State, local election commissioners respond to Harkenrider v. Hochul

Staff Reports

YATES COUNTY — Following the Court of Appeals’ decision in the case of Harkenrider v. Hochul, striking down redrawn congressional and state senate districts as having been gerrymandered by Democratic leaders, the Director of Public Information for the State Board of Elections issued the following statement regarding the case.  

“The attorneys for the State Board of Elections are reviewing today’s decision by the Court of Appeals in the Harkenrider v. Hochul case. The State Board staff stands ready to assist the Supreme Court in any way we are called upon to quickly develop a new Political Calendar for an August primary for the state Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. We do not foresee the June 28th primary changing for our statewide offices, the State Assembly, Judicial Delegates and Alternates and any local offices that are scheduled to be on the primary ballot.  Whatever adjustments need to be made to the ballot access process for candidates for Congress and State Senate for a new primary will be proposed to the court.  We will do everything in our power to inform the electorate to ensure a fair and accurate election for the voters of New York.” 

Yates County Board of Elections Commissioners Bob Brechko and Rob Schwarting followed with their own statement.

Democratic Election Commissioner Robert Brechko
Republican Election Commissioner Robert Schwarting

"A redistricting specialist has already begun working with the Supreme Court judge to propose a new redistricting plan for the N.Y.S. Senate and the U.S. Congress on or before May 24. Yates County does not have any local primary contests, but there are likely to be primary contest for State offices. If the Congressional and Senate redistricting attracts new candidates, there is likely to be a special primary in August, perhaps as late as Aug. 23. Details will be forthcoming.

"In the meanwhile, the Yates County BOE is working to incorporate new policies and procedures precipitated by recent changes to the State Election Law. The most significant changes are related to Voting with an Absentee Ballot. New state website electronic portals will provide individuals an easier path to obtain an absentee ballot for the June 28 primary, the August primary when scheduled, and the General Election Nov. 8.  More notices will be furnished as information becomes available."