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Senate Democratic Conference introduces bill to move state primary to June

ALBANY - The Senate Democratic Conference today announced the introduction of legislation to hold the state’s Primary Election day for state and federal offices in June. This bill would save state and local governments $50 million by holding a single primary election and moving Primary Election day from the month of September.

“This is a common sense and good government approach to save our local taxpayers at least $50 million and will help increase voter turnout, giving more people a voice in the electoral process,” Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

This bill, S.6204, sponsored by Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins is carried by Speaker Sheldon Silver in the State Assembly. This legislation would bring the state into compliance with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which enacted certain requirements for federal elections to accommodate service members overseas and other Americans living abroad.

Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Elections Committee, said, “Forcing taxpayers and local governments to pay an additional $50 million for two separate Primary Day elections is an unconscionable and wasteful mandate.  But more troubling than the costs, maintaining the unnecessary September primary will deprive military members serving overseas of one of our most fundamental rights -- the right to have their vote counted.”

Additionally, the bill introduced by members of the Senate Democratic Conference would reduce the need to hold an additional election, a federal primary election in June and a state and local primary election in September. Holding a single primary election day would increase voter turnout and save at least $50 million for state and local governments.