Secretary of State William Galvin is inviting the public and candidates for elected office to submit comments on a topic that is usually quietly settled by Beacon Hill leaders. Galvin's office on Friday morning announced he'll hold a Jan. 2 public hearing and accept written comments through his elections division on the question of the date of the 2018 state primary.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Massachusetts is the only state in the country that has not set its primary election date. Galvin's office says he is required by law to move the primary to an earlier date in September if there's a conflict with a religious holiday.

The target date for the primary - 49 days before election day - is Sept. 18, which coincides with the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The Tuesday before that, Sept. 11, coincides with the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah.

New York and New Hampshire are planning to hold their primaries on Sept. 11, according to NCSL.

"The intention is to have the primary in September, but the Secretary will first be consulting the Legislature and other interested parties to find an appropriate date," Galvin spokeswoman Deb O'Malley told the News Service this month. The Jan. 2 public hearing will start at 10 a.m. on the 17th floor of the McCormack Building, One Ashburton Place. Written comments may be submitted to the elections division, room 1705, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.

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