senate Bill S423

Relates to requiring ballot rotation

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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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  • 09 / Jan / 2013
  • 08 / Jan / 2014


Relates to requiring ballot rotation.

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Bill Details

Legislative Cycle:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §7-116, El L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:

Sponsor Memo


An act
to amend the election law, in relation to requiring ballot rotation

This bill makes a technical clarification to the election law to make
it clear that ballot rotation of candidates' names is still required
by the election law in cities with a population of one million or
more for primary elections.

Section one amends subdivision 6 of section 7-116 of the election law
to remove references to voting machines. This change also removes the
requirement of ballot rotation for party position for county
committee in primary elections.

Section two provides that this act shall take effect immediately.

The rotation of candidates' names in primary elections within New York
City has been a time honored practice embodied in state law going
back prior to 1950. The simple idea behind the practice being that
every candidate for election in a primary should have equal access to
the top ballot position for that respective race.

Recently, the NYC Board of Elections has ended this practice, in
effect arguing that the current law, as written does not apply to the
new ballots or electronic scanners. As a result the city BOE has
discontinued this time honored practice. This legislation would make
a technical correction to make clear ballot rotation is still
required by removing outdated references to the word "voting machine"
while at the same time changing the practice so that it only applies
to elections to office and state committee and no longer to party
positions for county committee.

2012: S.6874/A.9866

None to the state.


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


                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E


                             January 9, 2013

Introduced  by  Sen.  DILAN  -- 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 requiring ballot  rota-


  Section 1. Subdivision 6 of section 7-116 of  the  election  law,  the
second  undesignated  paragraph as amended by chapter 121 of the laws of
1997, is amended to read as follows:
  6. In the city of New York, the ballot [on  the  voting  machine]  for
primary elections shall conform to the following additional provisions:
  The  names  of  the candidates designated for [such] public office [or
party position] in the primary of a party  shall  be  placed  under  the
title  of  the  office  or  position  in the alphabetical order of their
surnames, in the first or lowest numbered assembly district and election
district of any political unit or  subdivision  within  a  county.    If
candidates'  surnames  are  identical,  their  given or first name shall
determine their order.    Thereafter  the  names  shall  be  rotated  by
election  districts  by  transposing  the  first  named candidate to the
bottom of the order at each succeeding election district, so  that  each
name  shall  appear first and in each other position in an equal number,
as nearly as possible, of the election districts [and  except,  further,
that  where  two  or more candidates are to be elected to the same party
position, the names of candidates for such a position  which  appear  on
the same designating petition shall be grouped together on the ballot in
the  order  in  which their names appear on the designating petition and
the group rotated alphabetically in relation to other groups or individ-
ual candidates according to the surname  of  the  first  person  on  the
designating  petition  of such group.  Groups of candidates for delegate
and alternate delegate, and groups of candidates  for  male  and  female

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

S. 423                              2

delegate  and  male and female alternate delegate to the same convention
designated on the same petition shall be rotated together alphabetically
in relation to other groups or individual candidates  according  to  the
surname  of  the first person listed on such designating petition in the
group of candidates for whichever of such delegate or alternate delegate
positions will appear first on the voting machine. If  the  rules  of  a
party  committee provide for equal representation of the sexes among the
members of a state committee   elected from each unit of representation,
elections for male and female members of such a committee from a  single
unit of representation shall be conducted as elections for two different
party  positions].  Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, if
the board of elections has assigned numbers to  the  candidates  for  an
office  [or  position]  because of identical or similar names among such
candidates, the names of such candidates shall be placed under the title
of such office [or position] in the order of such numbers in such  first
or  lowest  numbered  district,  and  the  names shall not be rotated by
election district. Such names shall appear in  the  identical  order  on
each ballot in each election district.
  [County  committee candidates or groups of candidates shall be printed
within the first election district of each  assembly  district  or  part
thereof,  according  to  the priority of filing of designating petitions
and they shall then be rotated  by  election  district  by  placing  the
candidate  or group of candidates designated in the same petition as the
candidate or group of candidates which was printed first in an  election
district  at  the  bottom  of  the order in the next succeeding election
district in which a candidate or group of candidates designated in  such
petition appears on the ballot.
  In  cases where a name is added to or removed from the ballot by court
order too late to make  a  complete  adjustment  to  these  requirements
feasible,  the name may be added at the bottom of the list of candidates
in all election districts, or removed from the ballot  in  all  election
districts  without changing the previously arranged order of other names
and without invalidating the election.] Any  inadvertent  error  in  the
order  of names discovered too late to correct the order of the names on
the ballots concerned shall not invalidate an election.
  Except where a contest or candidate is  removed  from  the  ballot  by
court  order  too  late  to make complete compliance with this paragraph
feasible, the title of each public office [or party  position]  and  the
names  of  the candidates for such office [or position] appearing on any
[voting machine] BALLOT used for primary elections in the  city  of  New
York  shall  appear on such [machine] BALLOT immediately adjacent to one
another, either horizontally or vertically; and no  blank  spaces  shall
separate  the  names  of  candidates  actually running for an office [or
party position] on such [voting machine] BALLOT,  and  no  blank  spaces
shall  separate any two such offices [or positions] which appear on such
[voting machine] BALLOT in the same column or row.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


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