New York Senate, Assembly At Impasse Over Primary Date
ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Senate Republicans and Assembly Democrats are at odds over when to hold federal and state primaries this year.
Republicans in the state Senate have filed a bill to move the primary day to late August.
New York’s current September primary date for state offices is effectively too late to comply with a federal law that requires ballots for military and overseas voters to be sent out at least 45 days before the general election. With elections looming this year, Republicans and Democrats in the state Legislature have yet to agree on a single state and federal primary date.
Democrats in charge of the Assembly last month passed a bill that would move state primaries to the fourth Tuesday in June, coinciding with New York’s federal primary date.
The new Senate bill sponsored by Sen. Thomas O’Mara, elections committee chairman, would move primaries for federal and state office in New York to the third Tuesday in August. O’Mara said Monday that a June primary would disrupt the end of the legislative session and lengthen an already long election season by forcing candidates to gather petitions in March.
“I think already the public is fed up with these elections that go on forever, it seems like,” said O’Mara, (R-Elmira)
Democrats argue that August is a popular vacation month and too few voters would show up at the polls.
If lawmakers fail to agree on a primary date, municipalities would have to do what they did in 2012: hold a primary for federal offices in June and a separate primary for state offices in September. Lawmakers say the cost of holding two primaries runs from $40 million to $50 million statewide.
Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York, said dual primaries not only cost too much, but complicate primary voting.
“The taxpayer is footing the tab,” Lerner said, “as well as the fact that it frankly depresses already low turnout when voters are confused.”
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- Evenflo Recalling Infant Seats Over Sticky Buckles
- North Shore-LIJ Health System Considers Building Biocontainment Unit
- Motive Sought In Hatchet Attack On NYPD Officers In Queens
- Some Straphangers Concerned About NYC’s First Ebola Patient’s Subway Rides
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)