The city’s top elected officials held high hopes that next year’s primary election might be moved from its current date of April 1, via legislation introduced in April by D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and subsequently endorsed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D). But with at least three of five members of the council’s Government Operations Committee currently opposing the change, it looks as though next year’s primary day will remain April Fools’. Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5), the panel’s chairman and a co-introducer of the bill, confirmed that the measure has insufficient support on his panel. He said Monday that if he can’t get two additional votes by Friday, he won’t move the bill.
Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), David A. Catania (I-At Large) and Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) oppose the bill. A staff member for Vincent Orange (D-At Large) declined to discuss his position on the matter.
Cheh, notably, wrote the 2011 bill that shifted the primary from September to April in response to a federal law requiring local election authorities to allow sufficient time for overseas voters to cast absentee ballots. The reasons she cited then for moving it all the way up to April — to allow a unified presidential and local primary, and to prevent interference with council budget negotiations — remain just as valid today, her Chief of Staff Jonathan Willingham said Monday.
Full Article: Primary election date change proposal appears to be dead.