A lawsuit announced Thursday by the League of Women Voters seeks to combine the state's primary elections scheduled weeks apart due to the upheaval surrounding the redistricting process this year.
Currently, primary voters are set to vote in two separate elections: State Assembly and statewide primaries will remain June 28; the primary elections for the state Senate and congressional races has been moved to Aug. 23.
It's a potentially costly proposition for New York taxpayers. A full statewide primary usually costs as much as $30 million, and local elections officials have said more money will be needed to administer the additional election.
The organization's suit seeks to move the state Assembly and statewide primaries to Aug. 23 as well in order to save money and reduce voter confusion.
“The State Board of Elections, apparently with the support of the leaders of both major political parties, put in place a deliberately exclusionary electoral regime for statewide offices designed to limit further competition in the primary and from independent candidates in the general election," said Laura Ladd Bierman, the executive director of the League of Women Voters. "Our suit requests the Court to order the postponement of the statewide primary from June 28 to August 23, 2022 – the same date as State Senate and Congressional primaries -- and extend the deadline for gathering signatures for both the party primaries and independent candidates seeking to qualify for the general election.”
New York's redistricting woes have been the root of the two-primary problem this year. The state's highest court rejected the maps drawn by state lawmakers for the state Senate and U.S. House district boundaries as unconstitutional. Lawmakers took control of the process in February after a commission created through a voter-approved constitutional amendment failed to reach an agreement on the new lines.
A new set of maps by a court-appointed special master are set to be released on Friday and the draft lines released this week have already upended multiple races for Congress.
The League of Women Voters' suit alleges holding two primaries violates the U.S. Constitution's right to freedom of association.