Government Finance and Operations 01/07/2011
AB 80 (Fong) – Support
As Introduced on January 3, 2011
AB 80, by Assembly Member Paul Fong, who chairs the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee, would move the Presidential Primary to June, consolidating it with the statewide direct primary.
California split its presidential primary and moved it to February prior to the 2008 election. The two major national parties changed their rules in the wake of that election, and now require all but a few of their state parties to hold their primaries no earlier than March.
Knowing that the presidential primary would have to move, most counties hope that the Legislature will consolidate it with the statewide primary, obviating two separate elections. Putting the consolidated election in June alleviates another fear: if the primary were in March, it would require local officials to finish redistricting months sooner than the law otherwise requires.
At least one county, Los Angeles, will face increased costs and logistical difficulties because of the voting system they use. These difficulties stem from the requirements of Proposition 14 (the direct, “top two” primary) and its implementing legislation, SB 6 (Chapter 1, Statutes of 2009).
AB 80 is eligible to be heard in committee on February 3.