A Switch in the Primary Date to Save Taxpayers $50 Million

Changing the primary election date to June has the potential to save New York taxpayers $50 million. Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced the Assembly passed legislation to move the state one step closer to this cost saving reality.

“Holding two primaries in the state is not only inconvenient to the voter but it is an unnecessary cost for local municipalities,” said Assemblymember Steck. “Moving the primary to June will save the state $50 million. In a time when local governments have been asked to do more with less this kind of saving will help alleviate budgetary problems and removes a burdensome unfunded mandate.”

Assembly bill A.8198, of which Steck is a sponsor, consolidates the election calendar so that federal and state primaries occur on the same day, the fourth Tuesday in June. Consolidating the primaries into one day will save taxpayers $50 million and encourages voter participation. Moving the date will also put the state in compliance with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act. This federal law requires absentee ballots be in the hands of overseas military personnel 45 days prior to a general election, New York’s September primary date does not comply with the law.

“This bill is good news for the Capital Region, it will save taxpayers money, encourage voter participation and protect our military servicemen and women’s right to vote,” noted Assemblymember Steck. “I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to vote for this legislation and help remove an unfunded mandate.”