Friday, April 17, 2020

Second Move's the Charm: Connecticut Shifts Its Presidential Primary to August

Connecticut on Tuesday became the third state in a little more than a week to move back its presidential primary for a second time in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Ned Lamont (D) made the change via executive order and in concert with Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D).

Now, the Connecticut presidential primary will coincide with the primaries for state and local offices previously scheduled for August 11. While that will save the state the budgetary hit of a separate presidential primary election, an August primary comes with some problems. First, it obviously falls later than the national party rules allow, much later than any other state that has so far shifted its contest. But secondly, the new date of the presidential primary falls just days before the Democratic National Convention -- recently delayed as well -- is set to commence on August 17. That leaves little time for the results of the primary to be certified in order to allocated delegates. And that would be true even if Connecticut Democrats make plans to slate delegate candidates for presidential candidates ahead of the primary.

One option that was raised in the Hartford Courant in the paper's write up of the primary move is that if all candidates but one request that their names be removed from the ballot, then the contest could be cancelled. That would alleviate much of the pressure on the state and state party to complete the delegate selection process in the days before the national convention starts.

For now, however, the Connecticut presidential primary is part of a consolidated primary on August 11.

Governor Lamont's executive order will be archived here.

The Connecticut primary change has been added to the 2020 FHQ presidential primary calendar.

Related posts:
June 2 Presidential Primary Date Grows with Addition of Connecticut

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