(The Center Square) – The primary election will happen April 23, despite several legislative attempts to move up the date and capitalize on Pennsylvania’s swing state status.
Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman, R-Indiana, said the upper chamber would not consider an amended bill that would reschedule the election for April 16 – even though it included property tax reform the chamber supported.
The House approved the measure 104-99 on Wednesday, with all but two Republicans voting against it. Many echoed the concerns of local officials who said rescheduling this late in the year would leave them scrambling to make new plans.
It’s the second amended version of Senate Bill 224. In the prior iteration, the House added universal voter ID and other Republican-backed election reforms, as well as the upper chamber’s preferred March 19 primary date.
Supporters said, in addition to making a bigger impact on the presidential race itself, rescheduling would prevent overlap with Passover and other holidays. Still, the chamber struck the measure down 177-26.
Pittman rejected the offer, too, saying the House waited too long to act on the original bill that moved the election to March 19. Rescheduling to the third Tuesday in March would align with primaries in Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio, and would fall two weeks after Super Tuesday.
“Confusion and delay. These are the only words I can find in describing the humble House Democrat majority’s failure to adequately address this issue,” Pittman said Wednesday. “Their continued halfhearted efforts to change the primary date for 2024 are too little, too late.”