PHOTO: Karen DeWitt / NY Public Radio
Governor Cuomo says the possibility of three primary elections in New York this year is not in anyone’s best interest.
A federal judge has already ruled that congressional primaries must be held June 26th. While Assembly Democrats would like statewide primaries to also be held on that date, Senate Republicans prefer an August primary. If no action is taken, the statewide primaries will automatically fall on September 11th this year. The presidential primary is in April. Governor Cuomo says having three separate primaries is “less than ideal”.
“It’s very expensive for the state,” said Cuomo. “I don’t think the tax payers want to pay for three elections.”
Cuomo says it’s likely that separate primary elections, which are estimated to cost as much as $50 million dollars each, will also likely result in lower voter turnout.
“Who’s going to come out to vote just for a congressional election, for example?” the governor asked.
But Cuomo says it’s up to the legislature to agree on one date.
And while the congressional primaries are set for late June, the legislature does not intend to have redistricting lines for new congressional districts ready until March, leaving little time for challengers to mount campaigns. Cuomo calls the shortened election season an “incumbency protection “plan.