Saturday, May 16, 2009

North Carolina Won't Be Frontloading for 2012 During 2009

Earlier this week FHQ examined the current state of 2012 frontloading in the context of the 2009 state legislative sessions. The idea there was that time is running out on state legislatures with bills proposing the movement of presidential primaries. The logic was that many legislatures are nearing the completion of their sessions, but that fails to recognize state-specific rules of legislative process. Sure, states technically have until the close of the session to act, but in North Carolina the General Assembly requires that bills make it out of their originating chamber prior to a certain date. In 2009, that date was this past Thursday, May 14. And S150, the bill that would move the Old North state's presidential primary from the Tuesday after the first Monday in May to the first Tuesday in February, was successfully bottled up in committee just as it was two years ago when a very similar piece of legislation met the same fate. Again, the circumstances are nearly identical. A Democratic committee chair on the Elections Committee in the North Carolina Senate blocks a Republican-spearheaded proposal to move the state's presidential primary. Of course, Democrats are even less motivated now versus two years ago to move the primary since its only benefits would be enjoyed by Republicans with a competitive primary.

North Carolina, then, joins Florida and Georgia as states where proposed frontloading bills were allowed to lapse in committee (though Georgia's will be carried over to the 2010 session).

Hat tip: Ballot Access News

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