Today, Citizens Union and the League of Women Voters of NYS sent a letter to Governor Hochul and legislative leaders urging the postponement of all elections scheduled to take place in June to August 23.
The New York State Court of Appeals’ decision to invalidate Congressional and State Senate district lines and hold a new primary for those offices in August leaves in place the June primary elections for Statewide offices, State Assembly, judicial offices, and elections for party positions. The decision on whether to change the June primary was left to the legislature to make.
Splitting primary elections between June and August will be absolutely detrimental to voter turnout and unnecessarily increase administrative burdens and costs on local boards of elections. New York consolidated its primary elections in 2019 precisely for those reasons. That reform, which was passed under the leadership of the Senate Majority Leader and the Assembly Speaker, led to higher primary turnouts and a more effective election administration.
Splitting primary elections will also confuse voters. Having two separate elections for the two houses of the legislature will be especially confounding, and unprecedented. Elections in redistricting years are fraught enough, with many voters finding it challenging to know in what districts they are located.
Consolidating the 2022 primary elections would minimize the impact of the Court’s ruling on voters, candidates, and election officials and would provide some stability to the current electoral cycle.
Citizens Union and the League of Women Voters of NYS urge the Governor and the legislative leaders to prioritize legislation on this issue in the next few days.
You can read the full letter here.