Relates to the rights of a victim of domestic violence to cast special ballots if they leave their residence because of such violence; includes family and household members.
BILL NUMBER: S1535
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the election law, in relation to special ballots for victims of domestic violence
PURPOSE : This bill incorporates by reference the broad definitions of "domestic violence" and "family member" contained in the Domestic Violence Prevention Act in the Social Security Law.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Amends section 11-306 of the Election Law, as added by Chapter 702 of the Laws of 1996. This chapter did not contain definitions of "domestic violence" or of "family members".
JUSTIFICATION : Chapter 702 of 1996 permits victims of domestic violence who have fled the family residence because of danger to themselves or members of their families to cast their votes at the Board of Elections by paper ballot, rather than being required to appear at the polling place, where their abusers might be able to stalk them. However, Chapter 702 did not contain definitions of "domestic violence" or "family members". This new legislation clarifies that domestic violence includes such things as "harassment" and "menacing" as well as actual physical abuse. The definition of family members is clarified to include ex-spouse, the parents of a child and residents of the same household.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.4214 of 2002 Referred to Rules S.1320 of 2003 3rd Reading S.1320 of 2004 Referred to Elections S.238 of 2005 Committed to Rules S.238 of 2006 Referred to Elections S.5068 of 2007 Referred to Elections S.5068 of 2008 Referred to Elections
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None to the state.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1535 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 2, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sens. MORAHAN, BONACIC, KRUEGER, THOMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to special ballots for victims of domestic violence THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 11-306 of the election law, as added by chapter 702 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: S 11-306. Special ballots; victims of domestic violence. A voter may deliver to the board of elections, at any time during the period in which absentee ballot applications may be delivered, a signed written statement swearing or affirming: 1. that
[they are]HE OR SHE IS the victim of domestic violence AS DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW; 2. that [they have]HE OR SHE HAS been forced to leave [their]HIS OR HER residence because of such violence; and 3. that because of the threat of physical OR EMOTIONAL harm to [them- selves]HIMSELF OR HERSELF or TO FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD members [of their family residing with them]AS DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, [they wish]HE OR SHE WISHES to cast a special ballot in the next election. The statement must include [their]THE VOTER'S address of registration. The board of elections shall permit such a voter to cast a special ballot at an office of such board of elections not earlier than one week before the election and not later than the close of the polls on election day. Such ballots may be delivered to the inspectors of election in the manner prescribed by this chapter for absentee ballots or retained at the board of elections and cast and canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this chapter as such board shall, in its discretion, determine by resolution adopted at least thirty days before election day. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04093-01-9