senate Bill S4748

Makes technical corrections with regards to political subdivisions and election districts

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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

  • 18 / Apr / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 02 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.402
  • 03 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 04 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A263

Summary

Makes technical corrections with regard to political subdivisions and election districts; removes counties and replaces with political subdivisions for purposes of determining an individual's election district.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A263
Versions:
S4748
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง4-128 & 4-132 & 8-302, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7884, A9540A

Votes

8
0
8
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Elections committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4748

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to making technical corrections
with regards to political subdivisions and election districts

PURPOSE:
To amend Chapter 489 of the laws of 2009 by requiring that
poll-workers are provided with maps, street finders, or other
descriptions of all of the polling places and election districts
within the political subdivision in which the polling place is
located, rather than of those within the entire county. This change
will make the law easier and less expensive to implement.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends subdivision 1 of section
4-128 of the election law, as amended by chapter 489 of the laws of
2009, by changing the word "county" to "political subdivision."

Section two amends subdivision d of section 4-132 of the election law,
as added by chapter 489 of the laws of 2009, and changes the word
"county" to "political subdivision."

Section three amends the opening paragraph of paragraph (e) of
subdivision 3 of section 8-302 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 489 of the laws of 2009, by changing the word "county" to
"political Subdivision." Section three also provides that in the
event that a voter attempts to cast a ballot, claiming to live in the
election district in which he or she seeks to vote, and such voter's
name does not appear on any of the specified registration records or
lists, a poll clerk or election inspector is to, if necessary,
contact the board of elections to obtain the relevant information in
order advise such voter of his or her correct voting place.

Section four defines the effective date as immediately,

JUSTIFICATION:
Chapter 489 of the laws of 2009 requires polling places
to be equipped with a sufficient number of maps, street finders and
other descriptions of polling places and election districts within
the county in which the polling place is located and requires a poll
clerk or election inspector to consult a map, street finder or other
description of all of the polling places and election district s
within the county in which such election district is located in order
to ensure that a voter votes in the correct election district and
polling place so that his or her vote will be counted. This bill
would amend the Chapter by changing he word "county" to "political
subdivision."

The 2009 legislation that this bill seeks to amend arose out of the
2004 election for the 35th State Senatorial District that was
ultimately decided by 18 votes. After months of litigation, the race
came down to the validity of certain affidavit ballots from duly
registered voters. In Matter of Panio v. Sunderland, 4 N.Y.3d 123,
791 N.Y.S.2d 57 (2005), the Court of Appeals held that the 163


affidavit ballots cast by voters at the correct polling site but wrong
election district should be counted but the 457 affidavit ballots
cast by voters who had gone to the wrong polling site (and wrong
election district) should be rejected.

The Court reasoned that casting an affidavit ballot at the correct
polling site but wrong election district was the result of
ministerial error on the part of a poll worker in failing to direct
the voter to the correct table and that therefore those 163 affidavit
ballots should be counted. In rejecting 457 ballots cast at wrong
polling sites, the Court found that the voters' error of going to the
wrong polling sites cannot be attributed to the ministered error of
election workers. Thus, 457 voters were disenfranchised and the
outcome of a very close election was affected because poll workers
did not direct them to the proper polling site.

Thus, the purpose and goal of the 2009 legislation was to ensure that
voters who vote by affidavit ballot have a realistic chance to
exercise the franchise and have their votes counted. The legislation
required that each polling site be supplied with countywide maps or
street finders and required that election inspectors and poll clerks
consult the countrywide maps or street finders to determine and
advise the voter of his or her correct election district and polling
place.
Although the intent and goal of the original legislation remain
intact, i.e., that voters cast their ballots in the proper election
district and polling place so that their votes are counted, it has
become clear that requiring maps or street finders for the entire
county at every polling site is expensive and unnecessary. Although
voters sometimes need help locating the correct election district or
polling place for their address, they know the political subdivision,
i.e., the city, town or village, where they reside and vote. The
voter may go to the wrong polling place within his or her town or
city but is unlikely to go to a polling place in the wrong town or
wrong city.
Likewise, in a village election, a voter may go to the wrong polling
place within his or her village but is unlikely to go to a polling
place outside the village. As long as poll workers have maps and
street finders for the city, town or village where the voter resides,
the voter will be directed to their proper election district and
polling place.

By changing the law to require that poll workers be provided with maps
and street finders that cover the political subdivision in which the
polling place is located, rather than the entire county, the law will
be equally effective but far less expensive to implement.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.7884 (Stewart-Cousins)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
Immediately.


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

                                  4748

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 18, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  O'MARA,  LARKIN,  RANZENHOFER  --  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 making technical
  corrections  with  regards  to  political  subdivisions  and  election
  districts

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 4-128  of  the  election  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  489  of  the  laws  of 2009, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. The board of elections of each county shall provide  the  requisite
number  of  official  and facsimile ballots, two cards of instruction to
voters in the form prescribed by the state board of elections, at  least
one  copy of the instruction booklet for inspectors, a sufficient number
of maps, street finders or other descriptions  of  all  of  the  polling
places  and election districts within the [county] POLITICAL SUBDIVISION
in which the polling place is located to enable the election  inspectors
and  poll  clerks to determine the correct election district and polling
place for each street address within the [county] POLITICAL  SUBDIVISION
in  which  the  polling place is located, distance markers, tally sheets
and return blanks, pens, black ink, or ball point pens with  black  ink,
pencils  having  black  lead,  envelopes for the ballots of voters whose
registration poll records are not in the ledger or whose names  are  not
on  the  computer  generated  registration  list, envelopes for returns,
identification buttons, badges or emblems for the inspectors and  clerks
in  the  form  prescribed by the state board of elections and such other
articles of stationery as may be necessary for  the  proper  conduct  of
elections,  except  that  when a town, city or village holds an election
not conducted by the board of elections, the clerk of such town, city or

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00759-01-1

S. 4748                             2

village, shall provide such  official  and  facsimile  ballots  and  the
necessary blanks, supplies and stationery for such election.
  S  2.  Subdivision d of section 4-132 of the election law, as added by
chapter 489 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  d. A sufficient number of maps, street finders or  other  descriptions
of  all of the polling places and election districts within the [county]
POLITICAL SUBDIVISION in which the polling place is  located  to  enable
the  election  inspectors  and  poll  clerks  to  determine  the correct
election district and polling place for each street address  within  the
[county] POLITICAL SUBDIVISION in which the polling place is located.
  S  3.  The  opening  paragraph  of  paragraph  (e) of subdivision 3 of
section 8-302 of the election law, as amended by chapter 489 of the laws
of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  Whenever a voter presents himself or herself  and  offers  to  cast  a
ballot,  and  he or she claims to live in the election district in which
he or she seeks to vote but no registration poll record can be found for
him or her in the poll ledger or his or her name does not appear on  the
computer  generated  registration  list or his or her signature does not
appear next to his or her name on such computer  generated  registration
list  or  his  or her registration poll record or the computer generated
registration list does not show him or her to be enrolled in  the  party
in  which  he  or  she  claims  to be enrolled, a poll clerk or election
inspector shall consult a map, street finder or other description of all
of the polling places and election districts within the  [county]  POLI-
TICAL  SUBDIVISION  in  which  said  election district is located AND IF
NECESSARY, CONTACT THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO OBTAIN THE RELEVANT  INFOR-
MATION  and  advise  the voter of the correct polling place and election
district [within the county] for the residence address provided  by  the
voter  to such poll clerk or election inspector.  Thereafter, such voter
shall be permitted to vote in said election district only as hereinafter
provided:
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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