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The Latest: California lawmakers vote for earlier primary

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on California lawmakers’ efforts to move up the state’s primary (all times local):

11:25 a.m.

California may hold its presidential primary elections in March after lawmakers in both chambers of the Legislature passed bills to give voters a chance to weigh in earlier.

The state Assembly on Thursday voted to move the state’s primary from June to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in March during presidential election years.

The state Senate passed a similar bill the same day to move California’s presidential primary to the third Tuesday in March. One of the bills must pass both houses and be signed by the governor for the date to change.

The state’s 2016 primary occurred after Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had already become the presumptive nominees for the Democratic and Republican parties.

The Assembly bill’s author said an earlier primary would make the state more politically relevant.

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11 a.m.

The California Senate has voted to move up the state’s presidential primary in an effort to increase the influence of the nation’s largest and most diverse state.

The legislation approved Thursday would set the primary on the third Tuesday in March and give the governor the option the move it earlier if other states jump in front.

Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens says California’s current June primary comes too late to give the state’s voters a say in selecting the Republican and Democratic nominees for president. He says an early primary would make candidates more likely to address issues important to Californians.

The bill would set legislative and congressional primaries on the same day.

The bill was approved in a 32-6 vote, sending it to the Assembly.

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