Georgia’s Secretary of State has scheduled the presidential primary for 2020: March 24.
The big national primary day is known as Super Tuesday, the first week of March when many states hold simultaneous elections. There were about a dozen on that day in 2016. Georgia used to be among them, but next year’s date is three weeks later.
Terry Greer, who teaches political science at Clark Atlanta University, said Georgia’s primary being held later in 2020 could mean less turnout because it won’t benefit from the national press around Super Tuesday.
But, on the other hand, she said the schedule does give candidates more time to focus in on the state.
“Having the primary in Georgia separate and apart from Super Tuesday means that the candidates are not be spread thin trying to go to different states,” she said. “That means there is time for candidates to spend time in Georgia.”
State Sen. Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, agreed.
“I think having a date that is not on Super Tuesday puts Georgia Democrats in a unique position so that we really get to have a bigger say in the conversation,” she told WABE’s “Closer Look” on Wednesday. “So we won’t be lumped in with California and Texas.”
Another side effect, according to Greer, involves the new voting machines the state is expected to order soon.
“If there is more time to ensure the security of the voter machines here in Georgia that will also alleviate some stress,” she said. “So I think it works to the benefit of the election officials, as well as to the voters.”