Federal Judge Approves Moving New York Congressional Primary to August

Photo: Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge in Albany has ruled that the primary date for New York’s congressional districts can be moved from June 28 to August 23 in order to accommodate the drawing of new electoral maps.

U.S. district judge Gary Sharpe for the Northern District of New York decided against a federal lawsuit that was brought in an attempt to prevent the moving of the primary date and allow the current map to stand, citing the difficulty to adjust for overseas ballots were the date to change.

In his decision, Sharpe said ballots for overseas voters “shall be duly transmitted” for this new primary date and the general election in November.

In late April, the Court of Appeals ruled that the state’s newly approved congressional and State Senate maps were drawn in a partisan way because the state legislature didn’t follow proper constitutional protocol during the redistricting process. The judges determined that new maps had to be drawn by a neutral expert, a process that would require additional time and a delay to the previously scheduled June primary.

During the initial redistricting process, the State Legislature produced its own legislative and congressional maps after the independent redistricting commission’s failure to agree upon a final set of maps. The maps for the State Senate, Assembly, and U.S. House of Representatives were seen by many as biased in the favor of Democrats, resulting in an immediate legal challenge. The first judge to hear the case struck down all three maps, but subsequent appeals that saw the challenge move all the way to the nation’s highest court ultimately left the Assembly map intact.

The races for governor and for the State Assembly are still slated to be held on June 28 as originally planned.

Judge Approves Moving New York U.S. House Primary to August