NYC
03/15/2011 01:43 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Election Commissioners Push For More Time Between Primary And General Elections

The Election Commissioners' Association is looking to move the date of New York State's primary contests from September to June.

The ECA recently wrote Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a letter explaining the rational behind pushing back the primaries, including the need to satisfy the federal MOVE act which requires military members to receive their ballots 45 days before the general election.

"By having the primary elections move to the last week of June, it gives us enough time to be able to certify the results and for all the court challenges that come after that - [and] meet the MOVE Act," said J.C. Polanco, a Bronx Republican and president of the city Board of Elections.

Polanco said the move would solve several problems, especially issues arising from the state's faulty voting machines.

Last September, machines malfunctioned, causing chaos at several polling stations.

Election lawyer and former Senate Democratic Leader Martin Connor said Silver, Gov. Cuomo and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos need to take charge of an effort to hold primaries in June.

"I've been saying, 'Hey, guys, we've got an emergency here.' If it's left up to the Legislature, they're not going to move because they don't want a June primary, and we're going to have one of these years where the whole system collapses," Connor said. "Nobody wants a federal court setting an election calendar. I think most of the individual legislators are in denial."

And while the move would be good for troops overseas, it could also potentially have a negative effect on current lawmakers looking for reelection. As the Daily Politics points out, legislators are often tied up in the months leading up to June, so primary challengers can be raising funds and rallying supporters while incumbents are stuck in Albany, trying to hammer out a budget.