Enacts the "early voting act"; provides to any person early voting for a candidate for public office in a general, primary or special election for any public or party office by paper ballot to take place no sooner than fourteen business days and up to and including the day prior to such election; provides that such voting shall take place at such person's county board of elections; requires availability and access to ballots for persons with disabilities.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to enacting the "early voting act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow the public to vote at the county board of elections or at an alternative location seven business days before a general, primary or special election, in order to make it easier for citizens to vote and to ensure an orderly and efficient voting process on election day.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Article 8 of the election law is amended to add a new title 6 requiring local boards of elections to make available to voters the option of casting a paper ballot from seven days prior to a general, primary or special election up to and including the day prior to the election. The boards of elections are given twenty-four hours from the close of the polls to count the early ballots.
JUSTIFICATION: The stress put on state election systems by high voter turnout in recent elections highlights the need to streamline the voting process and avoid a major breakdown that could place an unfair burden on voters and undermine the public's faith in the electoral process. Early voting makes participation easier for citizens who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day because of work, family obligations or inclement weather, but still provides the security of requiring voters to personally appear at a designated location to cast their ballot. Early voting also reduces delays on Election flay and decreases pressure on local boards of election by spreading out voting over a period of days. Thirty-two states currently allow early voting. These states report few serious problems with early voting and those early voting results in shorter lines on Election Day. Building an electoral system that gives every citizen an opportunity to vote is the best way to ensure fair representation.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.3250 - Passed Elections; Committed to Codes 20111-2012: S.1556 - Referred to Elections
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None, insofar as under the existing absentee voting system boards of elections already produce the paper ballots to be used for early voting.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1920 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. ADDABBO -- 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 enacting the "early voting act" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "early voting act". S 2. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 6 to read as follows: TITLE VI EARLY VOTING SECTION 8-600. EARLY VOTING PROCEDURES. 8-602. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS; POWERS AND DUTIES FOR EARLY VOTING. S 8-600. EARLY VOTING PROCEDURES. 1. NO SOONER THAN FOURTEEN BUSINESS DAYS AND UP TO AND INCLUDING THE DAY PRIOR TO ANY GENERAL, PRIMARY OR SPECIAL ELECTION FOR ANY PUBLIC OR PARTY OFFICE, PERSONS DULY REGISTERED TO VOTE FOR CANDIDATES FOR SUCH OFFICE MAY VOTE BY PAPER BALLOT FOR A CANDIDATE FOR SUCH OFFICE, AND SUCH EARLY VOTING PRACTICE SHALL TAKE PLACE AT SUCH PERSON'S COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS, OR AN ALTERNATIVE LOCATION OR LOCATIONS AS OTHERWISE DESIGNATED BY AND THROUGH A COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS UNDER THE POWERS GRANTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION ON OR BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. 2. SUCH VOTING PROCEDURE SHALL BE MONITORED AND ADMINISTERED BY TWO DULY DESIGNATED PERSONS, ONE FROM EACH MAJOR POLITICAL PARTY, AND SUCH VOTING SHALL FOLLOW AND CONFORM TO ALL OTHER PROCEDURES, MEASURES AND REQUIREMENTS OF CASTING A VOTE BY A VOTING MACHINE AS PRESCRIBED PURSU- ANT TO THIS CHAPTER. ALL VOTES CAST WITHIN THE EARLY VOTING PERIOD SHALL BE COUNTED WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF THE POLLS CLOSING ON ELECTION DAYEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04495-01-3 S. 1920 2
AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS PRESCRIBED IN ARTICLE NINE OF THIS CHAPTER. THE RESULTS OR TABULATION OF VOTES CAST DURING AN EARLY VOTING PERIOD SHALL NOT BE MADE BEFORE THE CLOSE OF ALL POLLING PLACES ON ELECTION DAY AND RESULTS SHALL BE REPORTED BY PRECINCT. BALLOTS USED IN EARLY VOTING SHALL BE, AS NEARLY AS PRACTICABLE, THE SAME FORM AS THOSE USED ON ELECTION DAY. BALLOTS SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE AND ACCESSIBLE TO ANY PERSON WITH DISABILITIES WHO WANT TO EXERCISE HIS OR HER RIGHT TO VOTE EARLY. S 8-602. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS; POWERS AND DUTIES FOR EARLY VOTING. ANY RULE OR REGULATION NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE SHALL BE PROMULGATED BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.