House votes to move up state primary from September to June

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire House approved a bill Thursday to move the date of the state primary from September to June and allow an earlier filing period, giving more time for a prevailing candidate to raise money and campaign.

The bill, which passed the House by a vote of 195 to 174, would change the current time lapse of seven to eight weeks between the state primary and the general election in November to 19 to 20 weeks.

Gov. Chris Sununu said he does not support moving the state primary date. “I think the system we have in place is phenomenal. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it," he said at his weekly news conference.

The House Election Law Committee said currently, 31 states hold their primaries in June or earlier, and 46 states hold their primaries before September.

The bill would move the state primary date from the second Tuesday in September to the fourth Tuesday in June. It would move the first day of filing from the last Wednesday in May to the fourth Wednesday in April.

Bill opponents said the filing period would create conflicts with town elections and redistricting procedures in seven cities, and reduce the time that third-party or independent candidates can collect nomination papers.