Assemblyman Dinowitz Introduces Election Law Bills

Prohibit Primaries on September 11th & Allow Presidential Candidates
March 3, 2006

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz is introducing two pieces of legislation that would amend New York State’s election law. One bill would prohibit primaries on September 11th and the other bill would allow a presidential candidate to remove his or her name and the names of the delegates pledged to him or her from the presidential primary ballot no less than thirty days prior to the primary.

The 9-11 bill would recognize the significance of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 by prohibiting the scheduling of primary voting on that day. Assemblyman Dinowitz said, “Because of the terrible attacks on the United States, 9-11 has become a day of remembrance. I think it’s only appropriate not to have a primary on this day to remember all who died and all who helped save so many lives.”

The other bill addresses the problem of Presidential Candidates dropping out of the race before New York’s primary. The New York State presidential primary is held toward the end of the presidential primary season when many candidates for President have already withdrawn from the race, but are unable to remove themselves from New York’s primary ballot. As a result, many candidates on New York’s primary ballot receive votes after they have withdrawn from the race. In addition, the ballot is crowded with many names who are no longer active candidates, for President or convention delegates, causing confusion. This bill would help to ensure that the candidates that receive votes are still actively seeking the nomination of their party.

Assemblyman Dinowitz stated, “It makes no sense to have candidates and their delegates on the ballot if they have dropped out. The 2004 Presidential election is an example of why this bill is necessary. General Wesley Clark, Congressman Richard Gephardt, Howard Dean and Senator Joseph Lieberman dropped out well in advance of our Presidential primary, yet their names as well as all of their pledged delegates were still on the ballot. It made the ballot confusing and crowded. My bill would clean up the ballot, thereby making easier for my constituents to vote.”