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California Lawmakers Vote to Move Primary to March

2016 primary came after Trump and Clinton secured nominations

Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2016, after Hillary Clinton had already won enough delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)
Sen. Bernie Sanders campaigns in Santa Monica, Calif., in June 2016, after Hillary Clinton had already won enough delegates for the Democratic presidential nomination. (David McNew/Getty Images file photo)

California’s state Assembly and Senate both passed legislation Thursday to move the state’s presidential primary from June to March.

The legislation comes after complaints that the primaries came too late for voters to have a say in the contest, The Associated Press reported.

Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were their parties’ presumptive nominees by the time Californians voted in 2016.

“We are dead last when it comes to our presidential primary calendar,” said state Sen. Ricardo Lara, who authored the Senate bill. “It’s time that Californians have a better voice in who is leading our country.”

Many Republicans in the Assembly opposed the legislation, with only two voting for it. In the Senate, seven Republicans voted for the bill and six voted against it.

“Earlier is not necessarily more influential,” Republican Assemblyman Matthew Harper said.

The Assembly bill moves the primary to the first or second Tuesday of March and the Senate moves it to the third Tuesday, the AP reported.

Both houses have to pass one of the pieces of legislation for it to be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.

 

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