State’s primary needs to be moved

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001

Our View

Alabama needs to change the date of the presidential primary so we can have a voice in choosing the next presidential candidate.

Alabama’s presidential primary may change from June to March beginning in 2004.

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This week, a House committee voted to make the change that would allow registered voters to cast ballots for presidential candidates the first Monday in March.

That change would put Alabama more in line with the rest of the nation.

On March 7, 2000 many Americans were heading to the polls to vote for their favorite presidential candidate.

Those in states such as California, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont were at the polls will the only lines in Alabama were on the streets of downtown Mobile for Mardi Gras.

As thousands were casting ballots for Democrat presidential candidates Bill Bradley and Al Gore and Republicans George W. Bush, Alan Keyes and John McCain on Super Tuesday, those in Mobile will be standing in line to catch cheap trinkets and stale snack cakes from passing Mardi Gras floats.

It is that holiday that is one reason Alabama’s presidential primary falls behind everyone else.

In 1999, a bill was introduced to change the date of Alabama’s presidential primary from June 6 to March 7. But, the Mobile and Baldwin County ­ in which Mardi Gras is a holiday ­ delegations quickly pointed out that Mardi Gras fell on that same March day the next year. Needless to say the bill did not pass and Alabama legislators don’t even work on this session day.

Again, the issue has come back to life and we encourage the passage to this bill.

Think about it. What’s more important ­ electing the next president or catching a moonpie?


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