U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, chairs the Democratic Party of Georgia

ATLANTA – The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Friday to recommend shuffling the 2024 presidential primary schedule to give Georgia and several other states earlier primaries.

Under the proposed schedule, Iowa and New Hampshire – historically the first Democratic caucus and primary states – would give way to South Carolina, Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan. The proposal came from President Joe Biden.

The move would add to the diversity of early Democratic primary voters, since both Iowa and New Hampshire are majority white. While Republicans have dominated South Carolina for decades, Georgia, Nevada, and Michigan, have become key battleground states in recent presidential elections.

“Georgia Democrats have always said that our state will play a critical role in the national political landscape for years to come and must be prioritized as such,” U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, who chairs the Democratic Party of Georgia, said Friday. “Today’s vote … to recommend Georgia as an early primary state reflects the Democratic Party’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.”

Under the proposal, South Carolina would become the first state to hold a Democratic presidential primary in 2024, which would take place on Feb. 3. New Hampshire and Nevada would hold primaries on Feb. 6, followed by Georgia on Feb. 20 and Michigan on Feb. 27.

South Carolina essentially bailed out Biden’s presidential bid two years ago after he received a powerful endorsement from House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C. After losing in Iowa to Pete Buttigieg – now Biden’s transportation secretary – and to Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in New Hampshire, Biden posted his first primary win in South Carolina.

He then went on to win the Georgia primary with 75% of the vote and coasted from there to the Democratic nomination.

The committee’s vote sends the proposal to the full Democratic National Committee, which will make a final decision on the primary schedule early next year.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.