senate Bill S5055A

Relates to the types of voting machines used in certain elections

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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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  • 03 / May / 2011
    • REFERRED TO LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  • 18 / May / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.780
  • 23 / May / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 24 / May / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 01 / Jun / 2011
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 5055A
  • 07 / Jun / 2011
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A7469

Summary

Relates to the types of voting machines used in certain town elections.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7469
Versions:
S5055
S5055A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Town Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง212, 176, 213-b & 175-b, Town L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5055A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the town law, in relation to the types of voting machines used
in certain elections; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions
upon expiration thereof

PURPOSE:
The bill is intended to address issues that
fire districts and special improvement districts face due to the
replacement of lever voting machines in 2010 with new voting machines
that meet the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002
and the state Election Reform and Modernization Act of 2005.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of this bill amends
the town law to provide that voting machines may be used in special
improvement district elections. Section 2 of this bill amends the town
law to provide that voting machines may be used in fire districts.
Section 1 of the bill contains the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Chapter 421 of 56B town law now
requires fire districts and special improvement districts to conduct
their elections with paper ballots or ballot scanners. Fire districts
and special improvement districts around the state have expressed an
overwhelming preference to continue using lever voting machines in their
elections. Further, certain counties are refusing to lease the ballot
scanners to the fire districts and special improvement districts,
leaving these fire districts and special improvement districts with
paper ballots as the only option for Election Day. In fire districts and
special improvement districts that have thousands of registered voters,
this presents a significant logistical problem. This bill would give
fire districts and special improvement districts, the option to use
lever machines through December 31, 2012. This authority is similar to
that which was granted to school boards. Furthermore, like school
elections, fire districts and special improvement districts elections
(unlike state elections) are not held at the same time as federal
elections which fall under the HAVA mandate.

The sunset provisions in the bill will allow a reevaluation of the
situation once the new voting machines have been used in several
election cycles. It is important to note that this bill would not impose
any obligation on the boards of elections to maintain care, custody or
control of lever voting machines or to provide fire districts and
special improvement districts with such voting machines for their
elections. The bill would temporarily preserve the status quo with
respect to the options that V have to run their elections, but the board
of elections has no obligation to assist fire districts and special

improvement districts that chooses to use lever voting machines after
September 2010.

This amendment is analogue to chapter 359 of the laws of 2020, which
provided schools with the option of using lever machines in their
elections.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None for the boards of elections. Fire districts and special improvement
districts that want to use lever voting machines will have to obtain
such machines at their own expense.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect
immediately; provided however, that authority to use lever voting
machines will expire on December 31, 2012.

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

                                 5055--A
    Cal. No. 780

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 3, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. MARTINS, JOHNSON -- 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 town  law,  in  relation  to  the  types  of  voting
  machines  used  in  certain elections; and providing for the repeal of
  certain provisions upon expiration thereof

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

  Section  1.  Section 212 of the town law, as amended by chapter 421 of
the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  S 212. Annual election and notice thereof. The district  commissioners
of  such  improvement  district  shall  publish  at  the  expense of the
district the notice of each election of improvement district commission-
ers held pursuant to this article. Such notice  shall  be  published  at
least  once  in one or more newspapers having general circulation in the
district and the first publication thereof shall be at least twenty days
before the day of such election. The notice  of  annual  election  shall
specify  the time when and the place or places where such election shall
be held and the hours during which  the  polls  will  be  open  for  the
receipt  of ballots. Notice of such election shall also be posted on the
websites of the district and the town in which the district is  located,
if  such  websites  are  maintained,  on  the signboard of the town, and
conspicuously posted in three or more designated public locations within
the district, on or about the day on which  such  notice  is  published.
Such  election  shall  be  held at a suitable place or places within the
district designated by the district commissioners and  the  polls  shall
remain  open  from  six o'clock in the evening until nine o'clock in the
evening and such additional  consecutive  hours  prior  thereto  as  the
district  commissioners  may determine and specify in the notice of such

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10730-05-1

S. 5055--A                          2

election.  The board of commissioners of such district  shall  designate
for each district election not less than two nor more than four resident
taxpayers  to  act  as  election  inspectors  and ballot clerks for each
designated  polling  place.  The  board  of  commissioners shall fix the
compensation of such election inspectors and ballot clerks in an  amount
not  to  exceed ten dollars per hour each for every hour or part thereof
of such service and such compensation shall  be  a  charge  against  the
district.  The  board  of  commissioners  shall cause to be prepared the
ballots for all elections, and may authorize the use of voting  machines
[approved  by  the secretary of state], INCLUDING LEVER VOTING MACHINES,
at any annual or special election of the  district.  WHEN  USING  VOTING
MACHINES  AS DESCRIBED IN ARTICLE 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 SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE THE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  TO
MAINTAIN  THE  CARE,  CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF LEVER VOTING MACHINES. After
the polls shall have been closed at any election, the  election  inspec-
tors  and  ballot clerks at each polling place shall immediately canvass
the ballots cast and shall publicly announce the result of the  vote  at
that  polling  place. Within twenty-four hours the chairman of the board
of commissioners, election inspectors and ballot  clerks  shall  execute
and  file  a  certificate of the result of the canvass with the board of
commissioners of the improvement district and with the clerk of the town
in which said district is located.
  S 2. Subdivision 29 of section 176 of the town law, as added by  chap-
ter 568 of the laws of 1949, is amended to read as follows:
  29.  May  authorize the use of voting machines, INCLUDING LEVER VOTING
MACHINES, at any  annual  or  special  election  held  within  the  fire
district [and]. WHEN USING VOTING MACHINES AS DESCRIBED IN ARTICLE SEVEN
OF  THE  ELECTION  LAW,  such voting [machine] MACHINES shall be used in
accordance with the provisions contained in article nine of the election
law. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE  CONSTRUED
TO  REQUIRE  THE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  TO MAINTAIN THE CARE, CUSTODY OR
CONTROL OF LEVER VOTING MACHINES.
  S 3. Section 212 of the town law, as amended by  chapter  421  of  the
laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  S  212. Annual election and notice thereof. The district commissioners
of such improvement  district  shall  publish  at  the  expense  of  the
district the notice of each election of improvement district commission-
ers  held  pursuant  to  this article. Such notice shall be published at
least once in one or more newspapers having general circulation  in  the
district and the first publication thereof shall be at least twenty days
before  the  day  of  such election. The notice of annual election shall
specify the time when and the place or places where such election  shall
be  held  and  the  hours  during  which  the polls will be open for the
receipt of ballots. Notice of such election shall also be posted on  the
websites  of the district and the town in which the district is located,
if such websites are maintained, on  the  signboard  of  the  town,  and
conspicuously posted in three or more designated public locations within
the  district,  on  or  about the day on which such notice is published.
Such election shall be held at a suitable place  or  places  within  the
district  designated  by  the district commissioners and the polls shall
remain open from six o'clock in the evening until nine  o'clock  in  the
evening  and  such  additional  consecutive  hours  prior thereto as the
district commissioners may determine and specify in the notice  of  such
election.    The board of commissioners of such district shall designate

S. 5055--A                          3

for each district election not less than two nor more than four resident
taxpayers to act as election  inspectors  and  ballot  clerks  for  each
designated  polling  place.  The  board  of  commissioners shall fix the
compensation  of such election inspectors and ballot clerks in an amount
not to exceed ten dollars per hour each for every hour or  part  thereof
of  such  service  and  such  compensation shall be a charge against the
district. The board of commissioners shall  cause  to  be  prepared  the
ballots  for all elections, and may authorize the use of voting machines
[approved by the secretary of state] at any annual or  special  election
of  the  district  in  accordance with article nine of the election law.
After the polls shall have been closed at  any  election,  the  election
inspectors  and  ballot  clerks  at each polling place shall immediately
canvass the ballots cast and shall publicly announce the result  of  the
vote at that polling place. Within twenty-four hours the chairman of the
board  of  commissioners,  election  inspectors  and ballot clerks shall
execute and file a certificate of the result of  the  canvass  with  the
board of commissioners of the improvement district and with the clerk of
the town in which said district is located.
  S 4. Subdivisions 12 and 13 of section 213-b of the town law, as added
by chapter 400 of the laws of 1985, are amended to read as follows:
  12. If the inspectors of election shall have received an envelope, and
upon  opening  the same no ballot shall be found therein, the inspectors
shall make a memorandum showing that the ballot  is  missing.  When  the
casting  of  absentee  voters'  ballots  shall  have been completed, the
inspectors shall ascertain the number of such ballots  which  have  been
deposited  in  the  ballot box by deducting from the number of envelopes
opened the number of missing ballots, and shall make a  separate  return
thereof  in  duplicate. The number of absentee voters' ballots deposited
in the ballot box shall be added to the number of other ballots deposit-
ed in the ballot box in order to determine the number of all ballots  to
be  accounted  for in the ballot box. Such ballots shall then be counted
or canvassed by the inspectors of election along with the other  ballots
cast  at  such district election, or, where voting machines are used, AS
PROVIDED IN SECTION TWO HUNDRED TWELVE OF THIS ARTICLE, shall  be  added
to the votes recorded on such machines.
  13.  The provisions of this section shall apply to absentee ballots at
improvement district elections, notwithstanding any other  provision  of
law.  The  provisions  of  any  other  law as they relate to improvement
district elections not inconsistent herewith shall apply to the  conduct
of such elections. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL
BE  CONSTRUED  TO  REQUIRE  THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO MAINTAIN THE CARE,
CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF LEVER VOTING MACHINES.
  S 5.  Subdivisions 4 and 12 of section  175-b  of  the  town  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  401  of  the  laws of 1996, are amended to read as
follows:
  4.  Ballots for absentee voters shall be, as nearly as practicable, in
the same form as those to be voted at the district election; if the vote
at such election shall be by ballot, the absentee ballot  shall  conform
to  that  part  of  the  regular ballot which relates to the election of
district members; if the vote  of  such  election  shall  be  by  voting
machine,  PURSUANT  TO  SUBDIVISION  TWENTY-NINE  OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED
SEVENTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE,  the  absentee  ballot  shall  [conform  as
closely  as  possible to the manner in which the names of the candidates
appear on the voting machines, except that  the  absentee  ballot  shall
also  contain a space for a write-in or write-ins] BE, AS NEARLY PRACTI-
CABLE, IN THE SAME FORM AS THOSE TO BE VOTED IN THE DISTRICT ON ELECTION

S. 5055--A                          4

DAY AND SHALL CONTAIN A SPACE FOR A WRITE-IN OR WRITE-INS.  On the  back
of  such  absentee  ballots shall be printed the words "Official Ballot,
Absentee Voter," followed by the words "For Officers of fire district."
  12.  If  the  election inspectors shall have received an envelope, and
upon opening the same no ballot shall be  found  therein,  the  election
inspectors  shall  make a memorandum showing that the ballot is missing.
When the casting of absentee voters' ballots shall have been  completed,
the election inspectors shall ascertain the number of such ballots which
have  been  deposited  in the ballot box by deducting from the number of
envelopes opened the number of missing ballots, and shall make  a  sepa-
rate return thereof in duplicate. The number of absentee voters' ballots
deposited  in  the  ballot  box  shall  be  added to the number of other
ballots deposited in the ballot box in order to determine the number  of
all  ballots  to  be accounted for in the ballot box. Such ballots shall
then be counted or canvassed by the election inspectors along  with  the
other  ballots cast at such district election, or, where voting machines
are used[,] PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWENTY-NINE OF SECTION  ONE  HUNDRED
SEVENTY-SIX  OF  THIS  ARTICLE, SUCH BALLOTS shall be added to the votes
recorded on such machines.
  S 6. Subdivision 4 of section 175-b of the town  law,  as  amended  by
chapter 401 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
  4.  Ballots for absentee voters shall be, as nearly as practicable, in
the same form as those to be voted at the district election; if the vote
at  such  election shall be by ballot, the absentee ballot shall conform
to that part of the regular ballot which  relates  to  the  election  of
district  members;  if  the  vote  of  such  election shall be by voting
machine, the absentee ballot shall [conform as closely  as  possible  to
the  manner  in  which  the names of the candidates appear on the voting
machines, except that the absentee ballot shall also contain a space for
a write-in or write-ins] BE, AS NEARLY PRACTICABLE, IN THE SAME FORM  AS
THOSE  TO  BE  VOTED IN THE DISTRICT ON ELECTION DAY AND SHALL CONTAIN A
SPACE FOR A WRITE-IN OR WRITE-INS.  On the back of such absentee ballots
shall be printed the words "Official Ballot, Absentee  Voter,"  followed
by the words "For Officers of fire district."
  S  7.  This  act shall take effect immediately provided, however, that
sections one, two, four and five of this act shall expire and be  deemed
repealed  December  31,  2012,  when  upon  such  date the provisions of
sections three and six of this act shall take effect.

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