Primary Election Moves To August 24

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(Host) Vermont’s primary election will take place on August 24th.

Governor Jim Douglas says he’ll let a bill that moves up the primary date to become law without his signature.

The primary was supposed to take place on September 14th.

Supporters say the change is needed to comply with new federal regulations dealing with the delivery of overseas ballots.

Douglas says there are other alternatives to that issue. But he says he felt it was important to avoid a difficult fight with the Legislature.

(Douglas) "This is not an important matter. It would set up a divisive fight at a time when we need to focus on more important issues. So we’ll have one in August and legislators and the next secretary of state can evaluate it and make some appropriate recommendations next year."

(Host) Douglas says he was also concerned that a veto override fight might distract lawmakers from more important issues.

(Douglas) "There was strong support for it, as you know, and compared to what we need to deal with, this is really a fringe issue. What we ought to be focused on is balancing the budget."

(Host) The legislation also sets the same filing date for all independent and major party candidates. That’s intended to prevent a candidate who loses in a primary to run in the general election as an independent.

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