Extends the deadline for filing of applications for absentee ballots by persons who are ill or physically disabled; prohibits a person from being designated to receive more than one absentee ballot on the day of the election excepting ballots of certain closely-related persons.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to the deadline for obtaining application forms for absentee ballots by persons who are ill or physically disabled; who shall supply application forms; and limit on number of absentee ballots to be received on the day of the election
PURPOSE: To permit persons who are ill or physically disabled to apply for absentee ballots on election day and to delete obsolete restrictions on distribution of applications for absentee ballots.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Permits applications for absentee ballots to be supplied to and filed on the day of the election by voters who are ill or physically disabled. Provides no person may pick up more than one ballot on election day except for ballots of certain relatives. Deletes language which implies that inspectors at local registrations may give absentee ballot applications only to voters registered in that election district, and language which provides that only persons authorized by the voter can pick up an absentee ballot application.
JUSTIFICATION: Present law requires that absentee ballot applications be filed with the board of elections by the day before election day. The present deadline makes sense with respect to people who are casting absentee ballots because they will be out of town on election day. By definition, if they are in town on election day, they are not eligible to vote absentee. However, that restriction does not apply to people who are ill or physically disabled. If such a voter can arrange to have a person pick up his ballot on election day and bring it to him and then return the voted ballot to the board of elections before the close of the polls, there is no reason that the law should not permit that procedure. Those ballots will not be counted until after election day, which will afford candidates in close elections ample time to check eligibility. However, in order to prevent possible abuse, the bill provides that (except for ballot for close relatives) nobody may pick up more than one ballot on election day.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeeding the date on which it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2030 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 18, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. KRUGER -- 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 the deadline for obtaining application forms for absentee ballots by persons who are ill or physically disabled; who shall supply application forms; and limit on number of absentee ballots to be received on the day of the election THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) of subdivision 2 of section 8-400 of the election law, paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 263 of the laws of 1991, paragraph (c) as amended by chapter 321 of the laws of 1988 and paragraph (d) as separately amended by chapters 97 and 104 of the laws of 2010, are amended to read as follows: (a) Application forms shall be furnished by and may be obtained from any board of elections at any time until the day before such election OR, WITH RESPECT TO APPLICATIONS FOR PERSONS WHO ARE ILL OR PHYSICALLY DISABLED, UNTIL THE DAY OF SUCH ELECTION. Application forms shall also be supplied by the board of inspectors
[of the election district in which applicant is a qualified voter]on all of the days provided for local registration. [In addition, application forms shall be supplied upon the request of the person authorized to vote pursuant to this section, any such person's spouse, parent or child, a person residing with the applicant as a member of his household, or the applicant's duly authorized agent.]Application forms sent outside of the United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, shall be sent airmail. Any reference to "board of elections" in the remaining provisions of this section, except with respect to the furnishing and obtaining of applica- tions for absentee ballots, means only the board of elections of the county or city in which the applicant is a qualified voter.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06826-01-1 S. 2030 2
(c) All applications must be mailed to the board of elections not later than the seventh day before the election for which a ballot is first requested or delivered to such board not later than the day before such election EXCEPT THAT APPLICATIONS FROM PERSONS WHO ARE ILL OR PHYS- ICALLY DISABLED MAY BE DELIVERED TO SUCH BOARD UNTIL THE DAY OF SUCH ELECTION. (d) The board of elections shall mail OR DELIVER an absentee ballot to every qualified voter otherwise eligible for such a ballot, who requests such an absentee ballot from such board of elections in writing in a letter, telefax indicating the address, phone number and the telefax number from which the writing is sent or other written instrument, which is signed by the voter and received by the board of elections BY MAIL not earlier than the thirtieth day
[nor]BEFORE THE ELECTION FOR WHICH THE BALLOT IS FIRST REQUESTED AND WHICH IS MAILED NOT later than the seventh day before [the]SUCH election [for which the ballot is first requested and which states], OR WHICH IS DELIVERED TO SUCH BOARD NOT EARLIER THAN THE THIRTIETH DAY NOR LATER THAN THE DAY BEFORE SUCH ELECTION EXCEPT THAT SUCH LETTERS FROM PERSONS WHO ARE ILL OR PHYSICALLY DISABLED MAY BE DELIVERED TO SUCH BOARD UNTIL THE DAY OF SUCH ELECTION. SUCH LETTERS MUST SET FORTH the address where the voter is registered and the address to which the ballot is to be mailed OR, IF SUCH BALLOT MAY BE DELIVERED, THE NAME OF THE PERSON TO WHOM IT IS TO BE DELIVERED; provided, however, a military voter may request a military ballot or voter registration application or an absentee ballot application in a letter as provided in subdivision three of section 10-106 of this chap- ter; and provided further, a special federal voter may request a special federal ballot or voter registration application or an absentee ballot application in a letter as provided in paragraph d of subdivision one of section 11-202 of this chapter. The board of elections shall enclose with such ballot a form of application for absentee ballot if the appli- cant is registered with such board of elections. S 2. Section 8-406 of the election law, as amended by chapter 296 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows: S 8-406. Absentee ballots, delivery of. If the board shall find that the applicant is a qualified voter of the election district containing his OR HER residence as stated in his OR HER statement and that his OR HER statement is sufficient, it shall, as soon as practicable after it shall have determined his OR HER right thereto, mail to him OR HER at an address designated by him OR HER, or deliver to him OR HER, or to any person designated for such purpose in writing by him OR HER, at the office of the board, such an absentee voter's ballot or set of ballots and an envelope therefor. NO PERSON MAY BE DESIGNATED TO RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE ABSENTEE BALLOT ON THE DAY OF THE ELECTION OTHER THAN THE BALLOTS OF HIS OR HER SPOUSE, CHILD, PARENT, GRANDPARENT, BROTHER OR SISTER AND THE SPOUSE OF ANY SUCH PERSON. If the ballot or ballots are to be sent outside of the United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, such ballot or ballots shall be sent by air mail. However, if an applicant who is eligible for an absentee ballot is a resident of a facility operated or licensed by, or under the jurisdiction of, the department of mental hygiene, or a resident of a facility defined as a nursing home or residential health care facility pursuant to subdivi- sions two and three of section two thousand eight hundred one of the public health law, or a resident of a hospital or other facility oper- ated by the Veteran's Administration of the United States, such absentee ballot need not be so mailed or delivered to any such applicant but, may be delivered to the voter in the manner prescribed by section 8-407 ofS. 2030 3
this chapter if such facility is located in the county or city in which such voter is eligible to vote. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.