Washington (CNN) – The first votes cast in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination would take place in February 2016, according to a proposal that cleared a major hurdle Friday at a Democratic National Committee meeting here in the nation’s capital.
The proposed nominating calendar would have the Iowa caucuses take place on February 1, New Hampshire primary on February 9, Nevada caucuses on February 20 and the South Carolina primary on February 27. All other states would have to wait until March 1 to hold a caucus or primary and be required to do so no later than June 14.
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The DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee approved the proposed calendar dates along a unanimous voice vote. The full DNC membership will vote on the measure in August. It was one of several rules and procedures addressed by the Rules committee that will govern how the Democratic Party chooses its next presidential nominee.
The Republican National Committee previously had approved a plan that would allow Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina the right to hold their nominating contests in February 2016, but the GOP did not specify dates.
The decision by national Democrats and Republicans to grant these four states the privileged status in the presidential nominating process is controversial and has drawn resentment from party leaders in some states who see this as an unfair carve-out.
CNN first reported the proposed 2016 Democratic presidential nominating calendar Friday morning.