ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – New York will be moving its presidential primary due to the coronavirus pandemic. Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday that the April 28 primary will move moved to June 23, when a number of other federal, state and local elections are being held.
He said it just makes sense when officials are trying to limit the spread of the virus.
“I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing a lot of people to one location to vote. A lot of people touching one door knob, a lot of people touching one pen, whatever you call the new device on the ballots,” Cuomo told reporters.
There also had been two special elections scheduled for April 28 in the Rochester area and Western New York, one for the 27th Congressional District and another for the 136th Assembly District, and a top aide to Cuomo, Melissa DeRosa, indicated those elections will be moved to June as well.
Cuomo also said the deadline for filing NYS income taxes will be moved to July 15, which will match the decision to move the federal deadline as well.
During his Saturday briefing Cuomo said that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York state has topped 52,000, and the number of deaths from the virus has risen to 728. One brighter spot was that the number of patients admitted to hospital ICUs since Friday was down, but the governor said he is looking for data from a longer term trend.
Cuomo also talked about the need for hospital systems around the state to work together when dealing with COVID-19 patients, and he indicated it is possible at some point in the future it may be necessary to move patients from one part of the state to another, if a particular area is getting overwhelmed with cases.
And the governor also emphasized that the fight against the coronvirus will be a long-term situation. “This is not a sprint my friends, this is a marathon.”