Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Assembly Companion Introduced to Consolidate New York Primaries in June

As has been the case in past cycles, an Assembly companion -- A 1109 -- to a state Senate bill to consolidate the New York presidential primary with primaries for other offices in June has now been introduced.

Objectively, the idea remains a good one. New York has asked a lot of its voters in recent cycles, separating presidential primaries from primaries for state and local offices and splitting those from primaries for congressional seats. Reducing that burden on voters is not an idea without merit. 

However, where this legislation falls short -- and where its predecessors in previous sessions have failed -- is that it schedules the proposed consolidated primary too late in the presidential nomination sequence. The timing is off. Both state parties would be penalized under national party just as rogue states that attempt to hold primaries or caucuses too early are.

There are, of course, fixes to this. One is to move the other primaries -- and the perpetually reset February presidential primary -- to where the presidential primary has ended up in the last three cycles: late April. Another is to meet somewhere in the middle. Schedule the proposed consolidated primary (including the presidential primary) in May some time.

But as is, this bill is a non-starter and will likely end up where the others did in previous sessions. Nowhere, without amendment.

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