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League of Women Voters Sues to Align Primary Date

Wed, 05/25/2022 - 19:02

The League of Women Voters of New York State filed a lawsuit in New York State Supreme Court on Friday, seeking the postponement of State Assembly primary elections from June 28 to Aug. 23 in order to align with the State Senate and congressional primaries.

The congressional and State Senate primaries were postponed after Republicans complained that new district maps drawn by the Democratic-dominated State Legislature constituted gerrymandering. A State Supreme Court judge agreed, declaring all of the maps unconstitutional and appointing a neutral expert to draw new maps. The State Court of Appeals also sided with the Republican complainants. But Republicans did not challenge maps for the State Assembly, so the primary election for those seats was not postponed.

The League of Women Voters' complaint states that the State Board of Elections unlawfully certified the primary ballot for the Assembly because it relied on redistricting maps that the Court of Appeals stated were invalidly promulgated. It names officials of the Board of Elections as defendants.

“The Court of Appeals explicitly stated that the Assembly maps suffered from the same flawed process that led the court to invalidate the congressional and State Senate maps, but for procedural reasons did not invalidate the Assembly maps," Laura Ladd Bierman, the league's executive director, said in a statement on Monday. "In combination with our federal lawsuit filed last week to postpone the primary for statewide offices to Aug. 23, the league is seeking to align all of the primaries on one date, which will increase voter turnout, minimize voter confusion, and save New York localities tens of millions of dollars."

Primary elections for governor, lieutenant governor, state attorney general, and state comptroller are also scheduled for June 28. The league has asked the court to move those elections to Aug. 23 as well, "thereby aligning the primary election date with the adjourned primary election dates for the State Senate and U.S. Congress”

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