Chairman Wolfe Seeks Support for Consolidation of State Primary Elections

LEGISLATIVE PRESS RELEASE

New City, NY (February 18, 2014) – Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe has asked NYS Senator David Carlucci to support moving state and local primary elections to June of each year, a move that would consolidate state, local and federal primaries to one date.

Presently, primaries for federal offices are held on the fourth Tuesday in June and state and local primaries are held on the second Tuesday in September. The September date makes it difficult to comply with a federal law that requires ballots for military and overseas voters to be sent at least 45 days before the general election. The NYS Assembly passed a bill to move state primaries to coincide with the June federal primary date. However, Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to move the date to the third Tuesday in August, concerned that a June primary would interrupt the final state legislative session.

“Moving the state primary date to coincide with the federal date is simply common sense,” stated Chairman Wolfe. “Our county spends roughly $500,000 per primary, all of which are local dollars paid for by our residents. Holding two separate primaries with two separate costs will only serve to hurt the taxpayers.”

Wolfe points out that voters go to the polls many times a year to vote in village, school, library and fire department elections. He adds that New York’s primary voter turn-out ranks seventh lowest in the nation and fears that an August date will result in even lower voter response.

“We need to simplify the voting process, not arbitrarily complicate it,” said Wolfe.