Chief elections officer says primary might need to be sooner

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WPRO News and the Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s chief elections officer says she’s concerned there’s not enough time between the September state primary and the November general election to get ballots back from military voters overseas.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea says the primary might need to be held sooner.

Gorbea says it’s important to make sure service members can exercise their right to vote.

Rhode Island has one of the latest state primaries in the nation. It’s scheduled for Sept. 13 in 2016, followed by the Nov. 8 general election.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says only Massachusetts has a later state 2016 primary.

Providence College associate professor Joseph Cammarano says advancing the date could lower turnout. He says people are paying less attention to the races earlier in the year.