Primary Date Problem

As we all recall, the attacks of September 11, 2001 happened on what was supposed to be Primary Day here in New York.

Since the election law still says that primaries are to be held on the first Tuesday in the week after Labor Day, this year, for the first time since that year, Primary Day is scheduled to be on September 11th.

I see a problem with that.

While this is an “off-year” in New York City, with not many election contests to be held, there are some. And outside of the City, some major positions are up for election this year (suburban & upstate County Executives, Mayors & County Legislators).

The media coverage of the anniversary of September 11th means that their will more limited than usual media coverage of election news right before the Primary this year. And what has become a fact of life – criticism in the media of any activity on September 11th that is not a memorial, many voters will be discouraged from voting on September 11th, depressing turnout to a degree much greater than usual.

This is not good and we should try to avoid it.

An earlier post by me urging that Primary Day be moved from September back to June seems to have had no effect on the political dialogue so I propose something more modest. For this year, and for any subsequent year when Primary Day will fall on September 11th, the Primary be moved forward one week to September 18th.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Any objections?