senate Bill S4135B

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter

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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

  • 12 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 29 / Apr / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 4135A
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 08 / May / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 08 / May / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 4135B

Summary

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille and large print, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter no less than 30 days prior to each election day.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8815A
Versions:
S4135
S4135A
S4135B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add §7-107, El L; add §2022-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S5517B
2009-2010: A3738A
2007-2008: A7196

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4135B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the education
law, in relation to making absentee ballots available in Braille and
large-print

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To allow blind or visually impaired individuals access to absentee
ballots printed in Braille and large-print.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 adds a new section 7-107 to the election law requiring that
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print be made available
upon the request of any registered voter who is blind or visually
impaired and that persons wishing to receive such ballots must give
notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to each
election day. This section also gives the state board of
elections(SBOE) the task of promulgating rules for the preparation,
distribution, casting and canvassing of such ballots; directs that
such rules be developed in consultation with state disability advocacy
groups; defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this
section; and provides proof reading standards for the ballots.

Section 2 adds a new section 2022-a to the education law that states
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print shall be made
available upon request of any registered voter who is blind or
visually impaired. It further states that such ballots may be cast in
parson on Election Day. Those wishing to receive such ballots must
give notice no less than thirty days prior to each Election Day. The
commissioner in consultation with the SBOE are to promulgate rules for
the preparation, distribution, casting and canvass of these ballots;
directs that such rules be developed in consultation with state
disability advocacy groups; defines Braille and large-print for the
purposes of this section; and provides proof reading standards for the
ballots.

Section 3 adds a new section 2022-a to the election law to take effect
when lever machines are no longer able to be used in elections
pursuant to the education law and there will be no need for such
Braille and large-print ballots for in person voting use.

Section 4 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

This act will enable blind and visually impaired persons to request
and receive Braille or large-print absentee ballots. While the
adoption and implementation of technologically advanced ballot marking
devices with optical scanners has marked a new milestone for
accessibility of in-person voting for individuals with disabilities,
currently, blind or visually impaired people must have someone assist
them in filling out absentee ballots because such ballots are not
produced in accessible formats. The present situation interferes with
the rights of blind or visually impaired people to vote independently.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013: S.4135 - Referred to Elections.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

There will be costs associated with the production of the Braille and
large print ballots.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however that
effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any
rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its
effective date are authorized to be made on or before such effective
date.

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

                                 4135--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 12, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Elections  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to  said  committee  --  recommitted  to the Committee on Elections in
  accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --  committee  discharged,  bill
  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
  tee

AN ACT to amend the election law and the education law, in  relation  to
  making absentee ballots available in Braille and large-print

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

  Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new  section  7-107
to read as follows:
  S 7-107. ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE.    1. ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE
MADE AVAILABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED.    PERSONS WISHING TO RECEIVE BRAILLE OR LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF TO THE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS  NO
LESS  THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO EACH ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE THE BOARD TO
PREPARE AND DISTRIBUTE SUCH BALLOTS.
  2. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE RULES FOR THE  PREPA-
RATION,  DISTRIBUTION,  CASTING,  AND CANVASS OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE BALLOTS.   THE STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  DEVELOP  THE
INITIAL  FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION
WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN  THE
FIELD  OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRI-
ATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  SHALL  DETERMINE.  FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, "BRAILLE"
REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS TO A FONT OF  EIGH-
TEEN  POINT OR LARGER.  UPON THE PRINTING OF A BRAILLE BALLOT, THE BOARD
OF ELECTIONS SHALL REQUIRE SUCH BRAILLE BALLOT  TO  BE  PROOFREAD  BY  A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05514-10-4

S. 4135--B                          2

QUALIFIED  BRAILLE READER.  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL ESTABLISH
THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR A BRAILLE BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTA-
TION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN
THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPRO-
PRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL
DETERMINE.
  S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  2022-a  to
read as follows:
  S  2022-A. BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAILABLE. 1.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED.  PERSONS  WISHING  TO RECEIVE BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE
BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF NO LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO  EACH
ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.   THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES  FOR  THE  PREPARATION,  DISTRIBUTION,
CASTING,  AND  CANVASS  OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE BALLOTS. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP THE INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND  LARGE-
PRINT  BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGAN-
IZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE  WITH  DISA-
BILITIES  AND  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR
ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS
SECTION,  "BRAILLE" REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS
TO A FONT OF EIGHTEEN POINT OR LARGER. UPON THE PRINTING  OF  A  BRAILLE
BALLOT,  SUCH  BRAILLE  BALLOT SHALL BE PROOFREAD BY A QUALIFIED BRAILLE
READER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR  A
BRAILLE  BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK
STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY  FOR  PEOPLE
WITH  DISABILITIES  AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES
OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided  that  effec-
tive  immediately,  the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or
regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective
date are authorized to be made on or before such effective date.

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