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Elections commissioners write again in favor of June primary


With the state and federal governments locked in a court battle over when the 2012 primaries will be held, the Election Commissioners' Association has again written to the judge in the case asking for a June date.
Essentially, New York's September primary does not comply with a new federal law that requires sending absentee ballots to members of the military 45 days before an election. The feds want to move it no later than Aug. 18; the state wants a waiver again this year, like it got in 2010.
The election commissioners have written to the judge before, asking for the fourth Tuesday in June. A great many people are on vacation in August, so turnout could be depressed if an August date came to pass.
I spoke with Laura Costello, the president of the association, and she told me that the letter was sent because a new court hearing, before Judge Gary L. Sharpe, has been scheduled in federal court. Just sort of a, Hey, remember us? type deal.
Legislators, though, are concerned that a June primary would make half of their terms an election season. If you back the primary up to June, they have to be out in the dead of winter collecting petitions to get on ballots. And in New York state, that's budget time.
By the way, Ms. Costello told me that the court date has been moved. It's not Oct. 20, as stated in the letter, but Nov. 3.

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