A debate has sparked over when to have Vermont's primary.
A new law says states have to send out absentee ballots to overseas voters at least 45 days before the election. So Democrats want to move the primary from September 14 to August 24.
Gov. Jim Douglas says there are alternatives like asking for a waiver from the federal government and that the move is politically motivated since five Democrats are running for the open seat for governor. Last year, Vermont's Senate passed a bill changing the primary date.
"It arrived pretty late in the House and we weren't able to take action on it," said Rep. Shap Smith, D-Vt. House Speaker. "Since that time the federal government has changed the laws in regards to when ballots have to be sent overseas to our soldiers; that suggests that we may have to take action on moving the primary date this year."
"Some of these folks were trying to move the primary last year even before the defense authorization act was passed by the Congress-- it's now an additional convenient argument-- but it's no secret that some of the Democratic candidates want to have a longer general election campaign in order to presumably unite behind a nominee after a fractious primary," said Douglas, R-Vermont.
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