Sunday, February 26, 2023

Idaho House Passes May Presidential Primary Bill

After being moved out of committee with a Do Pass recommendation earlier in the week, HB 138 was quickly considered on the floor of the Idaho House on Friday, February 24. 

The measure to eliminate the stand-alone March presidential primary in the Gem state and consolidate the election with the primaries for other offices in May passed 61-6. All 11 Democrats joined the bulk of the Republican majority in the chamber to move the bill on to the Senate. Six Republicans opposed the bill. 

Consolidating the primaries in May stands to save the state of Idaho an estimated $2.7 million, but would shunt the election to a spot much later on the 2024 presidential primary calendar. However, that may prompt the state parties in Idaho to repeat what each did during the 2012 cycle when the primary was stuck in late May: considering moving to caucuses that they parties can schedule earlier when the state may have some more direct impact on the nomination races. 

The bill now moves to the state Senate for consideration, where there has been no similar companion bill proposed to this point. 


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