A new bill could push California's position in the presidential primary season up to early March instead of June.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the proposed legislation would put the state's primary election just after New Hampshire's turn.
"The California primary is usually scheduled so late, that the nominees are a foregone conclusion," Padilla said. "Californians deserve to have a bigger voice in choosing the President of the United States."
The bill would also give the governor the ability to move California's primary date should other states move up their primary elections. The legislation would also consolidate the state and presidential primary elections to help increase voter turnout.
"By virtue of forcing that campaign activity by candidates, you have much more voter engagement, and we see that at the ballot box. That's good for a political voice, not just in the presidential contest, but for all down ballot races as well."
The measure passed the Elections and Redistricting Committee by a 4-1 vote on Wednesday, and is now heading for the Senate. Secretary Padilla hopes that they'll be able to have a bill on Governor Brown's desk before Labor Day.
"Candidates for President will be forced, not to just come to fundraise, but to campaign and to earn California votes. They're going to need to learn and respect California issues and that's going to be good for us, regardless of who becomes president in the future," Padilla said.