Assemblyman Mark Walczyk (R,C-Watertown) is joining lawmakers in calling for the state to assume the cost of the upcoming primary election on Aug. 23, 2022 by co-sponsoring legislation known as the “ NYS Gerrymander Failure Assistance Act” (S.9050).
The state is forcing localities to hold a second primary at a financial burden of an estimated $25 million because the state Senate and Congressional maps drawn by the legislative Majorities in Albany and approved by Gov. Hochul that were thrown out by courts for gerrymandering. The regular June primary will go on as scheduled on the 28th of that month for the offices of state Assembly, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, as well as county and local offices.
“Taxpayers are already overburdened with the rising costs of inflation. Gasoline is at an all-time high, groceries – if you can even find them – are too expensive, and Albany has done nothing about it. Other states eliminated their gas taxes immediately,” said Walczyk. “Not New York! Here in New York, our state leaders were too busy playing politics with gerrymandered maps for their own personal gain. And now taxpayers are going to have to foot the bill yet again.”
Because of Albany’s incompetence in drawing the new district maps, the state Supreme Court has ordered new maps to be drawn by an independent, special agency. According to the State Board of Elections, the additional cost would be upwards of $25 million, and because local governments are responsible for election expenses, this is an unfunded mandate that will be passed along to taxpayers. This breaks down to an estimated cost of $100,000 to $400,000 per community.
Walczyk doesn’t believe taxpayers should have to pay for Albany’s incompetence or political maneuvering. The legislation he is co-sponsoring would require the state to assume the entire financial burden for both primaries, effective immediately.