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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Voters can now brace for split primary season every 2 years

The state Capitol at Albany, where a status

The state Capitol at Albany, where a status quo tends to last. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Get used to the new abnormal.

New York State is now on track to indefinitely spend tens of millions of dollars more every two years to hold two primary days -- one for federal office in June, another for state office in September.

This absurdity first arose in 2012 when the major parties failed to agree on a single primary date. The federal contests had to be moved forward because a new U.S. law to assure timely overseas balloting made the traditional all-in-one September date unworkably close to November. Assembly Democrats wanted both shifted to June; the Senate Republicans, to August.

With this Albany standoff still in effect after two years, congressional petitioning has begun for yet another separate federal primary on June 24.

Election experts believe this suppresses turnout. And oddly, in places where nomination is tantamount to election, primary winners will know six months in advance whether they will take office next January. For example, State Sen. Adriano Espaillat (D-Manhattan/Bronx) faces veteran Rep. Charles Rangel, whom he nearly unseated last time, and possibly Michael Waldron, an aide to the Rev. Al Sharpton, in New York City's 13th District -- which has virtually no GOP presence.

Once an anomaly like this becomes the status quo in New York, it usually lasts.

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