NY primary date could change
Lawmakers could make a change to this year's political calendar in order to avoid holding a primary on one of the most sensitive dates of the year. Our Nick Reisman explains.
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NEW YORK STATE -- New York's party primary is scheduled to fall on the 11th anniversary of the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor and that's not sitting well with state lawmakers who say September 11 should be kept sacrosanct.
“We're coming up to the 11th anniversary of September 11th and people should focus on that rather than being bombarded with telephone calls about getting out to vote and a doorbells ringing about getting out to vote,” Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver said.
State lawmakers want to change the scheduled primary from September 11 to two days later, September 13th. The proposal already passed the Republican-led Senate and will be taken up in the Democratic-controlled Assembly next week. The change dredges up mixed emotions.
“You really want to keep it on September 11 so those murderers don't win,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said.
It was police, firefighters and victims’ families who requested the change.
Skelos said, “They indicated to me and they're right that this is such a personal thing for police, firefighters, so many people in this state and obviously in this country, memorial services that will go on forever, that they just asked if we could change it to the 13th and I think it's a very reasonable request and we'll do it.”
Lawmakers could not agree on having a single date for federal and state elections this year. A federal judge set June 26 for Congressional party primaries in order to comply with a law governing access to military ballots.
“Wait until the voters find out that the money that's going to have to be put out for a primary in September didn't need to happen,” said Barbara Bartoletti, League of Women Voters Legislative Director.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's office says he's reviewing the legislation. September 11 is not a federal holiday, but officials have been wary of holding political events on the anniversary. New York City was actually holding a mayoral primary on the day of the 2001 attacks, which was rescheduled.