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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R. 170

House concurrent resolution urging the states of Vermont and New Hampshire to work cooperatively to establish a New England regional presidential primary

Offered by:  Representatives Obuchowski of Rockingham and Monti of Barre City

Whereas, for many decades, the state of New Hampshire, pursuant to section 653 of the New Hampshire Statutes, has conducted the nation’s first presidential primary at least seven days prior to any other similar primary, and

Whereas, the New Hampshire statute also provides for that election to be held on the second Tuesday in March unless the New Hampshire secretary of state determines that an earlier date is required to meet the specific timing requirements of the law, and

Whereas, because of the acceleration of the presidential primary schedule, the New Hampshire primary has been scheduled earlier and earlier, and the 2008 date was January 8, and

Whereas, this rescheduling, necessitated by other states’ decisions to schedule their presidential primaries in late January and early February, has forced an earlier initiation of intensive campaigning and clustered primaries across the country on a few dates in February and the beginning of March, and

Whereas, this truncated primary schedule poses logistical challenges for candidates, and

Whereas, the states’ leapfrogging each other has now caused intraparty disputes between national and state political parties, with the national party committees voting to deny more than one state’s delegates due to violations of the national parties’ primary scheduling rules, and

Whereas, scholars and political activists have examined the establishment of regional primaries as an alternative to the states’ increasing proclivity to leapfrog each other when scheduling their presidential primaries in order to claim the earliest possible date and the attendant publicity and perceived political influence, and

Whereas, were a New England regional primary established, it could set a precedent for other regions to establish primaries based on a more logically staggered schedule and end the unprecedented competition between the states that has occurred this presidential primary election season, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly invites the New Hampshire General Court to work cooperatively to establish the framework for a regional New England presidential primary, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to New Hampshire Speaker of the House Terie Norelli, New Hampshire Senate President Sylvia Larsen, and New Hampshire Secretary of State William M. Gardner.




Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont