senate Bill S3252
(D, WF) 28th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Provides for the state board of elections to undertake a study of the feasibility for voting by mail, telephone and/or the internet; authorizes a pilot program for such voting during the study; requires a report to the governor and legislature.
TITLE OF BILL: An act providing for the state board of elections to
undertake a study on the feasibility of permitting voting by mail, tele-
phone and/or the internet and to establish pilot projects relating ther-
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require that the state
board of elections do a study of the feasibility of voting by mail,
telephone and/or over the internet. It would also empower it to estab-
lish pilot programs to evaluate the feasibility of any of these methods
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:;
Section 1 mandates that the state board of elections undertake a study
of the feasibility of voting by mail, telephone and/or over the inter-
net, that such a study may include pilot programs of each method, and
that it report to the legislature and the governor the results of the
study along with recommendations.
JUSTIFICATION: One of the primary goals of any representative form of
government should be to have every eligible voter participate. While
attaining such a goal may be a practical impossibility, the legislature
must find ways to increase voter turnout. That is especially true given
the ominous decline in turnout Over the past four decades in New York
State. Since the 1956 election, the percentage of registered voters who
cast ballots has steadily fallen from over 93% to less than 64%.
In a recent nationwide study conducted for the League of Women Voters, a
majority of non-voters supported proposals which make voting more
convenient. Keeping the polls open longer and providing an opportunity
to vote by mail were both considered very helpful in getting them to
cast votes. This bill would require the board of elections to examine
the possibility of using mail, telephone and internet voting. In almost
all the tests of mail voting, it has significantly increased voter
participation. Recent elections in Oregon have been conducted by mail
with startlingly positive results and little or no fraud. According to
election officials in various parts of the country, including New York
State, the technology exists to use touch-tone phones to securely case
your vote. Given the constant decline in voter participation in the
electoral process, the state should examine these methods of increasing
turnout. The results of this study, when presented to the legislature,
will enable it to decide if this is a course that New York should
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.3590/A.6716 2011-2012: S.424/A.5204
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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