Wolfe Seeks Support for Consolidation of State Primary Elections



New City, NY  (February 18, 2014) – Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden H. Wolfe has asked NYS Senator David Carlucci to support moving state and local primary elections to June of each year, amove that would consolidate state, local and federal primaries to one date.


Presently, primaries for federal offices are held on the fourth Tuesday in June and state and local primaries are held on the second Tuesday in September.  The September date makes it difficult to comply with a federal law that requires ballots for military and overseas voters to be sent at least 45 days before the general election.  The NYS Assembly passed a bill to move state primaries to coincide with the June federal primary date.  However, Senate Republicans have introduced a bill to move the date to the third Tuesday in August, concerned that a June primary would interrupt the final state legislative session.  


“Moving the state primary date to coincide with the federal date is simply common sense,” stated Chairman Wolfe.  “Our county spends roughly $500,000 per primary, all of which are local dollars paid for by our residents.  Holding two separate primaries with two separate costs will only serve to hurt the taxpayers.”


Wolfe points out that voters go to the polls many times a year to vote in village, school, library and fire department elections.  He adds that New York’s primary voter turn-out ranks seventh lowest in the nation and fears that an August date will result in even lower voter response.


“We need to simplify the voting process, not arbitrarily complicate it,” said Wolfe. 



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Mike Hirsch February 21, 2014 at 09:05 AM
Where do Alden Wolfe and David Carlucci stand on the slaughterhouse? Are they for or against? I believe they've both been silent on the issue. Legislator Zebrowski and County Exec Day are both against, as is Alex Gromack. Unfortunately, most of our elected representatives have remained silent on this issue. It's time for them to say publicly if they are for or against.
Charles Clewsow February 21, 2014 at 09:27 AM
Is this all this guy has to offer? How about something to lower our out of control taxes.?
Lanimilbus February 21, 2014 at 10:23 AM
How about actually commenting on the article? Charles, do you support having two separate primaries for federal and state races? If anything, there should be greater consolidation of elections - library, school board/budgets, and part-time service villages. By consolidating primaries, local Boards of Election would save millions of dollars statewide. It would also provide for an increase in turnout, particularly for the elections like school, library, and part-time villages. By moving the primary election up to June, you also improve the ability for military service men and women to participate fully in the November election. Currently, our September Primary, if there are court challenges and the recounting of ballots before certification, military members may not receive, in a timely fashion, their absentee ballot. The main obstacle to a June primary is the state legislative session, which runs into June. If petitions are beginning in March, it forces incumbent legislators to, if challenged, to campaign during the legislative session. This was evidenced last cycle, when many Senators and Members of the Assembly forsook the legislative session to campaign for Congressional seats. The solution to this would be more four and five day legislative session weeks earlier in the calendar year, enabling the legislature to adjourn in April; or, there could be a break in the legislative session, with members returning in the summer after the Primary but before the General Election season. A June primary would also enable the Presidential Primary to be combined instead of a costly separate election, though the consequence would be reduced influence in the Presidential nominating process for a state already with limited general election influence.
Mike Hirsch February 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM
Lani, of course this is a good idea, as you've stated. This is an old article. Unfortunately Patch is going downhill and the current editor is probably covering too much ground to do her job well. Patch is still a community forum, so I don't see anything wrong with members of the community commenting on whatever interests them. Especially since Patch isn't putting much out there these days.
Fairness4All February 22, 2014 at 08:27 AM
I think Wolfe is right. The amount of money spent per election is crazy. Also, voters cannot keep all the dates straight, or even which polling location to go to for each election. I also agree that the August date is wrong...too many on vacation. I think the election should be in May. The reason school elections are held in May is to get the budgets in place for the fiscal year beginning July 1st.
Lanimilbus February 22, 2014 at 01:00 PM
Then write a blog about the topic that concerns you, in this case the chicken slaughter house. Keeping topics germane to the subject at hand is important. You're questioning of where Wolfe stands on an issue seems to be directed at diminishing a positive idea, the consolidation of elections. And Day has countering stances on the issues of over development: he says he's against the slaughter house and continued development among Rockland's Hasidic/Orthodox communities, yet supports United Water's desalination plant - if he didn't support the plant, why is he taking campaign contributions from United Water's PAC?
Lanimilbus February 22, 2014 at 01:03 PM
And Patch isn't a community forum - it's a business designed to earn ad revenue for AOL/Time Warner/Comcast. It's lack of profitability is the reason for it's declining staff.
Charles Clewsow February 22, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Wolfe has been inthe Legislature for 6-8 years during which our taxes have risen to astronomical levels. The County is almost bankrupt and our bond rating near junk. The Democrats in leadership in the Legislature have rubber stamped the fraudulent budgets of Scott Vanderhoef year after year. While the timing of elections is important, it is very low on the hierarchy of taxpayer needs. He seems to be continuing in the tradition of do nothings Cornell and Schoenberger while taxpayers continue to suffer.
Charles Clewsow February 22, 2014 at 09:43 PM
Taxpayer hierarchy of needs begins with 1/ Lower taxes, 2/ Zero based Balanced budgets, 3/ reigning in unbridled development4/ End of patronage positions 4/ Rightsizing County employment 5/ Ending gilt edge benefit programs 6/ Ending fraud in our welfare and Medicaid programs. These all come ahead of Whenwe hold elections so Wolfe is off to a very slow start as Chair of the Legislature and it is very disappointing.
Lanimilbus February 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM
Zero-based budgeting cannot work when a vast majority of your budgetary outlays are mandates. The conservative-leaning paper Our Town ripped Day for thinking it can work in government. And low and behold, Day still employs patronage. Patronage is any job that's filled outside of civil service and oversight. In fact, he's just keeping Vanderhoef's old guard. What a surprise.
Michael N. Hull February 23, 2014 at 07:31 AM
Mike Hirsch. Are you trying to 'subliminally' wander off topic when Lanimilbus or 'Subliminal' (backwards) wanders off your backwards topic? ;-)
Charles Clewsow February 23, 2014 at 08:57 AM
When you are dying of thirst, (out of control taxes)it is unlikely that your first request would be a meatball hero or a new car. (election dates). But the Wolf is now watching the henhouse....so....instead of going after Fraud in Medicaid and Gilt edge benefit programs that make up the MANDATES ...he chooses lesser targets. The process of zero based budgeting is part of a total package of going after out of control spending which includes mandates. Even if a local newspaper says it ain't so.
Charles Clewsow February 23, 2014 at 09:00 AM
"Patronage is any job that's filled outside of civil service and oversight. In fact, he's just keeping Vanderhoef's old guard. What a surprise."....... The show has just begun Lamebus....acceptance is the answer to all of your problems.
Charles Clewsow February 23, 2014 at 09:40 AM
"Zero-based budgeting cannot work when a vast majority of your budgetary outlays are mandate"....The Democratic Governor Cuomo has said a 2% tax cap is workable....so zero based is really only that extra 2%.....or close to it anyway...Is Cuomo stupid or just being deceptive in your mind, Lamebus.
Mike Hirsch February 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Michael, whenever any elected official makes the news, on whatever topic, I will ask them if they are for or against the slaughterhouse, because that is what I am interested in right now. Most of them have remained silent. All they have to do is answer the question, and I will stop asking. I agree with a lot of what Charles has to say. While consolidation of primaries is of course A good idea, let our elected officials take on some tougher (and more harmful) issues.
Lanimilbus February 24, 2014 at 11:26 AM
Never said I support Cuomo or the property tax cap - in fact, I believe the property tax cap, pushed by Senate Republicans and Cuomo, was a pure gimmick. Making local government investments in infrastructure or whatnot shouldn't be subject to Albany's authority. What does an Upstate Senator or Downstate Member of the Assembly know about each other's economic situations. But the real issue of the article is the consolidation of elections - something that should also be tied in with ballot access and campaign finance reform. The governor's proposal to eliminate Wilson-Pukula's, basically making all elections like judicial elections (which already don't require Wilson-Pukula permission), won't improve anything. In fact, it would probably lead to more strategic registration efforts like you see already in Rockland. The better solution would be eliminating fusion voting (cross-party endorsements), while reducing petition thresholds and increasing permissible errors, and maintaining contribution limits. I say maintaining contribution limits because eliminating fusion voting would have the same function as a reduction in limits, owing to the fact that candidates actively seeking a third-party line are permitted to raise up to $1000 per minor line, more if registration in that party exceeds $0.05 per voter.
Charles Clewsow February 24, 2014 at 11:37 AM
None of that will reduce the burden on taxpayers which should be the first item on the Agenda. Wolfe should work along with the Day Administration to right size government, cut fraud, stop overdevelopment and lower taxes. The minority parties have lost their effectiveness with the new Rockland Preservation party and just maydisentegrate on their own.
Mike Hirsch February 24, 2014 at 01:32 PM
David Carlucci will be on WRCR radio 1300AM tomorrow morning on the Steve and Charlie show. Please call in (362-0013) and ask him if he is for or against the slaughterhouse, or if he intends to continue to remain silent on the issue. Legislator Zebrowski could use his help at the Statehouse in his fight to get the grant rescinded.
Mike Hirsch February 24, 2014 at 01:38 PM
Assemblyman Zebrowski.
Defender February 24, 2014 at 03:08 PM
Isn't it Meredith now, not Charlie?
Lanimilbus February 24, 2014 at 11:33 PM
Charles, Preserve isn't a real political party. No one is registered to vote as Preserve Ramapo/Rockland - most, particularly in Ramapo, are registered Democrats. If anything, it's further proof of what needs to be changed. If you're a Republican, run as a Republican. If you're a Democrat, run as a Democrat. No candidate should have more than ballot line - Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal. The ability to have the nomination of multiple parties is what gives us Gromack and St. Lawrence. Rent is Too Damn High is more of a political party than Preserve - they at least have members who aren't committee members in other political parties.
Mike Hirsch February 25, 2014 at 02:29 PM
Yes Charlie, it is. Thank you. David Carlucci went on record publicly today that he is opposed to the slaughterhouse. Alden Wolfe, are you prepared to join your fellow Democrats Zebrowski, Carlucci and Gromack and Phillips in opposition or do you intend to remain silent?


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