On Friday, March 25, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed both HB 1843 and SB 1246 into law, officially moving the Virginia presidential primary from the second Tuesday in February to the first Tuesday in March. Virginia now joins Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont on March 6, the first date on which the national parties are allowing non-exempt states to hold their delegate selection events. The Old Dominion becomes the first state to move its primary back during the 2011 state legislative session. Arkansas and Illinois had moved back previously, but both had done so before the DNC and RNC had settled in on their respective delegate selection rules; requiring all states with primaries scheduled prior to the first Tuesday in March to alter the dates on which their primaries or caucuses are to be held.
A number of bills in other states seek to move primaries back to that point or later on the calendar, but Virginia because of its short legislative session -- one that expired at the end of February -- was forced to move (if it was going to) ahead of most other states.