Yates lawmakers push for primary date change

Gwen Chamberlain

Yates County lawmakers are urging state officials to move the state’s September primary to the same date as the federal  primary in 2012.

The federal primary covers U.S. Senate and Congressional posts. It differs from the Super Tuesday Presidential Primary, set for April 24, explains Yates County Democratic Elections Commissioner Robert Brechko.

New York State still does not comply with the Federal MOVE act, which set standards in 2010 to ensure that primaries were held with enough time so ballots could be printed and shipped to voters who are overseas.

The state had previously been granted an extension to comply with the act, and is now being sued by the federal government to comply.

The act requires federal ballots to be set 45 days prior to a general election, in time for ballots to be mailed to voters who are overseas. The September state primary date would not give enough time for the sometimes drawn-out process to be completed, according to Brechko.

At its regular meeting on Monday, the Yates County Legislature unanimously approved a resolution requesting that the state move the September primary to the same date as the federal primary, perhaps in June. However, a federal judge could set the federal primary date in August, says Brechko.