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Barring deal, three NY primary dates may be on tap in '16

For the moment, the odds look long against combining at least two of next year's statewide voting dates into one.

State election board members Andrew Spano and Douglas Kellner last week called on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers to schedule the presidential primary and congressional primaries on the same date.

The presidential primary is expected to be April 26. The federal primary, involving congressional seats, is expected to be June 28.

Combining these events could save about $50 million and enhance voter participation, Spano and Kellner, both Democrats, said in a statement.

Since the major parties jointly control the election process, GOP must agree to any changes, which have yet to be negotiated.

Then there's the matter of primaries for state and local offices, slated for September. Twice since 2012, congressional party primaries, which used to be held the same day in September, took place in June as the Assembly's Democratic majority and the Senate's Republican majority failed to agree on a date. The GOP wanted both in August; the Democrats wanted both in June.

So barring an accord among new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), new Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and other party bigs, it seems likely there will be three primary days in 2016, as there were in 2012 -- presidential, congressional and state-local.

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