Requires the state to assume the cost of purchasing ballots for general elections and primaries.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to requiring the state to assume the cost of purchasing ballots for general elections and primaries
PURPOSE: This bill relieves one of the expenditures associated with general and primary elections in New York State by authorizing the New York State Board of Elections to develop methods for the purpose of the state reimbursing counties for the cost of purchasing election ballots
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1. Section 4-136 of the election law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision two of this section or any other law to the contrary, the state shall assume the cost of purchasing ballots for all general elections and primaries. The New York state board of elections shall develop procedures to reimburse counties that purchase ballots and/or to provide the ballots to be used by each county.
§ 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: The Help America Vote Act of 2002 is a United States federal law which passed in the House 357-48 and 92-2 in the Senate. It was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002. The reaction to the controversy surrounding the 2000 U.S. presidential election between George Bush and Al Gore had determined the need for HAVA. This act would eventually lead to replacing the punch-card and lever-based voting systems.
HAVA mandated that all states and localities upgrade many aspects of their election procedures, including their voting machines, registration processes and poll worker training. The specifics of implementation have been left up to each state, which allows for varying interpretations of the Federal law.
New York Counties were mandated to move away from the conventional Lever Voting Machines to a more sophisticated way to vote. Local governments were informed the new scanning machines would be easier to use, better and more reliable, while also providing the Board of Elections a way to verify votes using paper ballots' if a recount was necessary. Counties spent months looking at different types of scanner to determine which would most appropriate meet their needs.
Unfortunately, when the change over actually took place the true cost of these machines began to be apparent. Although the Lever Machines could be stored almost anywhere, the new Scanner Voting Machines would need to be placed in climate controlled storage for fear of damaging the electronics. The Lever Machines had relatively inexpensive rolls of paper that could be easily removed and the votes would then be physically counted. The Scanner Voting Machines on the other hand have expensive individual ballots which are used to scan the citizens vote while at the same time storing the paper ballot.
The problem with most elections are the cost associated with them. County Commissioner's representing B.0.E.'s from all 62 counties are
mandated to purchase enough ballots for all registered voters. In other words, they can not estimate how many voters will participate so they are charged with purchasing enough ballots to cover 100% of all registered voters. They have but two places where the ballots can be printed and purchased. The cost vary depending on the county but the range has been anywhere from 42 cents to 57 cents and higher per ballot. They are Phoenix Graphics and Fort Orange Press. Once the election is finished, all unused ballots will held for four months and then be discarded.
The counties in New York State are struggling to keep taxes at a minimum even though the cost of doing business continues to rise. The cost of holding elections are substantial to say the least. With this bill, counties will continue to pay much of cost associated with elections. Cost such as the storage of the machines, maintenance and paying for the personnel who manage the polling places on election day will continue to be the counties responsibility. This bill will help to alleviate a portion of those cost. This bill relieves some of the cost associated with elections by New York State assuming the cost of purchasing the ballots to be used in all general elections and primaries. The New York State Board of Elections would develop a method to reimburse counties that purchase ballots or provided the ballots to be used in each county.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined
EFFECTIVE DATE: This bill shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7622 IN SENATE May 19, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. LATIMER -- 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 requiring the state to assume the cost of purchasing ballots for general elections and prima- ries THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 4-136 of the election law is amended by adding a new subdivision 4 to read as follows: 4. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION OR ANY OTHER LAW TO THE CONTRARY, THE STATE SHALL ASSUME THE COST OF PURCHASING BALLOTS FOR ALL GENERAL ELECTIONS AND PRIMARIES. THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL DEVELOP PROCEDURES TO REIMBURSE COUNTIES THAT PURCHASE BALLOTS AND/OR TO PROVIDE THE BALLOTS TO BE USED BY EACH COUNTY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15280-01-4