Yesterday, the Virginia General Assembly unanimously approved HB 1507, setting the primary schedule for 2011. The key dates for General Assembly seats, County Board members and Constitutional Officers are:
*The primary date will be Tuesday, August 23, 2011, “and not Tuesday, June 14, 2011,” as previously specified.
*”The State Board of Elections shall make inquiry of each party chairman by Friday, June 24, 2011, as to whether a direct primary has been adopted, and the Board must receive notification as provided in § 24.2-516 not later than Friday, July 1, 2011.”
*”The declaration of candidacy, petitions, and receipts indicating the payment of filing fees for a primary election required by § 24.2-522 of the Code of Virginia shall be filed not earlier than noon on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, and not later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2011.”
*”The statements required to be filed by primary candidates under § 24.2-503 of the Code of Virginia shall be filed not later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 15, 2011.”
*”The chairman or chairmen required to furnish names of candidates for a primary under § 24.2-527 of the Code of Virginia shall do so no later than Tuesday, July 19, 2011.”
*Also, “Ballots for the November 2011 election shall be printed on or before Friday, September 23, 2011, or as soon thereafter as practicable.”
The reason for this change in schedule is “in anticipation of the 2011 redistricting process.” Which, by the way, will be fascinating to watch and also of potentially great consequence for Virginia politics over the next decade.