In presidential years, Delaware has its Presidential Primary in both parties in April, and then we have to wait until early September to vote in the primary for the other federal and state offices. This bill combines the two primaries and moves the date to the fourth Tuesday in April (for example, it would be April 24, 2018 for the next coming primary in 2018).
The bill will change some deadlines. The deadline for filing certificates of nomination is changed from September 1st to April 1st. The “closed” period in which a voter is not allowed to change his or her political affiliation prior to the primary will match the 60-day limit already established in the law for presidential primaries. So if you wanted to change your party registration so you can vote in the primary for a particular party or race, you would have to do it by February 23, 2018.
I like this for a couple reasons: 1) I always hated have two primaries and 2) I always hated our very late (too late) September primary. And late April is really the last time you can have primary before early September. July and August are consumed with summer time family vacations that lower turnout for elections during those months. June is filled with last minute General Assembly end of session activity. So is May, really. And then anytime before the end of April is too early.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 15 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PRIMARY ELECTIONS.
SPONSORS: Bolden, Henry, Pettyjohn, D. Short, Bushweller, Schwartzkopf, Longhurst, Baumbach, Dukes, Heffernan, Kenton, Kowalko, Ramone, Wilson
YES VOTES: HOUSE: Baumbach, Bentz, Bolden, Brady, Collins, Dukes, Gray, Heffernan, Hensely, Hudson, J.Johnson, Q.Johnson, Keeley, Kenton, Kowalko, Longhurst, Lynn, Mitchell, Mulrooney, Osienski, Paradee, Postles, Potter, Ramone, Schwartzkopf, B.Short, D.Short, Smyk, Spiegelman, Smith, Viola, Williams, Wilson, Yearick
NO VOTES: HOUSE: Bennett, Briggs King, Carson, Jaques, Miro, Outten [Matthews was absent].
HISTORY: House passed 34-6-1.
STATUS: Placed in the Elections & Government Affairs Committee in Senate on 4/4/17
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