Secretary of State says primary must be earlier
The Vermont Secretary of State wants the Legislature to move the primary election date to the first week of August. Jim Condos says the state must move the primary date up this year in order to comply with federal law. The Department of Justice sued the state in 2012 when a recount in the governor's race led to a delay in the mailing of General Election ballots to overseas voters, including military personnel.
Last year, the Senate resoundingly voted down Condos' proposal for an earlier primary, 29-0.
The primary election date, which for many years was held in mid-September, was changed just a few years ago and lawmakers are loath to move it again. The election is currently held the fourth Tuesday in August.
Condos says if lawmakers don't change the date, the Department of Justice will do it for them.
Condos says if the Legislature changes the date, it must be 80 days prior to the General Election.
A change in Vermont's primary date would necessitate changes in 14 sections of the law and would mean moving the candidate filing deadline up.
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