Thursday, December 18, 2014

DC on Cusp of a June 2016 Presidential Primary

In late November the Council of the District of Columbia -- the lawmaking body for the nation's capital -- resurrected a bill from 2013 that would shift the presidential primary in the district from the first Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday in June.

Throughout December the legislation -- B20-0265 -- received more scrutiny from the Council and was opened to the amendment process.  However, that yielded little in the way of substantive change for the presidential primary.1 The original legislation introduced in May 2013 would have shifted the presidential primary back to the second Tuesday in June. But that date has been bumped up a week to the first Tuesday in June in the version that got a final unanimous thumbs up from the Council on December 17.

The bill will now be transmitted to Mayor Vincent Grey for his consideration. A signature would move the presidential primary in DC to a date in June on the 2016 presidential primary calendar that coincides with California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota; a departure from the subregional primaries the District has been a part of the last two cycles.

Hat tip to Richard Winger at Ballot Access News for bringing the bill's revival to FHQ's attention.

UPDATE (2/6/15): Bill signed, cleared for congressional review

1 The introduced legislation consolidated the presidential primary and those for other offices in the District on that June date, but that was altered in the final amended version. The primaries will remain concurrent in 2016, but the non-presidential primaries will be moved to September starting in 2018. Read more about the move here.

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