New York’s Highest Court Puts Kibosh on Bid to Consolidate Primaries
ALBANY, N.Y. — An effort by the League of Women Voters to consolidate New York State’s primary elections in August has been rejected by the state Court of Appeals.
The ruling handed down on Tuesday means voters in New York will cast ballots on two different dates: June 28 for statewide and state Assembly races, and Aug. 23 for Senate and U.S. House primaries.
The Court of Appeals did not explain its rationale for denying the League’s appeal after their challenge was rejected by a lower court, but it apparently exhausts the group’s ability to have their concerns addressed in the state courts.
New York’s primary elections were bifurcated in May after the Court of Appeals tossed district maps of proposed new congressional and state Senate districts on the basis of their being unlawful partisan gerrymanders.
New lines for both maps were then drawn by a court-appointed special master, and the changes required a revamping of the political calendar, with the primaries for the Congress and the state Senate being pushed back eight weeks to give candidates more time to campaign.
In its court filings, the League of Women Voters argued the two primaries would be costly for taxpayers and local elections officials.
State elections officials responded by arguing the legal challenge came too late, and the ballots are already printed for the two primary dates.