Relates to the use of lever voting systems at a referendum.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the county law, in relation to the use of lever voting systems at a referendum; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
PURPOSE: To authorize counties the ability to use lever voting systems at referendum.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends Subdivision 2 of Section 102 of the County Law to provide that during a referendum vote counties may permit the use of lever voting systems. A lever voting system is defined as lever machines and one ballot marking device (BMD). This bill will not require the board of elections to maintain the care, custody or control of lever voting machines.
Section two sets the effective date and the repeal date of December 31, 2011.
JUSTIFICATION: Subdivision 2 of Section 102 of the County Law now requires counties to use paper ballots or ballot scanners when conducting a referendum vote.
Counties across the state have expressed an overwhelming preference to continue using lever voting machines when conducting a referendum vote due to the costs related to the use of paper ballots or ballot scanners which can exceed $1 million. However, counties are also cognizant of their charge to address the needs of disabled voters. This bill would give counties the option to employ systems with both lever machines and Help America to Vote Act (HAVA)- compliant BMDs.
This authority is similar to that which was granted to school boards and village elections (Chapter 3 of the Laws of 2011).
Fiscal prudence is intrinsic in these challenging economic times as counties are forced to cut services and layoff public employees to balance their budgets. The option of utilizing a lever voting system as defined in this legislation provides counties with the ability to determine the will of the voters via referendum while mitigating cost and affording an equal right to disabled voters.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State. Significant savings to counties opting for the use of lever voting systems.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and be deemed repealed December 31, 2011.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5546--A Cal. No. 1000 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 1, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. MARTINS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Local Government -- 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 county law, in relation to the use of lever voting systems at a referendum; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 102 of the county law, as amended by chapter 431 of the laws of 1963, is amended to read as follows: 2. The board of elections shall cause any such proposition to be submitted to the qualified electors of the county in the manner provided in the election law. The method and manner of submission, preparation and provision of ballots and ballot labels, use of voting machines, qualification of voters, correcting registers, and conducting the election, canvassing the result and making and filing the returns, and all other procedure with reference to the submission of any such propo- sition, shall be the same as in the case of any other proposition to be submitted to the electors of a county at a general or special election as provided by law. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, RULE OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, AT A REFERENDUM, THE USE OF VOTING MACHINES SHALL INCLUDE THE USE OF LEVER VOTING SYSTEMS. LEVER VOTING SYSTEMS SHALL MEAN LEVER MACHINES AND ONE BALLOT MARKING DEVICE (BMD) PER POLL- ING PLACE. WHEN USING VOTING MACHINES AS DESCRIBED IN TITLE TWO OF ARTI- CLE SEVEN OF THE ELECTION LAW, SUCH VOTING MACHINES SHALL BE USED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN ARTICLE NINE OF THE ELECTION LAW. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO MAINTAIN THE CARE, CUSTO- DY OR CONTROL OF LEVER VOTING SYSTEMS. If a majority of the votes castEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11872-02-1 S. 5546--A 2
on any such proposition shall be in the affirmative, the resolution shall be approved. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed December 31, 2011.