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Next year, state lawmakers get to shape key rules in the New York City mayoral race. For one, they must set a primary date. A June primary, as some propose, may coincide with budget talks, in which one candidate, Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), is a key participant. Putting the primary in August, which GOP senators suggested for this years federal contests, could suppress turnout.
Then theres the requirement of a runoff between the top two finishers if no candidate in a multi-way primary wins 40 percent of the vote. Doing away with the runoff, as some propose, might require approval from the U.S. Justice Department due to federal voting-rights law.