National Democrats voted to give New Hampshire party officials another extension to finally set a new Election Day date amid tensions over the state’s early-voting status.
In a meeting with the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws panel Thursday, members voted in favor of pushing the deadline to Oct. 14 for New Hampshire Democrats to send in a revised outline for delegates and proposed slot on the calendar.
“We have done everything in our power to comply with the DNC’s requests with regard to our primary calendar and have every intention of complying with New Hampshire state law from which the primary date is set,” state party Chairman Ray Buckley said in a statement.
The DNC has been working on several changes to the presidential primary this cycle, with New Hampshire being at the forefront of the debate and occasionally a cause of controversy within the party that wants to put the procedural questions to rest. The unrest started when the same rules committee voted for South Carolina to go ahead of the Granite State with support from President Biden and the White House.
New Hampshire was bumped down to second place as a result, and tensions escalated when officials blew past a deadline on the first of this month that required members to clearly list a primary date with the names of delegates.
Top Democrats including Buckley told The Hill in the lead-up to the vote this week that they still see a clear opportunity for Biden to compete well against Republicans on policies where they believe they have the edge, including abortion.
But the primary date discussions — which have played out publicly as Biden seeks a second term in office — are also seen to many as a distraction beyond the top of the ticket, potentially impacting down-ballot races where they need the full power of the party on their side. He stressed that Democrats in his state are “laser focused on winning our upcoming special elections and the city races this year.”
“We look forward to putting this unnecessary distraction behind us and focusing on electing Granite State Democrats,” Buckley said.