NY Legislature OKs Moving Primary Off Rosh Hashanah

ALBANY -

The state Senate on Tuesday joined the Assembly in voting to change the date of this year’s primary from Rosh Hashanah, moving it to two days later.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Simcha Felder and in the Assembly by Bobby Carroll, comes weeks after the unusual schedule was discovered. It moves the Sept. 11 primary to a rare Thursday election. The bills also mentioned a conflict with 9/11, a presidentially declared national day of remembrance.

The legislation now heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desk; he is expected to sign it.

The primary features all statewide ballots, including Gov. Cuomo and his running mate. So far, Gov. Cuomo faces token opposition, but Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is expected to face a stiff challenge by Councilman Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.

The primary election is constitutionally required to be held on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in September before a general election.

A date change would not be without precedent. In September 2007, the legislature changed the date of the primary. Already this year, states such as Massachusetts and Rhode Island have moved their primaries due to the conflict with Rosh Hashanah.

“We live in a great democracy where the right to vote is a privilege we don’t take lightly,” Felder said in a statement. “Today, we have done our part to guarantee all voters their right to vote.”