Politically Speaking

Greenburgh Supervisor wants primary for Congress & State Legislature held in September not August

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New York’s congressional and state Senate primary elections will be delayed until August, a judge ordered Friday, after a top court ruled that proposed districts for those races were invalid.

New York’s highest court struck down Democrat-drawn congressional and state senate districts on Wednesday, April 25th, in a 4-3 ruling, the Court of Appeals determined that the maps were “drawn with impermissible partisan purpose.” The court backed a lower court ruling calling for the use of a special master to draw new congressional districts, determining it would be necessary to “facilitate the expeditious creation of constitutionally conforming maps for use in the 2022 election and to safeguard the constitutionally protected right of New Yorkers to a fair election.”

“Prompt judicial intervention is both necessary and appropriate to guarantee the People’s right to a free and fair election,” said the court’s opinion, written by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore.

At least one local leader, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner doesn’t think the primary should be held in August but September.

“After the Court of Appeals tossed out the redistricting maps for Congressional and State Senate seats, the new date of the primary has been scheduled for August 23rd.  I think this is a form of voter suppression. I believe that the NYS Legislature should petition the court to authorize the primary date to be changed,” Feiner shared with Black Westchester. “The date of the primary should be held in September, not in August. Primaries in NYS used to be held in September.  August is a holiday month; many voters will be away on vacation or not paying attention to politics. They certainly will be less likely to watch a debate. An August primary date will result in reduced turnouts. Delaying the primary to mid or late September will provide candidates with an opportunity to have a better appreciation of the issues facing voters in their new district lines. There is not enough time between now and August for candidates to familiarize themselves with the leaders and issues in districts they have no familiarity with. Aren’t our elected officials supposed to be representatives of the people? How can you represent when you don’t know much about the district you want to represent?”

It will “likely be necessary,” former Westchester County District Attorney DiFiore wrote, to move the congressional and state Senate primary elections from June 28 to August, to give time for the maps to be redrawn and for candidates and elections officials to adapt their plans.

The state elections board said it didn’t anticipate that the primary date would change for other races, including governor and assembly.

Black Westchester has been talking about this on their weekly radio show People Before Politics Radio and most Democrats we spoke to say they weren’t worried primary would be pushed back and newly drawn lines wouldn’t stand, even if just for this year with any changes being applied to the next election.

I personally discussed this the past few weeks how this could affect candidates that have already begun campaigning in the new districts, despite being unsure whether those districts will still exist by the time voting begins. But was brushed off by most Democratic politicians, who seemed not to be worried about it.

A lot of political insiders feel the Dems may lose control of both houses in the upcoming Midterm Election. Now here we are, just what I anticipated could happen, has happened. How much this will affect Democratic control of the House of Representatives, now that is the question? Could Paul Feiner be right? Will an August primary lead to a low turnout? If so, could that be the point of it all for GOP, who are determined to win back both houses by any means necessary? The GOP do not do well when record number of voters come out and vote as the 2020 election has shown us.

Could this be another form of voter’s suppression as Feiner suggests? Basically, the Dems dropped the ball again on the five-yard line and gave the GOP the opening they were looking for. Now they plan to run it back for a touchdown and steal another win as they run out the clock.

Stay tuned to Black Westchester for all updates on this developing story! No matter the outcome this will be a game changer.

AJ Woodson

AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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1 comment

Stephanie S. Swann May 1, 2022 at 2:51 PM

This is a hot mess!! August is definitely the month for vacations and students leaving for their prospective schools; the votes from the young are gone!! We really slept on this one


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