NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently joined with his Senate colleagues to change September’s state primary election date to the 13th from the 11th – a switch that will ensure the political contests won’t interfere with remembrances of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the observance of Rosh Hashanah. The legislation (S.7597/A.8917) has already passed the State Assembly and will soon go to the Governor for his approval.
“Participating in primary elections is a vitally important part of having a voice in our democracy, but it is also critical that residents of New York have the opportunity to participate in September 11th remembrance ceremonies and observe the most meaningful of religious holidays,” said Addabbo. “Moving the primary election to Thursday, September 13th from Tuesday, September 11th will accommodate three goals: removing conflicts potentially affecting voter participation, honoring the memories of those who perished on 9/11, and ensuring that our Jewish friends and neighbors are able to freely celebrate their New Year holidays, which run from September 9th through the 11th.”
Addabbo noted this is not the first time state primary election dates have been shifted to reflect religious observances – including the Jewish holiday of Shavuot – and the anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks in New York City.
“As many of us remember all too well, the date of the terrorist attacks in Manhattan in 2001 fell on the same day as the New York City mayoral primary, requiring the election to be rescheduled,” said Addabbo. “It was a very tragic and life-changing day for all of us across New York City and the nation, and reserving September 11th purely as a day of reflection and remembrance allows us all to continue healing and moving forward.”
Moving the primary date from September 11, 2018 to September 13, 2018 will also affect deadlines for petitioning and other election operations. The Senator was hopeful that the State primary date could have been moved to June, to coincide with the federal primary date of June 26, 2018. Addabbo also mentioned that an early voting program in our state could have resolved the primary date issue.