Provides that the ballots of deceased military personnel shall be counted toward the election for which they were cast.
Ayes (60): Adams, Addabbo, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Boyle, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Espaillat, Farley, Felder, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gipson, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Hoylman, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, Latimer, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Marchione, Martins, Maziarz, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Brien, O'Mara, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Robach, Sampson, Sanders, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Tkaczyk, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (3): Gianaris, Parker, Rivera
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the military law and the election law, in relation to the counting of ballots of deceased military personnel
PURPOSE: This bill would require that absentee or military ballots of any active duty service member be counted even if such service member dies before the date of the election for which it was cast.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Specifically, this bill would add a new section 234 of the military law, and a new section 8-413 of the election law, to provide that any member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army Reserve, Naval Reserve, Marine Reserve, Air Force Reserve, National Guard, New York Army National Guard, New York Air National Guard, New York Guard or Naval Militia, who casts an absentee or military ballot while on active duty, shall have such ballot be counted, in the event that such service member dies as a result of participating in combat operations before the date of the scheduled election on which it was cast.
JUSTIFICATION: Presently, pursuant to New York State Law, if any voter casts an absentee or military ballot, and is killed before the date of the election for which it was cast, such ballot is deemed invalid and is not counted. This is due to the reasoning that such person, who is voting by means of such ballot, would not be able to actually vote in person at the polls, due to the fact that they would have predeceased the election. Such rule seeks to prevent voter fraud that could occurring from the casting of ballots of deceased voters.
Although this law is generally a good public policy, an exception to this rule needs to be made for active duty service members, who are killed in action, For any active duty service member, who makes the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom, should not be denied in death, their final act as a citizen of our great country. In such a case, there is no incentive or propensity for fraud, and there is a verifiable series of events. To fail to allow this service member to have their validly cast vote counted, to deny that right, to someone who has died in the service to both New York and the United States, would be both unseemly and unconscionable. As a result, a grateful nation should do no less to honor the memory of that service member, than to count their duly and properly cast vote. This bill would do just that.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY This is a new bill.
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS: None Noted.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2655--A Cal. No. 350 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 23, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. BALL, BONACIC, CARLUCCI, LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the military law and the election law, in relation to the counting of ballots of deceased military personnel THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The military law is amended by adding a new section 234 to read as follows: S 234. COUNTING OF BALLOTS OF DECEASED MILITARY PERSONNEL. ANY MEMBER OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, ARMY RESERVE, NAVAL RESERVE, MARINE CORPS RESERVE, AIR FORCE RESERVE, NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK AIR NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK GUARD OR NAVAL MILITIA, WHO CASTS AN ABSENTEE OR MILITARY BALLOT WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, SHALL HAVE SUCH BALLOT BE COUNTED, IN THE EVENT THAT SUCH SERVICE MEMBER DIES AS A RESULT OF PARTICIPATING IN COMBAT OPER- ATIONS BEFORE THE DATE OF THE SCHEDULED ELECTION FOR WHICH IT WAS CAST. S 2. The election law is amended by adding a new section 8-413 to read as follows: S 8-413. COUNTING OF BALLOTS OF DECEASED MILITARY PERSONNEL. ANY MEMBER OF THE ARMY, NAVY, AIR FORCE, MARINE CORPS, COAST GUARD, ARMY RESERVE, NAVAL RESERVE, MARINE CORPS RESERVE, AIR FORCE RESERVE, NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK AIR NATIONAL GUARD, NEW YORK GUARD OR NAVAL MILITIA, WHO CASTS AN ABSENTEE OR MILI- TARY BALLOT WHILE ON ACTIVE DUTY, SHALL HAVE SUCH BALLOT BE COUNTED, IN THE EVENT THAT SUCH SERVICE MEMBER DIES AS A RESULT OF PARTICIPATING IN COMBAT OPERATIONS BEFORE THE DATE OF THE SCHEDULED ELECTION FOR WHICH IT WAS CAST. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07146-03-3