One step closer to reality.
A bill to move the date of Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary election up by five weeks to March 19 was approved today in the state Senate by a bipartisan vote of 45-2.
“As the fifth largest state in the country, we should have a stronger role in selecting the candidates for President of the United States,” said Sen. Dave Argall (R-Carbon/ Luzerne/Schuylkill), the prime sponsor of the bill. “In most Presidential primary elections, the outcome is largely decided before our voters have a chance to make their voice heard at the polls.”
Under existing law, Pennsylvania’s 2024 primary election would take place on April 23. Under Senate Bill 224, the 2024 primary election would be moved up by five weeks.
The current primary date also conflicts with Passover, which would effectively disenfranchise many Jewish people due to traditional Jewish law prohibiting writing, driving, or the use of electricity on the holiday.
“Pennsylvania plays a critical role in deciding our nation’s leaders, yet when it comes to the primary election process, Pennsylvanians have little to no say in who the candidates will be in the general election as our primary election is late in the process,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland). “By the time Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to select candidates for the general election, many potentially good candidates have already exited the race due to results in earlier primary states.
“This bill will change that by positioning Pennsylvania to have more influence in selecting candidates earlier for the general election by moving up the 2024 primary election date to March 19. The House of Representatives will need to act quickly on this bill when they return to session in order to allow enough time for the change to be put in place.”
The Keystone State would leap-frog Louisiana and Wisconsin only with a move to March 19, while leaving Delaware and Rhode Island on April 23.
The bill now heads to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
Below is a list of other state presidential primaries on the schedule for 2024.
15 – Iowa (GOP caucus)
3 – South Carolina (Democrats)
6 – Nevada, New York
24 – South Carolina (Republicans)
27 – Michigan
5 (Super Tuesday) – Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia
12 – Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, New Hampshire *, Washington
19 – Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Ohio
23 – Louisiana
2 – Wisconsin
23 (Passover) – Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island
30 – Connecticut
7 – Indiana
14 – Maryland, Nebraska, West Virginia
21 – Kentucky, Oregon
4 – Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota
* The secretary of state, however, is authorized to pick a date seven days earlier than any other state’s presidential primary.