VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — A judge in Steuben County has implemented a timeline and adjusted the requirements for candidates to appear on the primary ballot for congressional and state Senate primaries, to be held on Aug. 23.
The decision came the same day the judge denied two attempts to intervene in the ongoing legal proceedings over New York’s legislative maps. The proposed interventions sought to also invalidate the district lines for state Assembly, which were never challenged in Republicans’ initial lawsuit over the maps.
Judge Patrick McAllister wrote in his decision that he believes the Assembly lines are unconstitutional, but the attempts to intervene in the lawsuit came too late and are better suited as their own legal proceeding.
“This court agrees with the potential intervenors Greenberg and Wax that the Assembly maps were unconstitutional in the manner in which they were enacted,” McAllister wrote. “However, the question is whether or not permitting intervention at this time in this action is timely.”
Attorneys for both of the parties – political activist Gary Greenberg and New York Young Republican Club President Gavin Wax – did not respond to WSKG’s inquiry into whether they would file separate lawsuits to invalidate the Assembly maps. Greenberg tweeted Wednesday that he’s reviewing options.
The judge’s decision on the potential challenge to the Assembly and adoption of a calendar leading up to the rescheduled congressional and state Senate primary settles many of the questions casting a shadow of uncertainty over New York’s elections for the past few weeks.
Under McAllister’s order, candidates for state Senate and Congress that already filed designating petitions to appear on major party primary ballots, prior to the maps being invalidated, do not have to submit new signatures.
A new petitioning period will open beginning May 21, the day after new maps are supposed to be finalized, for any other candidates trying to get onto a primary ballot. That period will close June 10. The number of signatures has also been lowered from 1,200 to 1,062 for congressional candidates and from 1,000 to 850 for state Senate candidates.
Independent nominating petitions for Congress and state Senate can be collected beginning May 21 and must be filed by July 5.
All other primaries, including races for state Assembly, governor and U.S. Senate, will take place on June 28 as originally scheduled.