Wednesday, June 24, 2015

April 19 Presidential Primary Bill Passes New York Assembly

The New York Assembly on Wednesday, June 24 passed S5958, moving one step closer to scheduling the presidential primary in the Empire state for April 19.

The Assembly version (A8310) of the April 19 bill was taken up after being moved from the Election Law Committee to Rules and added to the calendar. On the Assembly floor, A8310 was replaced by the state Senate-passed version and then passed by the Assembly.

All this after former Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, announced yesterday that the April 19 date had been agreed to to avert a conflict with the Passover holiday a week later (on April 26). If signed into law by Governor Cuomo, S5958 would move the New York presidential primary to a spot on the calendar where the contest would stand alone.

This would cost the New York Democratic delegation a 15% delegate bonus for clustering contests with Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. By moving, New York would cost Connecticut and Rhode Island their chance at the same clustering bonus. Under the rules set forth in the Democratic Call to the Convention, three neighboring states are required for a state to qualify for the bonus. While Connecticut and Rhode Island lose out due to the potential New York shift, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania continue to qualify so long as Pennsylvania maintains its position. Legislation in the Keystone state would move the Pennsylvania primary to March 15.

Despite that loss, New York Democrats would still receive a 10% delegate bonus for holding an April primary.

The Republican National Committee does not include any delegate bonuses in its rules.

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