Governor Cuomo signs law to change presidential primary date

Albany, N.Y., July 19—Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats), chairman of the Senate Elections Committee, to move New York’s presidential primary election day from the first Tuesday in February to Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

The new law (S.5753/A.8363, Chapter 147 of the Laws of 2011) is also being enacted to ensure that New York complies with the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which Congress approved in 2009 and that, among other provisions, requires ballots be transmitted to overseas and military voters at least 45 days before elections.

“I’m glad to work with Governor Cuomo and legislative colleagues from both parties to ensure that next year’s political calendar will take the steps we need to take to comply with federal law, ensure accessibility and effectiveness for our servicemen and servicewomen, and encourage participation for as many voters as possible,” said O’Mara, who’s serving his first term in the Senate.  He sponsored legislation earlier this year, which was also approved by the Legislature and signed into law by the governor, to ensure that special elections in New York provide more time for military absentee ballots to be mailed and counted.

In 2008, the state held its presidential primary along with 21 other states on so-called “Super Tuesday” in February.

Next year’s presidential primary will be held on the same day as primaries are held in neighboring states including Pennsylvania and Connecticut.