Bill moving all NC primaries to March 2016 headed to Governor's desk

Bill moving all NC primaries to March 2016 headed to Governor's desk

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - Voters will be casting primary ballots seven weeks earlier than usual in 2016, if Governor Pat McCrory signs a bill that passed both chambers of the General Assembly on Thursday.

The state Senate and House agreed on a compromise bill that moved all of the state's primary elections to March 15. It will ensure North Carolina voters increased influence in choosing the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees. All primaries usually have been held in May.
But it also accelerates the decision-making process for potential candidates for other offices, from governor and U.S. senator to state legislator and county commissioner. The filing period for candidates will start at Noon on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 and run through Noon on Monday, December 21, 2015.

The bill also specifies that a candidate must be affiliated with a political party for at least 75 days before filing to run as a candidate that party's primary. Right now that period stands at 90 days.

To read more about the specifics of the bill click here:
The bill now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory's desk. McCrory has not expressed publicly his views on the bill.
Also expected on the March 15 ballot is a statewide referendum on a $2 billion bond package. That bill is moving toward final legislative approval.

Copyright 2015 WECT. The Associated Press contributed material to this report.