NEW YORK - Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are still in the race for the Democratic nomination for president.
But calls are intensifying to delay the April 28 primary election in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
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"Just as safeguarding our health is important, we know that our elected officials want to safeguard our democracy as well," said Common Cause New York Executive Director Susan Lerner.
Government watchdog Common Cause New York is urging that the race be consolidated with the legislative and congressional primaries on June 23.
Joining in the push is the bipartisan state Elections Commissioners’ Association.
Both note that preparations for the presidential primary are underway now because early voting begins April 18.
"It’s safer for everyone involved. We’re thinking of our staff members, we’re thinking of our inspectors. Our inspectors — at least for me and I know for a lot of other counties — our inspectors range anywhere from 60 years old to 90," said New York State Election Commissioners’ Association President Kelly Penziul.
Cuomo has not signaled a readiness to postpone the election, telling NY1 statehouse reporter Zack Fink, "I haven’t even thought about it, Zack."
Nationwide, at least seven states have postponed their presidential primary or caucus.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has already canceled this week’s special election for Queens borough president.
The city Campaign Finance Board is now calling for that race and the one to fill to a vacated City Council seat in Brooklyn to also be consolidated with the June 23 primaries.
"Holding elections, even in these difficult circumstances, is essential. Voters and candidates both need certainty as soon as possible about the way these elections can proceed in a manner that protects the health and safety of New Yorkers," said New York City Campaign Finance Board Executive Director Amy Loprest.
State Attorney General Letitia James has said she wants all eligible voters to receive absentee ballots for the April primary.
Advocates like Lerner are urging expanded absentee voting in June rather an immediate full-scale vote-by-mail system.
And the election commissioners want state law amended to allow for absentee voting during public health emergencies.