Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, speaks Wednesday, Jan. 29, about legislation she recently introduced to move state primaries to the end of June to coincide with federal primaries.
Photo by John Purcell.
continued The state Election Commissioners Association recently approved its legislative agenda for this year supporting a unified primary date, but did not tie it to any date. Last year’s legislative agenda had supported the June date. The ECA is composed of Democrats and Republicans from across the state.
A later primary date is typically seen to favor incumbents over challengers because there is less time to campaign before the general election.
Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director for the state League of Women Voters, contended earlier primaries would be better for candidates and the public. She added that until 1976, they held state primaries in June.
Bartoletti said Senate Republicans offer “all kinds of interesting answers” for why shifting to June is not a good switch.
“The one thing that these people never seem to worry an awful lot about … are the voters themselves,” Bartoletti said. “At this point, I don’t care what the inconvenience is to the state legislators; my concern is that we in America have voters, and they should be the most important factor when we look at the right to vote.”