Friday, March 27, 2015

Arkansas Senate Passes Bill to Create Separate March Presidential Primary

The Associated Press reported earlier in the week that the Arkansas State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee rejected a bill to position the presidential primary in the Natural state on the proposed SEC primary date.

Now, as FHQ has detailed, there are two bills to move the Arkansas primary into that position. One would create a separate presidential primary election and the other proposes moving the entire May preferential primary to the first Tuesday in March. It is not clear which one was "rejected" and there is no record of any rejection.1

Regardless of that midweek development, the aforementioned Arkansas state Senate committee yesterday slightly tweaked SB 389 -- the bill to create the separate presidential primary -- and recommended it pass the chamber.2 And during floor time today -- Friday, March 27 -- the Senate passed SB 389 by a 20-5 vote.

The measure now heads to the state House for its consideration.

SB 765, the other bill, is still on the State Agencies and Governmental Affairs docket and may also be considered at some point. FHQ has discussed the trade-offs of creating a separate primary or moving everything up in the Arkansas case here.

1 It should be noted that this may or may not be an AP problem. It could be attributable to a less than user-friendly Arkansas legislature website not providing the information that sites in other states share more readily and easily.

2 The amendment had nothing to do with the date of the primary.

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