Move the primary? | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Move the primary?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 9:41 AM

I mentioned yesterday Senate committee approval of Sen. Steve Faris' bill, SB 253, to move the primary election to the first Tuesday in June, about two weeks later than the current May date.

Why? Who knows. Some nefarious reason, no doubt.

Pulaski County Clerk Pat O'Brien thinks it's a bad idea. Why? Because, in 2010, it would put the preferential primary the day after Memorial Day. That means it would restrict voting. There could be no early voting on Monday, a holiday. The last day of early voting would be lost. Holiday weekends start early, too. Will people be worked up to hit polls on Tuesday, or trying to be catching up at work?

What's the good reason for moving the primary to a later date? Haven't heard one. (The bill also repeals the early presidential primary, which is fine.)

Faris and O'Brien happen be two of various people thinking of a race for secretary of state in 2010. I'm not sure that's relevant on this legislation except that the secretary of state, as overseer of voting in the state, ought to be working for more voting, not less.

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