Bill To Move Up NC Primary Elections Passes House
A bill to move up primary elections in North Carolina is one step closer to being passed.
Just when political primaries are held in North Carolina depends on just who is up for election. Here's how Representative Bert Jones explained it on the House floor. "Currently, in law, the North Carolina primaries are in May."
Specifically, the Tuesday after the first Monday of the month. But that can change in presidential election years. As Jones said, "When South Carolina holds its primaries in March, the North Carolina primary moves."
In other words, North Carolina's primary comes the Tuesday after South Carolina's. Yes, it can be a bit confusing. Senate Bill 655 would change that Jones said, by setting the date for all North Carolina primaries in stone for everyone. "There would be one primary for the presidential primary and everyone else as well."
Again, using the classic standard of the Tuesday after the first Monday of the month.
This move, supporters believe, would increase the influence of North Carolina's presidential primary since it would come earlier in the year. They point to last year, when North Carolina moved up its presidential primary to March. But House Minority leader Darren Jackson noted, "we got a little attention for a few days. I think the candidates really focused on North Carolina for Saturday and Sunday and Monday. But then it was gone."
Since at that time the candidates were also focused on bigger prizes like Florida and Ohio.
Jackson urged a no vote on the bill. He lost that fight. But he did manage to get an amendment passed which would delay any primary date changes to the 2020 election.
This means the bill goes back to the Senate for its approval.