[Image courtesy of longislandpress]
On Friday, January 27 federal judge Gary Sharpe issued an order in the Department of Justice's suit against New York to enforce the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act of 2009.
In his order, Judge Sharpe followed the recommendation of the state's election commissioners and ordered that the non-presidential (Congressional) primary occur
no later than 35 days prior to the 45-day advance deadline set by the MOVE Act for transmitting ballots to the State's military and overseas voters, i.e., at least 80 days before the November 6, 2012 federal general election. In 2012, that date shall be June 26, 2012. [emphasis added]
With the order, the focus of the long-running saga regarding New York's compliance with the MOVE Act now shifts to what this order means for the state primary - which has not been moved and is still scheduled to occur on September 11.
The decision about what to do with the state primary is obviously political - given that it will put pressure on redistricting of the General Assembly - but it isn't purely political, given that a third primary could end up costing the state as much as $50 million.
So, in one way, Sharpe's ruling brings one chapter of the controversy about New York's MOVE Act compliance to an end - but it runs the risk of opening another controversy about whether the new June 26 Congressional primary will be the second - or third - conducted in the Empire State in 2012.
And really, given that it's New York - would you expect it to be any other way?