Bills in the Missouri Legislature could change the dates of two primary elections and the logistics of running those primaries. The Missouri House of Representatives passed legislation, HB 1902, on March 13 that would set the state’s 2016 presidential primary for March 15. That bill, which passed on a 97-48 vote, has been sent to the Senate. Missouri previously held its party primary in February but faced losing some delegates to the 2016 Republican convention because of new party rules. The Republicans only want four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to hold contests in February. States that hold primaries before March 15 must also award delegates proportionally, not on a winner-take-all basis.
Under another bill, HB 1936, party primaries for Congress, the state Legislature as well as statewide and county offices, would be set for the first Tuesday after the third Monday in June instead of the Tuesday after the first Monday in August. This bill has been referred to the House Rules Committee for further consideration before it can go to the House floor for debate.
Camden County Clerk Rowland Todd said that he would understand moving the Presidential Primary to March if another primary is done away with. “We can’t afford any more [elections],” Todd added.
If the pieces of legislation were to pass and be signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, the presidential primary, held every four years, would be March 15.