Local political calendar gets cramped with new rules

While national political attention may be on the 2020 election cycle, local elections will be in the news in 2019, with all 14 Yates County Legislature seats on the Nov. 5 ballot, along with Yates County Sheriff, County Clerk, and Coroner, and 44 town offices (see list on page 11).

But the new twist in the 2019 local election year has local election officials and potential candidates working to meet some new deadlines, since the primary election date has been moved from the traditional early September to June 25, the fourth Tuesday in June.

Yates County Election Commissioners Robert Brechko (D) and Amy Daines (R) say their office has lost 11 weeks of time that is usually devoted to preparation for the state and local primary with the change, but they are confident they and their staff can handle the challenge.

At the root of the new dates is New York State’s plans to have election changes in place before the 2020 General Election. Those changes include providing early voting, and ensuring no voter waits longer than 30 minutes to cast a ballot. New York’s changes were made in response to new federal requirements extending the time for preparation of military ballots to 45 days before a general election.

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