Less primaries mean more for New York voters
Voters came out to vote in Astoria, NY. Photo courtesy of Schneps Media
For all the talk about how
important it is for all of us to
vote, Queens continues to perform
lousily when it comes to
participating in her democracy,
with a reported 13 percent
turnout in February’s
public advocate special election
and a similar rate in
June’s district attorney primary.
The pivotal 2020 elections
loom large, though they’re
still more than a year away.
It’ll come down to turnout, as
it always does, and if Queens
voters want to change things
in their city, state and country,
they need to show up when the
polls are open and make themselves
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, S 12 EPTEMBER 20-26, 2019 BTR
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As our eyes turn to the competitive
primary, New York state
has positioned itself to hold a
critical primary on April 28.
The primary date was fi xed
through legislation sponsored
by state Senator Michael Gianaris
and signed last week by
In signing the bill, however,
Cuomo called on the state Legislature
to go a step further
and pass legislation moving
up all primary races in New
York state next year — which
are currently set for June — to
coincide with the April presidential
It makes all the sense in
Consolidating the primaries
to a single day will save
the taxpayers tens of millions
of dollars. It will also maximize
turnout in the state with
the presidential primary having
Right now, there are more
than a dozen Democrats running
for president, and by the
time New York’s primary rolls
around, it fi gures that the fi eld
will be whittled down to a precious
few — perhaps three to
fi ve. If recent history is any indicator,
chances are by April
28, 2020, no one Democrat will
have won enough delegates to
secure the nomination outright.
So we can expect that the
New York primary will be
competitive, and the passionate
fan bases for each candidate
will bring their passion
to the primary and spark both
interest and turnout.
That will help candidates
down the primary ballot by
giving them the opportunity
to win over more voters in
April who might not necessarily
be as inclined to show up
and vote in a standalone primary
Consolidating the primaries
is another of the many
much-needed steps that New
York state can take to get people
to the polls. This fall, for
the fi rst time in our history,
early voting will be available
to New Yorkers who can cast
their ballots up to two weeks
ahead of the November 5 general
Even more progress can be
made if the state would consider
and pass legislation to
enact same-day voter registration,
secure online voting and
even ranked choice voting, in
which voters can select from a
fi eld of candidates in their order
Let’s not allow this opportunity
to boost New York’s democracy
pass us by!