Assemblyman Jones Passes Legislation Making it Easier for Local Candidates to Get On the 2019 Ballot

January 28, 2019

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that a bill he sponsored to reduce the number of signatures required for candidates to get on the 2019 ballot has passed the Assembly (A.2570).

“On the first legislative day of the year, we passed an election reform package that included a measure to move the state primary from September to June,” said Jones. “This was done to save taxpayers money by combining the state and federal primaries, but for local candidates hoping to run in 2019, this change drastically sped up the election calendar. My bill will prevent the primary change from creating unnecessary headaches so people planning to run and stand up for their communities can do so without new hoops to jump through.”

Earlier this month, the state Legislature passed and the governor signed into law legislation consolidating the federal and state primary to the fourth Tuesday in June, meaning candidates must submit signatures about three months earlier than the last primary (Ch. 5 of 2019). This means that the petition process will start on Feb. 26,[1] making it more difficult to knock on doors to collect signatures in time, especially in the middle of the brutal North Country winter season, noted Jones. 

Jones’ legislation would reduce the number of signatures required on candidates’ designating petitions by one-quarter, except for those running for office in New York City, and only applies to the current year.