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Dems advance bill to make diverse Nevada the first presidential primary instead of whiter states

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Nevada Speaker of the Assembly Jason Frierson opens the Legislative Session, Monday, Feb 6, 2017 in Carson City, Nev. Nevada’s 63 state legislators kicked off the biennial lawmaking process with the official election of the state’s first black Assembly Speaker. (AP Photo/Lance Iversen)

Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson (D).

Assembly Democrats have passed a bill along party lines in a committee that aims to make Nevada the first state in the presidential nominating contests and simultaneously improve voting access.

The measure would abolish the state’s existing caucus format, replacing it with a primary with 10 days of early voting and same-day voter registration. It would also shift the date to the first Tuesday in February in an attempt to supplant Iowa and New Hampshire as the first contest.

This move could spark a race among other states to move their primaries up in the calendar, and it’s unclear if national party organizations will allow Nevada to make this change without imposing any penalties. However, proponents argue that Nevada’s diverse population is more reflective of the Democratic Party and the country as a whole, giving it a better claim on going first than heavily white Iowa or New Hampshire.



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