Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Chorus for an Even Later Georgia Presidential Primary Grows

Just last week, Georgia state House Speaker David Ralston (R) called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to consider again pushing back the presidential primary (now consolidated with primaries for other offices) in the Peach state.

Now, that call has grown in number and volume. On Tuesday, March 31 in a letter to Raffensperger, the 11 members of the Republican Georgia delegation to Congress mostly echoed Ralston. That is "mostly echoed" because while the Georgia Republicans from Congress urged a date later than May 19 for the Peach state primary, the group did not specify a date as Ralston did. Perhaps, that lack of specificity on the date is attributable to the fact that Ralston's proposed new date -- June 23 -- would violate the national parties' rules on the timing of primaries and caucuses. A June 23 primary -- like those now in Kentucky and New York -- would be too late.

This may explain why the five Democrats in the Georgia congressional delegation did not sign on to the letter as well. If the end goal is a June 23 primary, then it would cost Georgia Democrats half of their delegation (should the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee stick with the June 9 deadline and its attendant penalty).

But time will tell if, in fact, June 23 is the new target date for the Georgia primary.

This renewed call for an even later primary comes after Raffensperger moved the presidential primary to May 19 to be held concurrently with the primaries for other offices and after he also opted to mail all registered Georgia voters an absentee ballot application for the election.

UPDATE: Secretary Raffensperger responded to the growing number of voices calling for an even later Georgia primary by basically deferring to the Georgia General Assembly and the governor to make the change:
"'If the General Assembly and the Governor wants [sic] to move the primary to June or July, we will support them in that too,' said Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger."
The Georgia secretary of state was ceded the power to set the date of the presidential primary by the General Assembly and the governor in 2011. While that includes the ability to shift (and apparently re-shift) the presidential primary, it does not include the power to reschedule the primaries for other offices to which the presidential primary is now tethered.

The letter to Raffensperger will be archived here.

Related Posts:
Georgia Postpones Presidential Primary, Consolidates with May Primaries

Georgia Will Send Absentee Request Forms to All Active Voters for May 19 Primary

Georgia House Speaker Calls for Another Presidential Primary Move in the Peach State

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