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Judge moves congressional, State Senate primaries to August

Primary Dates WEB

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — The Steuben County judge overseeing the redrawing of New York’s congressional and State Senate maps has ordered that primary elections for those races to be held in August.

The decision came two days after the state’s highest court ordered the lower court to create new maps for congressional and State Senate districts, ruling that the old lines were improperly approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and drawn with partisan intent.

The court left State Assembly districts intact.

In the order issued Friday afternoon, Judge Patrick McAllister set Aug. 23 as the date for State Senate and congressional primary elections. The New York State Board of Elections wrote in a letter to the court Thursday that such a date would give county boards enough time to prepare and mail absentee ballots.

The state's primary elections were supposed to be held on June 28. The judge’s order left all other races scheduled for that date in place, though he did acknowledge that the state Legislature may change them to coincide with the rescheduled State Senate and congressional races.

McAllister appointed Carnegie Mellon University Professor Jonathan Cervas as special master charged with drawing the new maps. The court set a deadline of May 20 to adopt the new maps.

The judge noted in his order Friday that the court will provide additional details on ballot access at a later time.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.