Now that MOVE has been signed into law, the real work will begin. There are over a dozen states that that are affected. And it is more than just September primary states (see first link above for September primary states affected) that are affected. Obviously primary election certification takes time (see Florida 2000 in the presidential election for an extraordinary example) and that makes some August primary states like Colorado and Washington vulnerable to this new law as well. Of course, with more states affected comes a variety of responses to what is required.
They range from the conciliatory...
"You can’t print a ballot until you know who won,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who is urging his state’s lawmakers to shift the Sept. 14 primary by at least a month. “And you can’t print ballots in five seconds. It takes several days to print a ballot. Then you have to put them in the mail."...to the resistant:
"Old habits die hard and a September primary certainly is our tradition,” [Vermont Secretary of State, Deb] Markowitz said. “I strongly believe that if we made a change to August, politicians would adapt, voters would adapt."
“Our system of allowing people to delay voting until closer to Election Day is better in terms of making an informed choice,” [Washington state election official Katie] Blinn said.Washington and other states may have a good argument for a waiver based on the fact that they accept and count overseas ballots a few weeks after the actual election date. The Evergreen state may have to expand that some. But the guidelines behind which states are granted waivers is still undecided. The folks running the Federal Voting Assistance Program will work in consultation with the US Attorney General's office to decide which states, if any, will be allowed an exemption. The vacation argument from Wisconsin is a valid one, but is a bit thin consider many of these same states have presidential primaries in the dead of winter when weather may be preventing voters from getting to the polls.
“Things just don’t get going here until September,” said [Wisconsin Board of Elections spokesman, Reid] Magney.
Most states, however, will likely do what Nevada did (independent of this law change) earlier this year: move their late summer and fall primaries to earlier dates.
Hat tip to Ballot Access News for the link to the reactions story.
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