Relates to the filling of vacancies in elective offices.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the filling of vacancies in elective offices
PURPOSE: This bill would require the governor to call a special election when a vacancy occurs in an elective office.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Subdivision 3 of section 42 of the public officers law as amended would require the governor to issue a proclamation for a special election to fill an office that has been vacated.
The governor must make a proclamation of a special election within ten days after certification of the vacancy and must specify the district or county in which the election is to be held and the day which shall not be less than seventy nor more than eighty days from the date of the proclamation. The governor cannot issue a special election proclamation if such special election will occur less than thirty days before a general election.
JUSTIFICATION: This bill ensures that constituents in the area where there is a vacated elective office will not go without representation for an unreasonable period of time. In 2009, Governor Patterson delayed calling a special election in the 29th Congressional District for nearly 8 months after the office was vacated. This delay caused the residents of the 29th Congressional District to be unrepresented in congress for an unreasonably extended period of time. This bill ensures that residents in a district will be represented by requiring that a special election be called within a reasonable period of time.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Cost of special elections to counties.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4804 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 25, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to the filling of vacancies in elective offices THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 42 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 4 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 3. Upon the failure to elect to any office, except that of governor or lieutenant-governor, at a general or special election, at which such office is authorized to be filled, or upon the death or disqualification of a person elected to office before the commencement of his or her official term, or upon the occurrence of a vacancy in any elective office which cannot be filled by appointment for a period extending to or beyond the next general election at which a person may be elected thereto, the governor
[may in his or her discretion]SHALL WITHIN TEN DAYS AFTER THE CERTIFICATION OF THE VACANCY make proclamation of a special election to fill such office, specifying the district or county in which the election is to be held, and the day thereof, which shall be not less than seventy nor more than eighty days from the date of the proclamation. HOWEVER, THE GOVERNOR SHALL NOT ISSUE A SPECIAL ELECTION PROCLAMATION IF SUCH SPECIAL ELECTION WILL OCCUR LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS BEFORE A GENERAL ELECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10982-01-1