New York State’s presidential primary results can be certified by the city and state Boards of Elections without any interference from the courts, a Manhattan judge ruled Monday. State Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron rejected a plea by a Manhattan attorney to rule that the state’s “closed primary” system violates the state constitution because independents can’t vote at all and those who do participate must be enrolled in their respective political parties six months before the election. Mark Warren Moody asked the judge to issue a temporary restraining order to block the certification of the April 19 primary results, but Engoron refused, saying it’s not likely that Moody would win on the merits of his argument.
The judge noted that the U.S. Supreme Court and the state Court of Appeals have both upheld the state’s closed primaries in several prior decisions.
Moody had argued that the state’s voting system was unfair because to vote on April 19, he would have had to enroll in the Democratic or Republican primary last October. Unaffiliated with any party, Moody said in court papers that he didn’t know he couldn’t vote in the primary until he got to the polls.