Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday night that all village elections scheduled for Wednesday throughout New York will be postponed until the state’s presidential primary on April 28 due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“Our top priority has been keeping New Yorkers safe and stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Cuomo said in a news release. “Public health officials have been clear that reducing density is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread, and delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system.”
Cuomo issued the executive order hours after President Donald Trump advised residents throughout the nation to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.
The postponed Great Neck area elections are in the villages of Great Neck Plaza, Great Neck Estates, Thomaston, Kensington, Saddle Rock and Russell Gardens.
In Manhasset, the elections in the villages of Munsey Park, Plandome Heights, Plandome Manor, Plandome and Flower Hill are postponed.
The Village of Floral Park’s election is the only one postponed in the New Hyde Park area.
In Port Washington, the elections in the villages of Port Washington North, Baxter Estates and Flower Hill are postponed.
The elections in the villages of Roslyn, Roslyn Estates, Flower Hill and East Hills are postponed.
In the Williston Park area, the village elections for East Williston and Mineola are postponed.
Village of Flower Hill Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington, who is running for mayor on the Flower Hill Party slate, said his party will suspend campaign operations “for the foreseeable future.”
“We have talked to hundreds of voters throughout the Village and, while they were supportive, it was clear that as the situation evolved last week people were concerned,” Herrington said in a news release Tuesday morning. “We thank everyone for their support and look forward to assisting our community get through this public health crisis.”
The race, which pits Herrington against village Trustee Kate Hirsch, is one of two contested mayoral election races on the North Shore. Hirsch said in a statement that she too would be suspending campaign activities.
In Great Neck Plaza, Deputy Mayor Ted Rosen is opposing Leonard Katz to fill the spot Mayor Jean Celender has held for nearly two decades.
Katz, who is running on the Revive Great Neck Plaza Party line, said even though the delayed election is a minor setback, it is important to prioritize residential health.
“We believe that the health and safety of all of our citizens are of the utmost importance,” Katz said in an email on behalf of his party. “We plan to do whatever we can to keep Plaza residents informed as to the latest data regarding the virus as well as forwarding to them lists of available resources that will help all of us in this stressful time.”
Rosen, who is running on the United Residents Party line, echoed the advice given nationwide by federal and state government officials.
“First and foremost, the responsibility of government is to protect the health, safety and well-being of the people,” Rosen said in an email on behalf of his party. “Postponing the election serves this purpose by reducing the necessity for people to go to the polling place to vote or to work and thereby encourages people to do what medical professionals are urging us to do at this time – practice social distancing.”