Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Bill to Move Illinois Presidential Primary from March to July Introduced

A second bill to shift back the date of the Illinois consolidated primary has been introduced in the state House. Instead of moving it back to June like the other bill, though, HB 3107 would push the Illinois primary -- including the presidential primary -- back to the third Tuesday in July.

Now, obviously the bill from Rep. Steve Andersson (R-65th, Geneva) is problematic. If this bill were to pass the legislature and be signed into law, the Illinois presidential primary would fall (July 19) on the same week that the Republican National Convention will be going on in Cleveland. Choosing delegates in an election on a date during the week of the convention those delegates are to attend is not all that logistically feasible. The conflict would run into the same difficulties as the August Montana primary proposal FHQ discussed last week. In the case of Illinois, however, the delegates actually appear on the primary ballot and are chosen in that manner rather than selected in caucuses and bound by primary results. That is a unique wrinkle in Illinois that would make implementing a change to a July primary even more difficult.

The June primary idea has been floated in the Illinois legislature previously and went nowhere. And as FHQ detailed in the Montana primary discussion last week, proposals calling for a presidential primary during or after a national convention has already occurred have been brought forth in the past, but none of them have successfully navigated through a legislature, much less been signed into law.

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