In State of Politics, Nick Reisman reports “the coronavirus pandemic is leading to calls to expand New York’s criteria for absentee ballot access ahead of the June 23 primary.
Thousands of New Yorkers are expected at the polls in June to cast ballots in primaries and special elections.
It promises to be a busy day.”
The State Board of Elections has published new calendars for the 2020 political calendar year and for the June 23rd presidential primary. They can be accessed here:
2020 Political Calendar REV 04.06.2020 (EO202.13)2020 Presidential Primary Calendar v 04.03.2020 (V4)
The state budget aid to localities bill included $10 million in new funding for Census 2020 outreach efforts and reappropriated $20 million never spent on the census from last year’s budget. The state was set to begin distributing $15 million of that funding in early March, only to be further delayed by the pandemic outbreak.
Each county in the state was invited to submit applications for a pre-set share of funds they would pass down to pre-qualified non-profit organizations by March 2nd. Despite late efforts to move the money in mid-March to localities, no funds have yet been allocated to counties and non-profit organizations.
While the same legislative language used last year to permit the Division of the Budget to move the funds through Empire State Development’s budget, it’s unknown at this time when last year’s funds will ever be distributed or what will happen with the new funding.
The census is now underway, with 36.1% of the state’s households responding via the internet or telephone. The national response rate is now 41.3% and Minnesota has already hit the 49.9% response rate, highest in the nation. Due to the pandemic, the census counting period has been extended to August 14 and may go even later as the Census Bureau works to meet a statutory December 31 deadline for congressional reapportionment state population totals and stats district allocations.
Susan Arbetter reported yesterday in New York State Of Politics that “After weeks of speculation, Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced Saturday New York’s presidential primary would be delayed until from April 28 to June 23.
The change means that the state’s presidential, congressional and legislative primaries will all fall on the same date.
“Ironically, I had been advocating to have it on that date anyway,” Cuomo said during his daily press briefing.”
From a letter sent to state legislators:
“Today the NYS Elections Commissioner Association sent a press release calling for the postponement of the April 28th primary until June 23rd, expanded use of absentee ballots, and leeway to administer the elections in June because of the COVID-19 health crisis.
The Democratic Caucus of Commissioners in addition endorses moving the postponed March 18th village elections to June 16th and the special elections scheduled for April 28th to June 23rd. See the attached press release.
Thank you and be safe,
NYSECA Democratic Caucus Chair
Onondaga County Elections Commissioner (D)”
Nick Reisman reports in NY State of Politics “For now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his team have not considered backing any plans to move New York’s presidential primary away from April 28.
But Cuomo on Friday for the first time acknowledged the collecting of petition signatures for candidates in New York, due April 1, presents a problem for those running for office and their staff who go door to door to collect those signatures.
It’s not clear what New York will do to change that deadline amid the spread of a virus and social distancing efforts.”
As reported in today’s NY Post by Bernadette Hogan and and Carl Campanile, “a state judge ruled Thursday that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature broke the law last year when they punted an overhaul of the state’s election laws and campaign finance regulations to an unelected panel.
Niagara County Supreme Court Justice Ralph Boniello declared in an 11-page ruling that the law — which was tucked in last year’s state budget — amounted to “an improper and unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.””