ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York state could save $25 million in 2016 and make life easier for voters if it held federal and state primary elections on one date, instead of two.
But it probably won't.
The Democratic-controlled state Assembly voted Tuesday to hold all non-presidential federal and state primary elections on the fourth Tuesday in June before general elections.
But the Republican-controlled state Senate has balked at similar bills in past years, preferring that state primary elections be held later in the year.
That means this year that voters may be asked to go to the polls at least four times: on April 19 for the presidential primary election, on June 28 for congressional primaries, on Sept. 13 for primaries for state and local offices, and then on Nov. 8 for the general elections.
Some voters might also have village and school board elections this year, as well.
If the non-presidential federal primary election and the state primaries were both held June 28, New York could save $25 million, according to the Assembly bill.
Onondaga County would save an estimated $150,000 if the two primaries were held the same day, said Dustin Czarny, the county's Democratic elections commissioner.
The Assembly voted Tuesday on a Assemblyman Michael Cusick's bill to consolidate the primary election dates.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where there are no Republican senators listed as sponsors of the legislation.
The Senate has objected in the past to holding primary elections for state offices in June because state legislators are traditionally busy in Albany until mid-June. Lawmakers fear if they face a primary election challenge they would not have time to campaign if the Legislature is in session in Albany.
The New York State Elections Commissioners Association in January urged the Legislature to reach agreement as soon as possible on a unified federal and state primary election date.
"We haven't seen any movement there. But we're hopeful," Czarny said.
He said in addition to the extra costs, having multiple elections is a hardship for voters, which may reduce participation.
"There is a worry about voter fatigue when you're having multiple elections," Czarny said. "Some voters will go to the polls six or eight times this year."
Another bill pending in the state Legislature would require New York state to reimburse counties and New York City for the estimated $50 million cost of administering separate federal and state primary elections.