A trio of Philadelphia lawmakers advocates moving up the date of the presidential primary in Pennsylvania

Democratic state representatives Malcolm Kenyatta and Jared Solomon of Philadelphia are set to introduce their latest legislative proposal, which would move the date of the state’s 2024 presidential primary election one month forward.

“Pennsylvania will be a pivotal battleground state in 2024 and holding primary elections long after many other states have already held theirs makes our Commonwealth one of the last states in the nation to be a battleground state,” he said. Kenyatta.

Kenyatta and Solomon will introduce the legislation alongside fellow Philadelphian and Pennsylvania Democratic Party chief State Sen. Sharif Street, who will introduce similar legislation in the Senate.

The bill would move the date of the 2024 presidential primary to March 19, 2024, instead of late April, by which time many states have already voted for a presidential candidate.

“Pennsylvania is a critical battleground in determining the leadership and direction of our nation,” Street said. “It is the government’s job and our obligation to empower the voices of Pennsylvanians when it comes to electing the president. Moving the date of our presidential primary a month forward gives the voices of Pennsylvanians the weight they deserve.”

Current state law has the primaries scheduled for April 23, 2024, by which time races are typically already decided by that point in the primary season, making the overall role of the state in the choice of candidates is greatly diminished.

The lawmakers argue that moving the date forward a month will make the voters’ choice more important and relevant, adding that they want Pennsylvania voters to have far more influence in choosing the presidential candidate.

“Pennsylvania has proven time and time again to be a crucial state when it comes to elections,” Solomon said. “This legislation will give Pennsylvania the political weight it deserves by giving us a voice earlier in the process.”

If it passes both the House of Representatives and the Senate, it will go to Governor Josh Shapiro’s desk for final approval, which would schedule the state primary for March 19, 2024.

Success, however, is not guaranteed, as a similar bill was introduced last year by former Republican State Senator John Gordner of Columbia County – currently serving as an adviser to Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward – which it passed unanimously in the Senate, but ultimately died in the House.

“With an earlier primary, Pennsylvania voters will represent the ‘cornerstone’ needed for each candidate to win their party’s nomination in 2024 and beyond,” Kenyatta said.

Keystone State will not want a repeat of the debacle that took place during the previous presidential primaries.

At the time, the country was still in the first throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, causing the primaries to be suspended for more than two months, and when voters cast their ballot again, only two Democratic candidates remained in the race. ballot, one of which had already abandoned the race months before.

Pennsylvania currently shares the same primary date as its neighbors Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island and, if the bill passes, would join states such as Ohio, Arizona, Florida and Illinois.

The bill could have implications for voters in the state as the presidential election begins to take shape and we get closer to the campaign cycle.

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