Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
Rescheduling a primary requires an act of the State Legislature.
By Michael V. Cusenza
At least two elected officials are calling for 2018 Primary Day to be rescheduled. It’s currently set for Tuesday, Sept. 11.
Assemblywoman Stacey Pheffer Amato (D-Howard Beach) and City Comptroller Scott Stringer noted that the date coincides with the second day of the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah. Because of certain restrictions associated with the High Holy Day, Sept. 11 could be problematic for observant Jews who wish to participate in the electoral process.
Pheffer Amato also pointed out that the date marks the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the United States.
“Every New Yorker deserves to be able to vote,” she added. “Sept. 11 is a significant day of remembrance and memorial for many New Yorkers and also coincides with the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah. Accommodations for religious observances such as this should be a no-brainer. Rosh Hashanah is one of the holiest days on the Jewish calendar, and those who observe it should not be forced to choose their religious obligations over the civic right to vote.”
Stringer stated bluntly, “It’s wrong, and it needs to change.”
“At a time when voter engagement is exceptionally low, New York needs to do better by rescheduling the primary, so no New Yorker has to sacrifice fulfilling one’s civic duty because of adherence to one’s faith,” he added.
Since rescheduling a primary requires an act of the Legislature, the State Senate and Assembly have drawn up measures that would establish New York’s 2018 Primary Day as Thursday, Sept. 13.