senate Bill S7812

Relates to requiring voting materials to be provided in Russian

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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

  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1501
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A10609

Summary

Relates to requiring voting materials to be provided in Russian.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10609
Versions:
S7812
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง3-506, El L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7812

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the election law, in relation to voting materials in
Russian

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

This bill seeks the same status for Russian that exists for five other
languages (aside from English) relating to all election-related
information, as required by federal Voting Rights Act, in cities with
over one million residents.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one states that a board of elections in a city of over one
million provide all information that is provided in English about the
electoral process, including registration or voting notices, forms,
instructions, assistance as well as information provided at the
polling place, including voting systems, ballot marking devices and
ballots in Russian to the extent needed to allow voters who speak
Russian to participate effectively in the electoral process and all
voting-connected activities. Further, such board of elections shall
also provide the same information in Russian that it provides in
languages other than English on its website.

Section one also states that such board of elections shall also
produce and disseminate citywide a booklet that includes: (a) a voter
registration form in English with instructions in Russian; (b)
instructions in Russian regarding the criteria and application process
for obtaining an absentee ballot; and (c) a section with general voter
information in Russian including frequently asked questions. Such
board may include other languages on its website and in such booklet.

Section two is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

There are over 1.6 Russian speaking Americans in the New York
Tri-State area alone. Residents of the New York Metropolitan Area who
were born in Russia and other former Soviet Union countries is almost
500,000. Some Assembly and Senate districts have significant Russian
speaking populations, up to 20% of some districts' total population.
In many cases, these Russian Americans are being unfairly shut out of
the voting process because of language barriers.

Voting and registration materials are printed in many languages other
than English, but Russian has long been ignored. These
Russian-Americans aren't voting because they aren't registered and
they aren't registered because some of them can't read the information
and registration materials. This bill will go a long way towards equal
representation for all New Yorkers.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
Similar to Chapter 244 of 2009


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

Costs to local boards of elections in cities with one million or more
residents.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take on the one hundred and twentieth day after it
shall have become law.

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

                                  7812

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 20, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. STOROBIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation  to  voting  materials  in
  Russian

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

  Section 1. Section 3-506 of the election law, as added by chapter  244
of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  S  3-506. Boards of elections; voting materials in Russian. A board of
elections in a city of over one million shall provide [the same informa-
tion in Russian that it provides in languages other than English on  its
website.  It]  ALL  INFORMATION  THAT  IS  PROVIDED  BY  SUCH A BOARD OF
ELECTIONS IN ENGLISH ABOUT THE ELECTORAL PROCESS, INCLUDING REGISTRATION
OR VOTING NOTICES, FORMS, INSTRUCTIONS, ASSISTANCE AS WELL  AS  INFORMA-
TION  PROVIDED  AT  THE  POLLING PLACE, INCLUDING VOTING SYSTEMS, BALLOT
MARKING DEVICES AND BALLOTS IN RUSSIAN TO THE  EXTENT  NEEDED  TO  ALLOW
VOTERS  WHO  SPEAK  RUSSIAN  TO PARTICIPATE EFFECTIVELY IN THE ELECTORAL
PROCESS AND ALL VOTING-CONNECTED ACTIVITIES.  SUCH  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS
SHALL  ALSO  PROVIDE THE SAME INFORMATION IN RUSSIAN THAT IT PROVIDES IN
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH ON ITS WEBSITE.  SUCH  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS
shall also produce and disseminate citywide a booklet that includes: (a)
a  voter  registration form in English with instructions in Russian; (b)
instructions in Russian regarding the criteria and  application  process
for  obtaining  an absentee ballot; and (c) a section with general voter
information in Russian including frequently asked questions. Such  board
may include other languages on its website and in such booklet.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
it  shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
ment and/or repeal of any rules or regulations necessary for the  imple-
mentation of this act on its effective date are authorized to be made on
or before such date.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD16185-02-2

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