senate Bill S4168

Provides that local boards of elections canvass patients at V.A. extended care centers in order to properly provide absentee ballots where necessary

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 22 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Summary

Provides that local boards of elections canvas patients at V.A. extended care centers in order to properly provide absentee ballots where necessary.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S4168
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง8-404, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S3227

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4168

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to absentee ballots for patients
or inmates of Veteran Administration medical facilities

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill provides that local boards of elections canvass patients at
Veterans' Health Administration extended care centers in order to
properly provide absentee ballots where necessary.

JUSTIFICATION:
Current Election Law provides for absentee voting by patients in
Veterans' Health Administration facilities if they are residents of
the same election district as the facility and they are hospitalized
sixty days prior to Election Day. This is acceptable for
extended-care facilities which are the functional equivalent of
nursing homes. Residents in an extended-care facility are there on a
long-term basis and are considered residents of the election district
in which the medical facility is located. However, this is inadequate
for the needs of Veterans' Health Administration acute-care
facilities because their patients are usually in the facility for a
short period of time and need to vote from their home election
district.

In addition, almost all patients hospitalized at Veterans' Health
Administration acute-care facilities are admitted to the facility
well short of sixty days prior to Election Day. Therefore, it is
necessary to require that the local board of elections where a
Veterans' Health Administration acute-care facility is located be
required to canvass the patients at said facility on the morning
before Election Day. It is necessary to obtain emergency-affidavit
ballots from the board of elections where the patients reside and to
conduct voting at the facility on Election Day.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2006: Senate Elections Committee/Assembly Elections Law
2007-08: Senate Rules Committee/Assembly Elections Law
2009-10: S.3227 Advanced to Third Reading

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Fiscal impact is expected to be negligible; however, in the thirteen
counties which will be affected by this legislation some additional
staff resources will have to be devoted to obtaining and canvassing
additional ballots.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4168

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 22, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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  absentee  ballots  for
  patients or inmates of Veteran Administration medical facilities

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 8-404 of the election law, the opening paragraph of
subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 359 of the laws of  1989  and  para-
graph  (b)  of  subdivision  1  as amended by chapter 373 of the laws of
1978, is amended to read as follows:
  S 8-404. Absentee voting; hospitalized veterans,  special  provisions.
1. UNITED STATES VETERANS' (V.A.) MEDICAL FACILITIES USUALLY ARE CLASSI-
FIED  AS  MEDICAL CENTERS FOR ACUTE-CARE FACILITIES AND AS EXTENDED CARE
CENTERS FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. After entering upon the registra-
tion records, the application for registration of an inmate  or  patient
of a [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER as to
whom  the  medical  superintendent  or medical head of such hospital has
attested that he OR SHE expects that he OR SHE will  not  be  discharged
prior to the day following the next general or special village, primary,
special,  general  or  New  York city community school board district or
city of Buffalo school district election, and the application for regis-
tration by the spouse, parent or child of such inmate or patient, accom-
panying or being with him or her, if a qualified voter and a resident of
the same election district, the  board  of  elections,  without  further
investigation  and  without  further application by the applicant, shall
send to him at such hospital an absentee ballot and shall record in  the
signature  column on the back of his OR HER permanent personal registra-
tion poll record that such ballot has been sent.
  (a) Any voter who is duly registered and  whose  registration  records
are  marked  "Hospitalized Veteran" or "Hospitalized Veteran's Relative"
need not thereafter make application for an absentee ballot. Sixty  days

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03145-01-1

S. 4168                             2

before  each  election,  the board of elections shall compile and send a
list to each [veterans'  administration  hospital]  V.A.  EXTENDED  CARE
CENTER  of  all inmates and patients of [veterans' administration hospi-
tals] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTERS who appear by the records of such board
to  be  "hospitalized  veterans" entitled to receive absentee ballots at
each such  [hospital]  V.A.    EXTENDED  CARE  CENTER  pursuant  to  the
provisions  of  this  section.  Each [veterans' administration hospital]
V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER shall no later than fifteen days following the
receipt of such list, return it  with  notations  made  thereon  showing
whether  the  inmate  or patient continues to be confined therein or has
been discharged therefrom. Upon the receipt of such returned  list  from
each  [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER with
the proper notations showing that a "hospitalized veteran" continues  to
be  confined  in such [hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board of
elections, by mail addressed to such "hospitalized veteran"  at  his  OR
HER  last known [hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER address and by mail
addressed to such "hospitalized veteran's relative" at his OR  HER  last
known  address shall send an absentee ballot for the ensuing election to
such "hospitalized veteran" and such "hospitalized  veteran's  relative"
an absentee ballot in the same manner as provided herein for a qualified
voter  entitled  to  an absentee ballot because of permanent disability.
The board shall record on the back  of  his  OR  HER  registration  poll
record  in the space reserved for his OR HER signature at such election,
the fact that such ballot has been sent.
  (b) If the returned list from a  [veterans'  administration  hospital]
V.A.  EXTENDED CARE CENTER contains a notation showing that a "hospital-
ized veteran" is no longer an inmate or patient at the [veterans' admin-
istration hospital] V.A.  EXTENDED  CARE  CENTER  where  he  OR  SHE  is
recorded  as  staying,  or if such letter containing an absentee voter's
ballot for a "hospitalized veteran" or a "hospitalized  veterans'  rela-
tive"  is  returned  by  the  post office as undeliverable, the board of
elections shall ascertain whether the "hospitalized veteran" or  "hospi-
talized  veteran's  relative" is residing at the address given on his OR
HER registration records as his OR HER permanent address. If he  OR  SHE
is  residing  there,  the  board  shall  not send him OR HER any further
absentee ballots unless he OR SHE applies therefor in the  regular  way.
If  he  OR SHE is not residing at the place of residence given on his OR
HER registration records but the board ascertains that  he  OR  SHE  has
been  transferred  to  another  [veterans' administration hospital] V.A.
EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board shall cause a central board of registra-
tion to make the necessary changes of temporary address on  his  OR  HER
registration  records  and  shall  continue  sending him OR HER absentee
ballots at the [veterans' administration hospital]  V.A.  EXTENDED  CARE
CENTER  where  he OR SHE is staying. If he OR SHE is not residing at the
place of residence given on his OR  HER  registration  records  and  the
board  cannot  ascertain  that he OR SHE has been transferred to another
[veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board
shall cancel his OR  HER  registration.    Whenever  a  registration  is
cancelled  pursuant  hereto notice shall be mailed to the veteran or his
OR HER relative at his OR  HER  permanent  residence  address  and  last
temporary address.
  2.  The board of elections shall furnish to each party county chairman
in such county a list of the names and residence addresses of the hospi-
talized veterans and hospitalized veterans' relatives to  whom  absentee
ballots have been sent.

S. 4168                             3

  3.  Such  ballots  shall  be  mailed,  voted,  returned,  counted, and
canvassed as  provided  in  this  chapter  for  other  absentee  voters'
ballots.
  4.  ONE  DAY  PRIOR TO A GENERAL OR SPECIAL VILLAGE, PRIMARY, SPECIAL,
GENERAL OR NEW YORK CITY COMMUNITY SCHOOL  BOARD  DISTRICT  OR  CITY  OF
BUFFALO  SCHOOL  DISTRICT  ELECTION;  THE  PATIENTS  AND INMATES OF V.A.
MEDICAL CENTERS AND V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTERS WILL BE CANVASSED BY  THE
LOCAL  BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO IDENTIFY QUALIFIED VOTERS NOT REGISTERED TO
RECEIVE ABSENTEE BALLOTS WHO ARE REQUESTING EMERGENCY AFFIDAVIT  BALLOTS
FOR  THE  ELECTION  DISTRICTS  IN WHICH THEY RESIDE. ON ELECTION DAY THE
LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS  SHALL  DISTRIBUTE  THOSE  EMERGENCY  AFFIDAVIT
BALLOTS TO THE PATIENTS AND INMATES OF THE V.A. MEDICAL CENTERS AND V.A.
EXTENDED  CARE CENTERS WHO ARE QUALIFIED VOTERS, WHO HAVE NOT REGISTERED
FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS AND WHO HAVE REQUESTED EMERGENCY AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS.
THE LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS ON ELECTION DAY SHALL COLLECT THE EMERGENCY
AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS FROM SUCH PATIENTS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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