WASHINGTON (AP) — New rules set to be approved by Republican leaders would allow Iowa and New Hampshire to retain their coveted spots atop the presidential primary calendar.

South Carolina and Nevada would also secure top spots, as they have in the past, as part of a larger plan that would significantly shorten the GOP’s 2016 presidential selection process.

Friday’s vote comes as the Republican National Committee works to create an easier path to the White House for its next nominee, roughly a year before campaigning begins in earnest.

New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina and Nevada will vote in February 2016 under the new schedule. The nation’s other 46 states and territories would vote between early March and mid-May ahead of an early summer national Republican convention.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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