Illinois Primary Goes Back To March In 2012

By Tom McIntyre

July 13, 2010 Updated Jul 13, 2010 at 1:19 PM CST

Governor Pat Quinn today signed the law moving the Illinois back to the third Tuesday in the month of March.

Majority Democrats in the General Assembly, in 2007, moved the primary up to February in 2008 to help favorite son Barack Obama in his quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Voter turnout this February was very low.

Critics, including Senator Dale Risinger of Peoria, said moving the primary to February left insufficient time for candidates to get their message out.

Risinger helped pass the bill returning the primary election day back to March in 2012.

He told reporters in Springfield that by moving the primary back to March would give candidates a better chance to get their positions out to the voters.

Governor Quinn sidestepped a question of whether a later primary date might have prevented the embarrassment of having the Democrat Lt. Governor candidate, Scott Lee Cohen, resign after questions about his past surfaced post-election.

There are now some 220 people who've said they want to be considered as a candidate to replace Cohen.

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