Lancaster lawmaker proposes pushing presidential primary up

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | May 26, 2015 5:35 AM

(Harrisburg) -- In 2012, 28 states including Louisiana, Texas and Maryland, all held their presidential primaries before Pennsylvania. But now, a state lawmaker is renewing the call for the commonwealth to get out ahead in 2016.

Republican Representative Keith Greiner of Lancaster County says Pennsylvania is irrelevant to the presidential primary process, and that needs to change.

He says he'll propose legislation to move the state's primary from late April to mid-March.

Pennsylvania is tied with Illinois for the fifth most electoral college votes.

Yet more than half of states held primaries before the Keystone State.

Greiner says that's a problem.

"And I think that's very unfair to the people out there in Pennsylvania, the voters here, because I think we should have an instrumental part in that decision," he says.

Greiner says moving the primary up also could bring more voters to the polls because they might feel like their ballot matters more.

He adds that states like Florida have already made similar moves.

His proposal complies with recent rule changes to the Republican nominating process barring winner-take-all primaries before March 15th, except for Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Proposals to move Pennsylvania's primary have surfaced over the years, but never gained much traction.

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