ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Congressional and state Senate primaries are being held on August 23rd, while the rest of the primaries are scheduled for June 28th. The League of Women Voters has been advocating to have all of them held on the same day.
“To have a second primary is just ridiculous and it would cost the tax payers money, plus there is voter fatigue. Getting people to vote on primaries is often difficult anyway. So why make them do it in June and August. Let’s just move it all together and do it in August,” said Laura Ladd Bierman, League of Women Voters of NY.
When asked, New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said at this point, he doesn’t think it’s feasible to do that.
“While it might seem cumbersome to have two primaries, it would be very cumbersome to start all the processes over with,” stated Langworthy.
One source told Capitol Correspondent, Jamie DeLine, there isn’t any talk whatsoever in the state legislature to have all of the primaries held on the same day.
So how much does it cost to have a primary in New York State? The state board of elections gives an estimate.
“The number we throw around for a full statewide primary is somewhere between $25-$30 million,” explained John Conklin, New York State Board of Elections Spokesperson. “But because this would be a district by district primary, and not every district will have a primary, it’s going to be some lesser number, or a subset of that number. There will not be a primary in every Congressional district and there won’t be a primary in every state Senate district.”
For the most part, primaries are paid for by county tax payers. Without the new maps, it’s unclear how much additional money this could cost counties like Albany.
“Albany County pays out money initially, but the cities and towns are charged back for those costs. So that could potentially bust the budgets of a lot of the cities and towns in the county,” explained Kathleen Donovan, Democratic Commissioner Albany County Board of Elections.
The new Senate and Congressional maps are expected to be issued by May 20th.