Amends procedures for change of party enrollment to require post mark 25 days prior to a primary, general or special election.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to change of enrollment
PURPOSE: Under current law, when a registered voter seeks to change his/her party enrollment to a different party, enroll in a party (when not previously enrolled in any party), or to end his/her enrollment in a party, the effective change of that enrollment i.s deferred until the first Tuesday following the general election. As a result, voters wishing to make such changes of enrollment may have to wait as long as thirteen months to see their changes of enrollment take effect. Under this bill, changes of enrollment would take effect twenty-five (25) days after such changes were applied for. This new timeframe would coincide with the deadlines for voter registration thus simplifying the process for both voters and county boards of elections.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Subdivision 3 of Section 5-304 of the election law to make changes of enrollment effective twenty-five (25) days after they are applied for. Section 2 sets the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: Of paramount importance in a democratic society is not just to be able to vote for the candidate of one's choice but also to be able to select the candidates who appear on the ballot. In fact, in many instances this selection is more significant than the general election itself. In New York, voters get to partake in this selection process by means of primary elections. Unfortunately, many voters discover that they are unable to vote in the party primary of their choice because they are not enrolled in a party or are not enrolled in the party whose primary they wish to vote in. Voters who seek changes of enrollment discover that such changes would not be effective until after the November elections, not in time to be able to vote in the Presidential Primaries themselves. For example, voters who wished to change their party enrollment for any of the 2008 elections (including the February Presidential primary, the September primary or the November election) would have had to apply for a change of enrollment in early October of 2007, four months before the Presidential primary. Though voters are disenfranchised in greater numbers in the Presidential primaries than in the annual September primaries, this problem is experienced by voters every year in the September primary. Voters who wished to change their party enrollment so that they could vote in the 2008 September primary would have also had to apply for a change of enrollment in early October of 2007, eleven (11) months before the September primary. This bill would ensure that voters are fully able to partake in all steps of the electoral process; including the candidate selection process.
2009-10: S.4543 - Elections - A.408 - Election Law 2008: A.8035 (Kavanagh) - Election Law 2007: A.8035 (Kavanagh) - Election Law 2007: A.2972 (Grannis) - Election Law 2006: A.1829 (Grannis) - Election Law 2005: A.1829 (Grannis) - Election Law 2004: A.711 (Grannis) - Election Law 2003: A.711 (Grannis) - Election Law 2002: A.7041A (Grannis) - Election Law 2001: A.7041 (Grannis) - Election Law
FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect sixty days after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 56 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- 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 change of enrollment THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 5-304 of the election law, as amended by chapter 90 of the laws of 1991, is amended to read as follows: 3. A change of enrollment received by the board of elections, SHOWING A DATED CANCELLATION MARK OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, OR CONTAINED IN AN ENVELOPE SHOWING SUCH A DATED CANCELLATION MARK WHICH IS DATED not later than the twenty-fifth day before the
[general election shall be deposited in a sealed enrollment box, which shall not be opened until the first Tuesday following such general election. Such change of enrollment shall be then removed and entered as provided in this arti- cle]NEXT ENSUING PRIMARY, GENERAL, OR SPECIAL ELECTION, AND RECEIVED NO LATER THAN THE TWENTIETH DAY BEFORE SUCH ELECTION, OR DELIVERED IN PERSON TO SUCH COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS NOT LATER THAN THE TENTH DAY BEFORE A SPECIAL ELECTION, SHALL HAVE SUCH CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT EFFEC- TIVE FOR SUCH ELECTION. ENROLLMENT CHANGES SHALL BE ENTERED AS PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE AND WILL BE DEEMED TO TAKE EFFECT ON THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT IS RECEIVED BY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OR IF THE CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT, OR THE ENVELOPE CONTAINING IT, BEARS A DATED CANCELLATION MARK OF THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, SUCH CHANGE SHALL BE ENTERED AND WILL BE DEEMED TO TAKE EFFECT ON THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY AFTER THE DATE OF SUCH MARK, WHICHEVER IS EARLIER; EXCEPT THAT NO CHANGE WILL TAKE EFFECT SOONER THAN THE TWENTIETH DAY AFTER THE RECEIPT OF SUCH CHANGE OF ENROLLMENT BY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS EXCEPT WITH REGARD TO SPECIAL ELECTIONS AS PROVIDED IN THIS SUBDIVISION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00095-01-1