As North Carolina lawmakers look to move up the presidential and statewide primary elections to March 15, everything election-related must move up with it, including the candidate filing period. The state Senate proposed a plan Wednesday to hold the filing period from Dec. 1 through Dec. 21. Sen. Bob Rucho, a Mecklenburg County Republican, said there will be as much or more time for candidates to file with the board of elections and for the board to send out absentee ballots. He proposed the plan during a Senate Rules Committee meeting, saying they would not take a vote yet but wanted input from committee members to include in the final conference report.
The plan to combine all the primaries on one day will save the counties the estimated $7 to $10 million it would cost to hold a second primary, Rucho said. Lawmakers unanimously agreed originally to move the presidential primary election from May to March, attempting to make North Carolina more relevant on the national political stage.
“It moves us into a position where our vote really matters,” Rucho said.