Felder Proposes to Move 2018 Primary Day From Rosh Hashanah Safeguarding Voting Rights for Observers

February 06, 2018

A bill introduced in the Senate (S7386) by Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) and sponsored in the Assembly (A8917) by Robert Carroll (D- Brooklyn) would move this year’s primary elections to Thursday, September 13, 2018.

Held on the second Tuesday of the month, the primary elections this year coincide with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah and the National Day of Remembrance for the September 11th attacks. The bill moves the primary election from Tuesday to Thursday for this 2018 primary election, to guarantee all voters their right to vote.

“As soon as I saw the calendar, I was happy to do my part to ensure that New Yorkers, who would find it impossible, or difficult to do both, will be able to observe the holiday of Rosh Hashana, or the solemn Day of Remembrance, without concern,” said Senator Felder.

Primary day in New York has historically been of significant importance, with the primary winner often going on to win the general election. Recent Board of Elections statistics place the latest primary turnout at about 10%, but despite falling rates of voter turnout, the results were still solid predictors in the recent NYC elections for Mayor, Public Advocate and City Council primaries.

“This legislation helps to safeguard the inclusivity of our state’s electoral process by being mindful of the needs of every New Yorker,” said Assemblymember Robert Carroll. “September 11th is a significant day of remembrance and memorial for many New Yorkers and also coincides with the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah.”

“In the past, consideration has been given to large groups of voters who were unable to vote due to religious obligations and observances. I’m hopeful that this legislation will once again ensure all, who want, have an opportunity to cast their vote and participate in the electoral process,” expressed Assemblywoman Weinstein (D-Brooklyn).

“I am thankful to my colleague, Assemblymember Carroll, for sponsoring this legislation in the Assembly. We live in a great democracy where the right to vote is a privilege we shouldn’t take lightly and safeguarding that right is the job of good government,” said Senator Felder.