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Georgia Senate passes bill to move state and local primaries to May

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The Georgia House Bill 310, a legislation that moves Georgia's local and state primaries to May 20th for the 2014 elections cycle, passed the state Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

The vote on H.B. 310 was 38–15.

"The purpose of this legislation is to move the election dates [to May 20th], which would include the primaries, general elections and runoffs, and also adds March 31st campaign disclosure requirement," said the bill sponsor Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville). "This is in response to the U.S. vs. Georgia case from 2012 and this is the judge's ruling. The state of Georgia is doing exactly as the judge requested and this should be smooth and fair level playing field for all involved and should not be a big issue."

In August of 2013, U.S. District Judge Steve Jones ordered that federal primaries in Georgia for congressional offices will be held on June 3.

Most of Georgia counties would not be able to afford two different election cycles; therefore the H.B. 310 is just a formality.

"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.”

Once the legislation is passed, the 2014 election cycle will have the following dates for local, state, and federal elections:

General primary – May 20, 2014.

General primary runoff – July 22, 2014.

General election – November 4, 2014.

General election runoff – January 6, 2015.

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