N.Y. Sets Date for Postponed Mayoral Primaries

Though campaigns have paused indefinitely, the city of New York will hold its mayoral primary on Sept. 25, discarding the votes that were cast before Tuesday morning's terror attacks.

The state legislature and election officials Thursday night agreed to a set of ground rules for the new round of voting.

Only people who cast absentee or military ballots would not have to vote again. City workers will reset the thousands of voting machines and will promise not to check the status of votes cast Tuesday.

The date, three weeks after the terrorist attacks, was set with the provisional advice of the New York Police Department, which usually sends some 1,500 officers to polling places.

But since the department was unable to give a firm answer on whether it would be able to handle the event, state election officials acknowledge that they may have to augment security and change some of their voting day procedures.

"If there are not enough, we'll have to do some scrambling and make some sort of accommodation," said Lee Daghlian, spokesperson for the State Board of Elections.

New York's election code gives state officials the authority to hold new elections if the scheduled contests are interrupted by catastrophe. A state judge halted voting by noon Tuesday, after it became clear that turnout in Manhattan would be severely disrupted.

Politics On-Hold

And one-by-one, the six major candidates suspended their campaigns.

Representatives for the six major contenders — Democrats City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Public Advocate Mark Greene, Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer and Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and Republicans Herman Badillo, a former congressman, and media entrepreneur Michael Bloomberg — said they did not know when their political activities would resume.

None of the campaigns would speculate about potential political consequences of America's deadliest terror attack.

And city workers have more weighty concerns.

The City Board of Elections is headquartered at 32 Broadway, just south of the World Trade Center. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, rescuers evacuated that building, and workers said they had no idea what was going on. Each World Trade Center tower housed one polling site, and a third was located in an adjacent hotel.

"We can't even be sure if there were any injuries or deaths of poll workers," Daghlian said.

If no Democrat gets at least 40 percent of the vote, a runoff of the top two vote-getters is then held. State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver said Wednesday night that officials had agreed a runoff would be held on Oct. 11.

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