The 2012 election calendar was hectic. With the presidential primary in April, the federal primary in June, the state primary in September, and the general election in November, there was much confusion for voters, which led to a drop in voter participation. This chaotic schedule also hampered our troops from participating in the very democracy they defend.
This January, the Assembly passed legislation which I sponsored consolidating the election calendar so that state and federal primaries would be held on the same day, the fourth Tuesday in June. Preliminary results from my recent constituent survey show that approximately 90 percent of my constituents support this effort.
This Assembly bill also ensures that ballots for military voters get sent out 45 days before a primary or general election. This way our troops will be able to return their absentee ballots in time for their votes to be counted.
Up until 1974, New York’s state primary election was held in June, when it was changed. I am confident that we can successfully use this schedule again.
Consolidating federal and state primaries to a June date will save taxpayers $50 million. It will ensure that military personnel and New Yorkers living abroad have an opportunity to vote. Lastly, it will prevent the need to have two separate primaries in 2014 for federal and state elections, and in 2016 it will prevent three separate primaries.
Please help me by contacting members of the New York State Senate to pass this legislation as soon as possible so that we can save taxpayer dollars and encourage voters to participate in the primary election process.