New York Assembly Passes Bill Moving Independent Candidate Petition Deadline from August to May

On May 15, the New York Assembly passed AB 3052 by 127-16. Among other things, it moves the deadline for independent candidate petition deadlines from August to May. Here is the text; see section 13, subdivision 9, of the bill, at the bottom of page seven. The bill sets the deadline at 23 weeks, which means it would always be between May 25 and May 31.

That deadline would be held unconstitutional under Anderson v Celebrezze, which said that states cannot have such early petition deadlines, especially not for president. Deadlines in May or later months have been struck down in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, Nevada, Rhode Island, and South Dakota.

The bill’s author, Assemblymember Michael Cusick, claims the provision is needed to comply with the federal law that requires overseas ballots to be mailed no later than 45 days before any federal election. This is an absurd thing to say. No state can print its general election ballot until the major parties hold their presidential conventions, which range between mid-July and the first week in September. Furthermore the bill sets the New York primary (for office other than president) on the fourth day of June, and obviously the general election ballot can’t be printed before the primary.

New York is in the Second Circuit. There are no Second Circuit precedents because no state in the Third Circuit have ever had such early deadlines. The only three states in the Second Circuit are New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. The latter two states have August petition deadlines for independent candidates and the nominees of unqualified parties.


New York Assembly Passes Bill Moving Independent Candidate Petition Deadline from August to May — 2 Comments

  1. What a ridiculous excuse for trying to suppress independent candidates.
    If they need to be mailed out 45 days before the election, then that would be mid-September. Do they honestly expect people to buy that they need three or four months to process an independent candidate, yet are just fine processing a major party candidate in a few weeks.
    Hopefully this law doesn’t get passed or it’s challenged and overturned by the courts.

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