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Senate votes to move 2016 primary date

The Maryland Senate voted unanimously Thursday to move the state's 2016 presidential primary to later in April. The change is designed to avoid opening polls on Easter for early voting.

The measure -- which also would affect Baltimore's municipal primary -- now goes to the House of Delegates.

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Under current law, Maryland is to hold its primary on the first Tuesday in April -- or April 5, 2016. Next year, Easter Sunday (March 27) would be one of the early-voting days leading up to the primary.

The legislation would move the primary to the last Tuesday in April, avoiding the conflict. The move  to April 26, 2016 also would put the state in conformance with two other mid-Atlantic states, Delaware and Pennsylvania, preserving a regional primary.

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The bill also would change various filing and campaign finance reporting deadlines to reflect the changed primary date.

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