New York State is poised to put voters through another needlessly expensive election year. Instead of taking the sensible route — one primary to pick party candidates and one general election to pick ultimate winners — New York is scheduled to have an extra primary. That means three elections when two are enough. The extra primary will cost state taxpayers $50 million for their trouble.
The Assembly was right to challenge this scenario with a bill providing for federal, state and local primaries on the fourth Tuesday in June (the 24th this year). That gives officials plenty of time to count ballots and announce nominees for the November general election. It also allows the state to comply with federal law that requires primaries to be held early enough so that troops overseas can get ballots and mail them back in time to be counted.
The Senate, however, has yet to agree to a single June primary. Its members want a federal primary in June and a separate state and local primary (which would include their own primary elections) in September. It’s been that way for 40 years, and the Senate, which is now almost evenly divided between the two major parties, seems intent on resisting change.