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Just as we have a one-day election for president, it would make sense to have a one-day primary across the country...

Primary structure challenges voters, budgets

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Mitt Romney captured New York and four other states in yesterday's Republican primary, but poll watches say voting was extremely light in many areas. That's due in part to the fact that the race has already largely been decided, with Romney holding a commanding lead.

But New York officials and the courts also scheduled three different primaries, with separate dates later in the year for Congressional races and contests for state legislature. Local officials say that made it tougher for voters, and local budgets.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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Derinda Sherman, the Republican election commissioner in Essex County, says that made it tougher for voters.

"I think its a bad way because I think the more people have to remember dates of elections and what they're voting for, tends to lessens the likelyhood that they will come out and vote. And I am opposed because it cost a lot of money for each county to run an election."

Sherman says Essex County alone spends roughly $40,000 for a primary.  Ramping up for each vote takes weeks of preparation.

"Advertisments that are required by law and legal ads, deployment of machines, having field texts if there are problems with the machines, inspectors are a big part of that, you know rental of trucks for the deployment of machines and retrieving them."

The cost and the lack of voter participation in yesterday's primary has some observers calling for reform.  Howard Barbanel, publisher of the South Shore Standard newspaper on Long Island, says it's unfair that New Yorker vote in the primary after the contest has already been decided.

“It shouldn’t have to take six months to elect a party nominee. Just as we have a one-day election for president, it would make sense to have a one-day primary across the country for either or both parties and not have 50 separate state races between January and June.”

The primary for Congressional races will take place on June 26, and the primary for state legislature contests will be held on September 11.

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