What most Georgia politicos have assumed for a while has passed its first hurdle. This afternoon, House Bill 310, which sets up a May 20th primary for state offices to match the federal primary, passed the senate. The bill was carried by Republican Senator Butch Miller of Gainesville.
“Keeping two separate election calendars is not only impractical – it’s impossible,” said Sen. Miller. “The State of Georgia doesn’t have the personnel or technology needed to even consider pursuing such an option. By changing state and local candidate election dates to match those of federal candidate elections, we will be able to create a more efficient process that conserves state resources and taxpayer dollars.”
Here are the new qualifying, primary, runoff and general election dates:
- General Primary Qualifying Period: Begins at 9:00 a.m. on Monday of the 11th week prior to the General Primary and ends at 12:00 Noon on the Friday immediately following (March 3 – 7, 2014)
- General Primary Election: Held on the 24th week preceding the November General Election (May 20, 2014)
- General Primary Runoff: Held on the Tuesday of the 9th week following the General Primary (July 22, 2014)
- General Election: Held on the Tuesday following the first Monday in November (November 4, 2014)
- General Election Runoff: Held on the Tuesday of the 9th week following the General Election (January 6, 2015)
The fifteen week period between the primary and runoff dates are likely to greatly change the way runoffs are run.
The bill now returns to the House for consideration. Final stop: the Governor’s signature.