Last week Rep. Steve Clouse (R-93rd, Dale & Houston) introduced HB 425; the representative's second proposed bill to amend the current election law regarding the state's presidential primaries. Whereas his earlier bill, HB 32, sought to shift the February presidential primary back to June to coincide with the primaries for state and local offices, though, the new legislation seeks to move the presidential primary back to the
first second Tuesday in March -- to comply with national party rules -- and to move the June primaries for state and local offices up. The move for state and local primaries from June to March would only be in presidential election years and would keep Alabama early enough in the presidential primary process to ensure Alabama voters the opportunity to participate meaningfully in presidential nomination selection.
But the bill, if enacted, would also accomplish the task of saving the state some money by combining the presidential primary with the primaries for state and local offices. The savings were not enough in the initial bill to offset pushing the state's presidential primary out of the window of decisiveness over the nomination races. The new bill addresses that main concern in the original legislation.