Thiele: Assembly Passes Legislation to Move State Primary Election to June 26, 2012

Bill will save local governments $50 million and increase voter turnout
March 15, 2012
State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (I, D, WF-Sag Harbor) announced Assembly passage of legislation establishing the fourth Tuesday in June as New York’s primary election day for both federal and state offices (A.9271-B). A recent federal court decision moved the federal primary to June 26, 2012, and the Assembly’s legislation would ensure the state’s primary is held on the same day.

“Holding state and federal primary elections on the same day is a matter of common sense,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “Having taxpayers shell out $50 million to hold an additional primary election is wasteful and inefficient.”

The federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act requires accommodations for citizens serving overseas in the military and others who are living abroad – necessitating the federal primary date change. Elections for state office are not subject to the same requirements. However, the Assembly’s bill would eliminate the need to hold another primary in a year full of elections. Thiele noted that New York State’s presidential primary is already scheduled to be held April 24.

“Elections are critical in making sure East End families are adequately represented in government,” Assemblyman Thiele said. “By holding the state primary on the same day as the federal primary, we can increase voter turnout and ensure that the voices of hardworking East End families are heard.”

To accommodate the move to June this year, the bill compresses the political calendar by altering deadlines for designating petition filing dates. The number of signatures required for state legislative and local offices would be reduced accordingly. These adjustments mirror those ordered by the court for federal offices.

The bill’s modified calendar would:

  • move the filing deadline for designating petitions in 2012 to April 16;
  • reduce the number of designating signatures required for an Assembly seat to 375 (down from 500); and
  • reduce the number of designating signatures required for a Senate seat to 750 (down from 1,000).

“The Assembly is committed to saving taxpayers’ money and increasing voter participation in our democracy,” Thiele said.