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DNC: New York and Nebraska Democrats won’t go early in 2024 primaries

Delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

The Democratic National Committee on Saturday said it rejected applications from the state parties of New York and Nebraska to help kick off the 2024 presidential nominating process, leaving 16 other states and one territory in the running for the coveted spots.

The announcement, by the co-chairs of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee in a letter to members, is the first winnowing in a process established this year that aims to shake up the Democratic nominating contest order, which has been controlled in recent decades by Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Democrats Abroad, a collection of expatriates who have a small but independent role in the nominating process, was also told its application could not move forward.

The states and territory still under consideration are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas and Washington state.

The party has said it hopes to improve the nominating process by rearranging the early states, which have a disproportionate ability to narrow the presidential field and attract much of the early candidate spending.

Democrats circulate plan for changing 2024 nomination calendar, moving against Iowa and welcoming new early states

The party has said that the 2024 starting states will be selected based on the diversity of their electorates, “including ethnic, geographic, union representation, economic, etc.”; the competitiveness of the state in a general election; and the ability of the state to administer a “fair, transparent and inclusive” process.

The letter, sent Saturday by co-chairs Jim Roosevelt and Minyon Moore, said New York was cut because it was a large, solidly blue state where it is expensive to campaign. It also said it would be “impossible to counterbalance the disproportionate number of urban voters.”

Nebraska was cut because the state party’s proposal envisioned a party-run selection process, separate from the current state-run primary. The letter said that “could create confusion by rendering the state-run process meaningless despite Democrats being on the ballot.”

As for Democrats Abroad, the co-chairs said the logistical problems of not having a set geography created hurdles that were too high to overcome.

The remaining states and Puerto Rico will make presentations to the Rules and Bylaws Committee later this month. A final decision of the first four or five states in the 2024 process is expected in July.

Analysis: Democrats take aim at Iowa as they seek to change their nominating system

In an effort to keep Iowa’s position as the first-in-the-nation caucus, Democrats in that state have proposed drastically revamping how voters there show preferences for their candidates. Instead of a traditional caucus, Iowa Democrats in 2024 would cast written preference cards in the weeks leading up to the event, either by mail or at drop-off locations. The results would be announced at the caucus meetings.

“We intend to present a very vigorous non-present participation aspect,” said Scott Brennan, Iowa’s representative on the Rules and Bylaws Committee. “The proposal that we sent to the RBC has it all done in advance” of the caucus meetings.