Saturday, March 11, 2023

Indications Rhode Island Will Re-explore Presidential Primary Date

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island, too, may shift the date on which the Ocean state's presidential primary falls in 2024 because of a conflict with the Passover holiday.
Rep. Rebecca Kislak, D-Providence, has quietly raised the issue behind the scenes with the secretary of state's office and Democratic Party Leadership. She said Thursday she is "confident that over the next days or weeks" she will be able to introduce legislation to move the date.  
"We are exploring the possibility of moving the primary," echoed state Rep. Joseph McNamara, the state Democratic chairman. House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said Kislak had briefed him on the problem, and he was open to a legislative fix. 

Secretary of State Gregg Amore also told The Journal: "Yes. It needs legislative action."
Legislators in Maryland are already moving legislation to push the primary in the Old Line state back into May, and in a change prompted not by the Passover conflict, two bills in Pennsylvania (also in conflict with Passover) would shift the primary in the Keystone state up to mid-March. If all of those changes occur, that would leave Delaware alone on the fourth Tuesday in April in 2024, the lone remnant of a subregional mid-Atlantic/northeastern primary that has existed in one form or another since the 2012 cycle

Connecticut has also been a part of that group but because there are five Tuesdays in April in 2024, the differing language of the laws in these states matters. The states with primaries conflicting with Passover specify the fourth Tuesday in April whereas the Connecticut law sets the date of the presidential primary in the Nutmeg state for the last Tuesday of April, the 30th in 2024. That difference has not mattered until now.

In a mark of just how quiet things have been on the calendar front in 2023 (relative to previous cycles), it may be that the Passover conflict could be the impetus for most of the calendar changes in the 2024 cycle. 

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