DNC officials recommend giving New Hampshire and Georgia extra time to meet requirements under proposed 2024 calendar

A voter fills out a ballot at a high school in Bedford, New Hampshire, during the state's primary on September 13, 2022.

CNN  — 

The co-chairs of the Democratic Party’s rule-making arm are recommending that New Hampshire and Georgia be given extra time to take steps toward changing their presidential primary dates.

Last month, the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee approved a proposed calendar that would make South Carolina the first state to hold a primary, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a few days later, and then Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday.

Under the proposal, each of the five states had until January 5 to take steps toward changing their primary dates or they would give up the ability to hold an approved early contest. New Hampshire and Georgia were the only two states that weren’t able to meet the deadline.

In a memo to the committee obtained by CNN, co-chairs Jim Roosevelt and Minyon Moore wrote that “we expected both the New Hampshire and Georgia efforts to be complicated but well worth the effort if we can get them done. We remain committed to doing all we can to see our plan through.”

Roosevelt and Moore wrote that they’re planning a committee meeting on the extensions before the DNC meets in early February, when the full body will vote on the proposed calendar.

“It is important to stress that we are committed to seeing out the calendar that this committee approved last month,” Roosevelt and Moore wrote.

The ability to implement primary calendar changes differs from state to state.

South Carolina, Nevada and Michigan can easily hold their primaries on the assigned dates. In South Carolina, the party chair sets the primary date; in Nevada, the proposed date is the same as the date currently set under state law; and in Michigan, Democrats have full control of state government and should be able to set a new date.

New Hampshire and Georgia are more complicated.

New Hampshire’s traditional place as the first-in-the-nation primary is protected by state law, and Granite State Democrats don’t have the power to set the date.

In a letter to the DNC, Ray Buckley, the chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, wrote that the requirements were “unrealistic and unattainable.”

“The New Hampshire Democratic Party cannot dictate to the Republican governor and state legislative leaders what to do, and because it does not have the power to change the primary date unilaterally,” Buckley wrote Thursday.

Georgia’s primary date is set by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, and his office has said it will neither hold two separate primaries nor hold the primary at a time that could cost one party delegates. While the proposed Democratic rules allow the state’s primary to be held on February 13, a Republican primary held that day would run afoul of GOP rules.