Friday, January 28, 2011

Update on Bill to Cancel the 2012 Kansas Presidential Primary

News broke yesterday that Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, was advising the state legislature to cancel the Sunflower state's 2012 presidential primary for budgetary reasons, but the bill was not formally introduced in the state House until today. HB 2126 cancels the state's presidential primary and given all the strikethroughs cancels it for good. Now, nothing is ever gone forever, but in this instance all the references to the first Tuesday in April primary in even-numbered years have been struck though and replaced with the first Tuesday in August -- the state's traditional primary date for state and local offices. That August date is one that would fall outside -- on the back end -- of the window in which the parties allow states to hold delegate selection events. Obviously, an August date would not work simply because it would cut things quite close to the national conventions.

The odd thing is that there is only one reference in the bill to presidential preference primaries and it is in regard to the filing deadlines, not the timing of the contest. The option is still there, then, to hold a presidential primary in the future, but it will take a change in the law if this bill is passed and signed into law by Governor Brownback. [It should be noted for the sake of clarity that unlike the similar bill(s) in Washington, HB 2126 does not have a sunset provision temporarily canceling the presidential primary.] Given the facts that, one, the state rarely holds a presidential primary (see 2007 legislature's unsuccessful efforts to move it up) and, two, it saves the state as much as $2 million, this bill will likely pass. But we'll see.

This bill will be added to the Presidential Primary Bills Before State Legislatures section in the left side bar (under the current 2012 primary calendar and the rules). The status of HB 2126 and the bills from other states can be tracked from there.

Are you following FHQ on Twitter and/or Facebook? Click on the links to join in.

1 comment: said...

What do you see as the state and national effects other than fiscal? Thanks for the thoughts.