senate Bill S4270

Eliminates requirement that affidavits subscribed by voters contain the address where he or she was previously registered and substantially comply with a form prescribed by state board of 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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  • 18 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS

Summary

Eliminates requirement that affidavits subscribed by voters contain the address where he or she was previously registered and substantially comply with a form prescribed by the state board of elections.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6817
Versions:
S4270
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §8-302, El L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4270

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to voter
affidavits

PURPOSE: This bill eliminates the requirement for a voter utilizing
an affidavit ballot to include their previous address in the affidavit
mandated in support of their request for a ballot. In addition, the
bill would add language recognizing substantial compliance with the
requirements of these affidavits; pursuant to Election Law Section
8-302(3)(e)(ii).

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one of the bill eliminates the requirement to include previous
registration address when applying for an affidavit ballot. The bill
also adds language that requires a voter to substantially comply with
the law regarding the form and filing of affidavits and affidavit
ballots.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill removes the requirement in Election Law
Section 8-302(3)(e)(ii) that a voter filing an affidavit ballot
include in that document the address from which they were last
registered to vote. In addition, the bill adds "substantial
compliance" to the requirements for demonstrating completion of the
affidavit and ballot.

Under current law, the requirement that this information be included
by a voter needing to utilize an affidavit ballot is an unnecessary
obstacle to a person's exercising their right to vote. The role of the
affidavit ballot is to allow a person - swearing under penalty of
perjury that they are registered to vote, they remain a duly qualified
voter in the election district, and that their poll records, through
no fault of their own, have been omitted or misplaced from the system
utilized by the local board of elections - to cast their vote on a
paper ballot.

The requirement that they include the address from which they
previously registered, no matter how long ago that may have been, is
unduly onerous, and serves no legitimate purpose in determining the
validity of the instant application.

The bill also includes "substantial compliance" language for review of
adherence to this section of law The provision redresses the on-going
practice of utilizing hyper-technical legal challenges to affidavit
ballots in an all-too-often successful effort to deny a person their
constitutional right to vote.

This language will allow the validity of the ballot to be determined
based upon compliance with the language of the statute and the actions
and intentions of the voter, without limiting the state's ability to
protect against voter fraud.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013 New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None


EFFECTIVE DATE:. This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  4270

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 18, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. TKACZYK, STEWART-COUSINS, ADDABBO, BRESLIN, CARLUC-
  CI, DILAN,  ESPAILLAT,  GIPSON,  HASSELL-THOMPSON,  HOYLMAN,  KRUEGER,
  LATIMER,   LAVALLE,  MONTGOMERY,  O'BRIEN,  PARKER,  RIVERA,  SAMPSON,
  SANDERS, SERRANO, SQUADRON, STAVISKY -- read twice and ordered  print-
  ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to voter affidavits

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

  Section 1. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph  (e)  of  subdivision  3  of
section 8-302 of the election law, as amended by chapter 164 of the laws
of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he
or  she  has  duly  registered  to  vote,  the  address in such election
district from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a  duly
qualified  voter in such election district, that his or her registration
poll record appears to be lost or misplaced or  that  his  or  her  name
and/or  his  or  her  signature  was omitted from the computer generated
registration list or that he or she has moved within the county or  city
since  he  or she last registered, [the address from which he or she was
previously registered and] the address at  which  he  or  she  currently
resides,  and  at  a  primary  election, the party in which he or she is
enrolled. The inspectors of election shall offer such  an  affidavit  to
each  such  voter  whose residence address is in such election district.
Each such affidavit shall SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLY WITH AND  be  in  a  form
prescribed  by  the  state  board  of  elections, shall be printed on an
envelope of the size and quality used for an absentee  ballot  envelope,
and  shall  contain  an acknowledgment that the affiant understands that
any false statement made therein is perjury punishable according to law.
Such form prescribed by the  state  board  of  elections  shall  request
information  required  to  register  such  voter should the county board
determine that such voter is not  registered  and  shall  constitute  an

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08466-01-3

S. 4270                             2

application  to  register  to  vote.  The  voter's  name and the entries
required shall then be entered without delay and without further inquiry
in the fourth section of the challenge report or in the  place  provided
at  the  end of the computer generated registration list, with the nota-
tion that the voter has executed the affidavit  hereinabove  prescribed,
or, if such person's name appears on the computer generated registration
list, the board of elections may provide a place to make such entry next
to  his or her name on such list.  The voter shall then, without further
inquiry, be permitted to vote an affidavit ballot provided for  by  this
chapter.  Such ballot shall thereupon be placed in the envelope contain-
ing his or her affidavit, and the envelope sealed and  returned  to  the
board  of elections in the manner provided by this chapter for protested
official ballots, including a statement of the number of such ballots.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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