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Lawmakers OK moving presidential primary to June

By | Posted - Oct. 11, 2011 at 9:16 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah lawmakers have voted to move the state's 2012 presidential primary back to June 26 in order to save money.

In 2008, lawmakers moved the presidential primary to February so Utah would be one of the early primary states. In that race, Utah got more attention from candidates than it often does. Then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign even opened a field office in Utah.

During last week's special session for redistricting, lawmakers approved a bill that changes Utah's election code, putting the presidential primary on the same day as other primary elections in the state. Lawmakers estimate that move will save about $3 million.

The Daily Herald reports Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, was the only lawmaker to vote against moving the presidential primary. She said the early primary gave Utah a voice in the election. She also thinks it would help Mitt Romney in this election.

But lawmakers voted to save the cash rather than keep the political attention.

Brigham Young University political science professor Richard Davis told the paper moving back the presidential primary date is a trend among several states, due to budget concerns. He believes the move will mean most presidential candidates will overlook Utah in the primaries.

The bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert's desk for his signature to become law.

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