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Pennsylvania seeks to accelerate spring primary to avoid Passover conflict

A new bill aims to change the 2024 primary from April 23, the first day of the Jewish holiday, to March 19.

Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

With next year’s presidential primary vote in Pennsylvania scheduled for April 23—the first day of the Jewish holiday of Passover—legislators are trying to accelerate the primary, reported The Associated Press.

“The state is a premier battleground in presidential elections, but it hasn’t hosted a competitive presidential primary since 2008,” according to the AP, which added that “the proposed move may do little to give the state’s voters more say in deciding presidential nominees.”

State senators advanced Bill No. 224 on Aug. 30, which on a one-time basis would schedule next year’s primary for March 19 instead of the typical fourth Tuesday in April. (The new date is about a week before another holiday, Purim.)

“Many states want to hold presidential primaries earlier, to give residents more influence on the trajectory of presidential campaigns,” per the AP. “But Pennsylvania lawmakers have long resisted a change because it would push the beginning of the state’s customary 13-week primary season into the winter holidays.”

Other proposed dates—such as April 2, which Pennsylvania House Bill No. 1634 suggests—could conflict with Christian holidays. As such, state lawmakers are still deciding when to schedule the primary.

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