Onondaga County on Friday officially filed a lawsuit against New York over the new state law that will move many local elections to line up with state and federal elections in even-numbered years.

The Republican-controlled county legislature has made clear over the last few months its intention to challenge the new law, arguing it conflicts with the county's charter. Twenty New York counties are chartered, meaning they have a locally drafted and approved laws outlining the structure and authority of county government.

The law moves several local elections outside of New York City to even-numbered years, with the exception of some city or village elections, and races for county clerk, sheriff, district attorneys, local judges and others protected in the state Constitution.

The state Legislature passed the legislation in June and Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law in December. Transitioning elections is scheduled to start in 2025. Advocates argue the change will boost voter turnout in local elections. They also say the state law includes language to supersede any county charter laws. 

Opponents have also voiced concern with local issues getting overshadowed by races at the top of the ballot.


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