a crucial swing state. Our voters should have more influence in selecting the most qualified presidential nominee for each party.

In the near future, we will introduce legislation to adjust our petition circulation schedule and move Pennsylvania’s next presidential primary date up by one month to the third Tuesday in March, making our next presidential primary date March 19th, 2024

This will increase Pennsylvania’s importance in future presidential primary elections, giving our residents increased national political weight in line with our state's size and importance. With an earlier primary, Pennsylvania voters will represent the 'keystone' needed for each candidate to win their party's nomination in 2024 and beyond.
A bill has yet to be filed, but this revives an effort that has been unsuccessful over the last two legislative sessions. It would push the Pennsylvania primary up to a spot on the calendar it would share with Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, making March 19 an even more delegate-rich date on the calendar. And while the move would bring the presidential primary in the commonwealth up into a potentially more competitive position in March, it would mean abandoning a slot where the Pennsylvania primary is the clear biggest prize on April 23, the fourth Tuesday in April.

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