Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holidays. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Connecticut Parties Behind Effort to Move Presidential Primary

The Connecticut Joint Committee on Governmental Administration and Elections convened on Monday, March 20 to conduct initial public hearings for a number of bills, HB 6908 among them. That legislation would shift up the date of the presidential primary in the Nutmeg state to the first Tuesday in April starting in the 2024. 

No votes were taken on the measure, but the testimony given offered insight into the motivation behind the bill. Testifying together, the chairs of the two major state parties supported the move and indicated that it was the potential for greater influence in the presidential nomination process that prompted them to cooperatively help craft the legislation. Nancy DiNardo, the Connecticut Democratic Party chair noted that the change would give the state a "stronger voice in choosing a presidential candidate" and was furthermore "proud to say this legislation is bipartisan."

Connecticut Republican Party Chair Benjamin Proto said that an earlier primary would give Connecticut "more influence within the presidential nominating system as well as to provide voters more engagement within their party and with candidates."

Nowhere in either the oral or written testimony did either mention the current primary date's conflict with Passover in 2024. Instead, the parties were motivated by potential influence rather than that conflict in moving the primary. However, the move would shift the Connecticut presidential primary out of a conflict with the tail end of Passover.

None of this is groundbreaking news. State legislators consider presidential primary bills every year (but particularly in the year before a presidential election) to move contests around. And frequently among the top stated reasons for the legislation being introduced is the quest for more influence in and resources from the presidential nomination process. Often it is a fool's errand because the states that draw that kind of influence are the (protected) earliest states and the next wave is a cluster of contests within which states -- especially smaller ones like Connecticut -- often get lost. 

However, what was noteworthy about the testimony of DiNardo specifically was that she noted that shifting the Connecticut presidential primary to early April would align the election with the primary in New York. Now, either that was a mistake or there have been conversations among Democratic state parties about coordinating a landing spot for the two neighboring states' primaries. There are efforts to move the New York primary. However, none of them target an early April date. Plus, the standard operating procedure in New York for setting the primary date is for that work to be done in the late spring (in the year before a presidential election) in consultation with the state parties in the Empire state. 

Nonetheless, this potential cooperation makes sense. But for Covid, the Connecticut and New York primaries would have coincided in two of the last three cycles. And that sort of subregional cluster of contests would potentially be a bigger draw to candidates than if either state were to go it alone. On the Republican side, an early April position would also allow both Connecticut and New York Republicans to retain their current variations of the winner-take-most rules

Of course, both efforts have to make it through the legislative process first. And the Connecticut push has only just begun. In New York, they are not even that far along. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Connecticut Bill Introduced to Move Presidential Primary

A committee bill would move the Connecticut presidential primary up a few weeks on the 2024 calendar. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Indications Rhode Island Will Re-explore Presidential Primary Date

The Providence Journal reports that Rhode Island, too, may shift the date on which the Ocean state's presidential primary falls in 2024 because of a conflict with the Passover holiday.
Rep. Rebecca Kislak, D-Providence, has quietly raised the issue behind the scenes with the secretary of state's office and Democratic Party Leadership. She said Thursday she is "confident that over the next days or weeks" she will be able to introduce legislation to move the date.  
"We are exploring the possibility of moving the primary," echoed state Rep. Joseph McNamara, the state Democratic chairman. House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi said Kislak had briefed him on the problem, and he was open to a legislative fix. 

Secretary of State Gregg Amore also told The Journal: "Yes. It needs legislative action."
Legislators in Maryland are already moving legislation to push the primary in the Old Line state back into May, and in a change prompted not by the Passover conflict, two bills in Pennsylvania (also in conflict with Passover) would shift the primary in the Keystone state up to mid-March. If all of those changes occur, that would leave Delaware alone on the fourth Tuesday in April in 2024, the lone remnant of a subregional mid-Atlantic/northeastern primary that has existed in one form or another since the 2012 cycle

Connecticut has also been a part of that group but because there are five Tuesdays in April in 2024, the differing language of the laws in these states matters. The states with primaries conflicting with Passover specify the fourth Tuesday in April whereas the Connecticut law sets the date of the presidential primary in the Nutmeg state for the last Tuesday of April, the 30th in 2024. That difference has not mattered until now.

In a mark of just how quiet things have been on the calendar front in 2023 (relative to previous cycles), it may be that the Passover conflict could be the impetus for most of the calendar changes in the 2024 cycle. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Maryland Legislative Leaders Signal Presidential Primary Change is Forthcoming

Last week, Baltimore leaders called for legislative action to resolve a conflict between the 2024 presidential primary in Maryland and the observance of Passover. This week, the leaders of the General Assembly in the Old Line state responded. 

In a joint statement House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-10th, Baltimore) and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-46th, Baltimore City) said:
"As State leaders and as legislators, we have been intentional in our effort to pass election laws and create policies that remove barriers to voting. A primary election date that unintentionally coincides with the Passover holiday would prevent thousands of Marylanders from engaging in their fundamental right to vote. We will work with the State Board of Elections and local election officials to find a more appropriate date."
Maryland danced around spring holidays in 2016 as well, and may not be the only state with a primary at the end of April that explores a change for 2024.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Late April Primaries Will Conflict with Passover in 2024

Baltimore officials are calling on the Maryland General Assembly to change the date of the 2024 presidential primary in the Old Line state. The April 23 date conflicts with the Passover holiday. 

Such is the peril of scheduling spring primaries. But some states have shifted elections around in the past to avoid these sorts of conflicts while others have not. Maryland, in fact, made a double move during the 2016 cycle, originally proposing a one-week delay to avoid Easter in early April and then an even later push with Passover during the following week. However, Maryland was not the only state. Hawaii, Louisiana, New York and Wyoming have all scheduled around holidays in the last three cycles. 

Of course, Maryland is not alone in holding a presidential primary on April 23 in 2024 as of now. Delaware, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island also have contests occupying that slot on the calendar. The Connecticut primary is also scheduled in the Passover window on April 30. Similar efforts in those states may be forthcoming. Yet, all four conducted primaries in 2016 that overlapped with the observance of Passover. And Maryland did too during that cycle. The amendment was added to the one-week delay proposal because that would have put the certification process for the primary at odds with the holiday. Election officials would have had to work during the holiday.

There is already active legislation to move the Pennsylvania primary into March, but the motivation there is merely to hold an earlier contest. One of the byproducts of that change would be that the primary in the Keystone state would avoid the holiday conflict. Another bill in New York would schedule the presidential primary in the Empire state for that same fourth Tuesday in April date, in the Passover window. 

But it remains to be seen if legislation will come forward elsewhere to alter primary dates in any of the other states with conflicts.