National Dems give New Hampshire, Georgia more time to change primary dates for 2024

WASHINGTON — New Hampshire and Georgia will have slightly longer to make important changes to when and how they hold Democratic presidential primaries under an extension approved by a panel of the Democratic National Committee.

Election officials have until June 3 to move the 2024 Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire to February 13 and Georgia to February 20 if they want to hold snap primary next year.

New Hampshire must also expand access to early voting if it wants to remain one of the first states in the country to vote on Democratic presidential candidates.

The Democratic National Committee panel shook the long-running caucus and primary calendar in December, ruling that voters in South Carolina would go first in picking the Democratic presidential nominees, followed by Nevada, New Hampshire, Georgia and Michigan.

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The proposal would move the earliest date from the long-running Iowa First-in-the-Nation caucuses, though New Hampshire would retain an early roll, voting just a week after South Carolina.

GOP state leaders opposed it

The extension, which the Rules & Bylaws Committee approved Wednesday after a 25-0 vote during a virtual meeting, gives New Hampshire and Georgia several months to make their area code changes beyond an original Jan. 5 deadline, although the additional Time is unlikely to affect the GOP state leaders who remain opposed to the changes.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who has the power to set the calendar, has yet to confirm the postponement. And the Democrats’ plan suffered a setback when Gov. Brian Kemp’s administration announced in early January that he would not support the move.

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That factor has raised concerns among New Hampshire Democrats, who are asking the committee to work with them, since the GOP governor and the Republican-controlled legislature have declined to work with Democrats to implement changes in state law.

“I want to be very clear about one thing — we share the President’s and RBC’s commitment to uplifting the voices of Black, Latino and Hispanic voters,” said New Hampshire panel member Joanne Dowdell. “And we believe it’s possible to raise diverse voices and keep New Hampshire early in the process. Those two things don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”

“We agree that our goal with the early primary window should be not just to tell the story of a state or a single constituency, but to tell the broader story of our party — both our values ​​and our ability to serve voters at large.” address the country,” added Dowdell.

The new requirements for New Hampshire to remain an early primary state put the state’s Democrats in a “no-win position.”

If New Hampshire and Georgia don’t make the adjustments, they would have to hold their Democratic presidential primary in the regular window, which runs from the first Tuesday in March to the second Tuesday in June.

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If states choose to hold their primary outside of that window without a waiver, they could face national party backlash, including a ban on Democratic presidential candidates from running in the state and the state losing half of its delegates.

vote in December

The DNC Rules & Bylaws body voted in December to change the order and states granted exemptions for holding primary elections earlier in the year, moving slightly away from Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina as the early states.

In the new 2024 lineup, South Carolina would vote first on February 6, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on February 13, Georgia on February 20, and Michigan on February 27.

President Joe Biden, who won a primary in South Carolina in 2020, had requested that the party’s presidential nomination process be postponed.

The changes were largely unanimously approved, although Scott Brennan of Iowa and Dowdell voted against the new main calendar.

Election officials in several states and Iowa have dismissed the decision, saying they simply won’t change if the state holds its primary. Iowa and New Hampshire also have state laws requiring them to vote before other states, which complicates matters.

Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chair Minyon Moore said during Wednesday’s meeting that the panel remains committed to seeing Biden’s vision for the 2024 primary.

“We want to make sure states have as much time as they need to work through this process,” Moore said.

“South Carolina, Nevada and Michigan have completed all of their waiver requirements to our satisfaction,” she noted. “New Hampshire and Georgia continue to work on their progress. Albeit for different reasons, we’re still anxious to see the President’s vision, and we want to make sure states have as much time as they need to work through this process. “

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