Monday, April 27, 2015

Maryland Presidential Primary Bills Not on Governor's Docket This Week

The two Maryland bill to move the presidential primary in the Old Line state back to the end of April are not on the list of bills to be signed later this week by Governor Larry Hogan (R).

SB 204 and HB 396 passed both Maryland state legislative chambers with nearly unanimous support. These are not, then, seemingly controversial bills. There is divided government in Maryland between the Democratic-controlled legislature and the Republican-controlled governor's office, but the proposed primary move does not appear to be a partisan issue.

The impetus for the change was the fact that the early voting associated with the presidential primary would conflict with religious holidays in the spring of 2016. That originally gave rise to a proposal to shift the primary back one week to the second Tuesday in April. That was later amended -- and passed by both chambers (twice) -- to push the primary back to the fourth Tuesday in April. That would align the Maryland primary with presidential primaries in neighboring Pennsylvania and Delaware as well as Connecticut and Rhode Island.

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