CANTON -- St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators Chairman Jonathan Putney says failure by the state legislature to consolidate primary federal and election dates will cost the county between $60,000 and $150,000.
Putney said the board passed a resolution requesting state legislators to consolidate primary federal and election dates at a February meeting. He said all legislators present voted for the resolution.
“Had our state legislators acted on the request to select one date for all federal and state and local primaries taxpayers would have been able to save anywhere between $60,000 to $150,000,” he said in the statement. “Consider how much money could have been saved across the state.”
Beyond the financial costs for elections, which are passed on to local governments, Putney said there are other reasons to have consolidated dates for primaries.
“Voters are currently inconvenienced and confused with multiple primary dates. Voting should be convenient and if we had a single date for our primaries voter participation rates would probably climb,” he said.
Putney said the state’s lack of effort to pass the bipartisan bill has made life more difficult for local officials.
“This is one unfunded mandate that state legislators from both sides of the aisle could have easily solved by having a few conversations with each other and compromising one date,” he said. “Instead local elected officials are left to explain to constituents yet again this year that many of their costs are outside of their control and local taxpayers are left with another bill to pay with limited property tax dollars.”