New Jersey Set to Shift Primary Date

presidential primary map 2004On June 24 New Jersey’s state senate voted to join the growing list of states ready to shift their primary date earlier in the election cycle. The proposal would reschedule New Jersey’s primary to late February, a move designed to increase the state’s influence in presidential elections. Acting Gov. Richard Codey is expected to sign the legislation.

In response to recent presidential elections effectively being decided within the first three weeks of the primary season, a number of states have either advanced their primary date or are seriously considering do so.

An alternative plan for scheduling primaries is the American Plan, developed by political scientist Thomas Gangale. The American Plan takes into account the interests of both large and small states.

Update: New Jersey Acting Gov. Richard Codey signed the legislation on Thursday, July 7.

[See Newark Star Ledger story]
[See Fairvote's press release]
[More on the American Plan]