updated 4/9/2007 11:30:38 AM ET 2007-04-09T15:30:38

New York's presidential primary will happen a month earlier next year.

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Governor Eliot Spitzer signed a bill today moving the primary from March fourth to February fifth. He says the move will help ensure that New York's "large and diverse population" will be influential in choosing presidential candidates for the 2008 election.

The earlier vote could help presidential front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and Rudy Giuliani secure their parties' nominations.

About a dozen other states, including California and New Jersey, have either moved their primaries or caucuses to February fifth or are getting ready to do so.

But New Hampshire's secretary of state says the move by New York and other states could mean that the entire nominating process will be over on February fifth. And he says that's a "rush to judgment" that may not be good for politics.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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