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Bill on earlier primary elections advances

March 15, 2011 |  6:44 pm

California moved a step closer Tuesday to pushing its 2012 presidential primary back from February to June.

By a 7-0 vote, the Assembly Committee on Elections and Redistricting passed a bill that would end the state’s attempts to boost its national influence by holding its presidential vote increasingly early. The legislation, by Assemblyman Paul Fong (D-Cupertino), moves next to the Assembly floor.

Fong pitched his measure as a way to save tens of millions of dollars by having voters show up on a single day, June 5, 2012, as opposed to holding separate primaries for president and statewide office.

California never really boosted its clout by moving ahead on the primary calendar. When the state pushed forward, many others followed suit, resulting in the most front-loaded primary calendar in history in 2008.

Several states, looking to save money, have either pushed back their primaries or canceled them.

-- Mark Z. Barabak