Legislature Debates Moving Illinois Primary ... Again

Minority Leader wants primary in different months depending on election year

By Mary Ann Ahern
|  Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010  |  Updated 1:00 PM CDT
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2010 Illinois Election Guide

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Move the primary? Again?

Following the dismal primary turnout this year, a proposal in the state legislature suggests just that.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross will propose a bill today to move the primary to June in non-presidential election years. Every fourth year during a presidential election, the bill proposes moving the primary to March. 

Illinois' primary was long held in March, but the state legislature voted to move it up to join the Super Tuesday states for the 2008 election. 

The move, orchestrated by the state's Democratic leadership (including Blagojevich), was an effort to aid then-Senator Obama's bid for the presidential nomination. Blagojevich touted the move as an effort to give the people of Illinois, the fifth largest state, a greater voice in selecting a president.

The new proposal would presumably provide the benefits of both systems -- increase Illinois clout during election years when turnout is typically stronger, while making non-election years more convenient for voters and candidates.

The new proposal has a hearing in Springfield in the Elections Committee later today. 

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