Senate Republicans propose an August primary

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ALBANY—Senate Republicans have again introduced a bill that would schedule the state and congressional primary elections on a single date, the third Tuesday in August.

Currently there are two separate primary dates, a circumstance that has been blamed for lowering voter turnout, and imposing an unnecessary cost burden on counties.

Both parties have proposed a single primary date, but a legislative stalemate has so far prevented a solution.

The congressional primary was moved to June in 2012 to comply with a federal judge's decision, which mandated more time to ensure ballots for soldiers serving overseas.

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Democrats have backed a plan to move the local primaries to June, a proposal Republicans oppose because they say it would disrupt the end of the legislative session.

Republican State Sen. Thomas O’Mara is sponsoring the new measure. He has sponsored similar bills in each of the past two years, but the bills did not move in the legislature.