senate Bill S4671

Removes certain requirement that notice of party caucus be filed and posted with the local board of elections in village elections

download pdf

Sponsor

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 17 / Apr / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 22 / Apr / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.373
  • 23 / Apr / 2013
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 24 / Apr / 2013
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.155
  • 11 / Feb / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 26 / Feb / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 14 / May / 2014
    • SUBSTITUTED BY A412

Summary

Removes certain requirement that notice of party caucus be filed and posted with the local board of elections in village elections.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A412
Versions:
S4671
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง15-108, El L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: A2369, A2369
2009-2010: A851, A851
2007-2008: A7443, A7443

Votes

9
0
9
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Elections committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4671

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
filing and posting notice of party caucus at the local board of
elections in village elections

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To simplify the notice requirements for party nominating caucuses for
village elections while ensuring sufficient notice to village
residents.

THE CURRENT LAW

Current law requires that notice of a party caucus held for making
party nominations for village offices for village elections be made by
posting and filing such notice at the offices of the village clerk and
the board of elections and either by newspaper publication within the
village or posting the notice in six public places in the village.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one amends paragraph c of subdivision 2 of section 15-108 of
the election law, as amended by chapter 160 of the laws of 1996, by
deleting the requirements of posting and filing notice of party
nominating caucus at the office of the board of elections.

Section two provides the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

Prior to December 1, 1996, Election Law only required that notice of a
party caucus held for making party nominations for village offices for
village elections be made either by newspaper publication within the
village or by posting the notice in six public places in the village.
As a result of an alleged abuse in which potential adversaries were
unaware of the date of the caucus despite the claim by caucus Chairs
that notices were posted as required, the statutory requirements were
amended effective December 1, 1996, to impose the additional
requirements of posting and filing such notice at the offices of the
village clerk and the board of elections.

Village elections are conducted by the village clerk unless the
village adopts a resolution providing that the village election shall
be conducted by the board of elections. Chapter 160, effective
December 1, 1996, amended several sections of the Election Law
including section 6-202.3., which applies to village elections
conducted by the board of elections, and section 15-1 08.2.c., which
applies to village elections conducted by the village clerk. The goal
of these amendments was to ensure that the voting public had
sufficient notification of a nominating caucus meeting.

Unfortunately, the result of these amendments in many cases has been
to void the nomination of candidates despite ample notification to the
voting public. The requirement of posting and filing notice of the
caucus at the county board of elections serves no practical purpose in
a village election that is conducted by the village clerk. Village


residents have ample opportunity to determine the date, time, and
location of the caucus from either the local newspaper or the six
public places and importantly, from the posting and filing at the
offices of the village clerk. Village residents would not, and do not,
visit or call their county board of elections to get information about
their village election when it is conducted by the village clerk.

Chairs of village political parties are generally not experts in
election law and are frequently unaware that their caucus notice must
be posted and filed at the county board of elections for a village
election solely conducted by the village clerk. In fact, there is no
other involvement of the board of elections during the entire village
election process. In this regard, while section 6-202.5., which
applies to village elections conducted by the board of elections,
requires the filing of the certificate of nomination and list of
caucus participants with the board of elections, section 15-1 08.2.e,
which applies to village elections conducted by the village clerk,
requires the filing of said certificate and list only with the village
clerk. The board of elections is in no way involved in a village
election that is conducted by the village clerk.

The requirement that notice of a party caucus be posted and filed with
the village clerk both for elections conducted by the village and
those conducted by the board of elections makes practical sense. The
village clerk's office is easily accessible for members of the voting
public to get information about the caucus either by a convenient
visit or telephone call. For village elections conducted by the board
of elections, it makes sense for the notice of caucus to also be
posted and filed with the board of elections, and caucus chairs are
well aware of the involvement of the board of elections in all facets
of the village election.

Significantly, since the amendment took effect in December 1996,
caucus nominations have been invalidated, and candidates have been
knocked off their party's ballot, due to challenges by the opposing
political party, not members of the same party whose protection the
amendment was designed to serve. The notice requirement has become a
tool for the opposing party to void a caucus nomination for a harmless
error by the caucus chair whose own party members are not challenging
the sufficiency of the notice. The intent of the 1996 amendment was to
ensure sufficient notice to party members of their own party's caucus,
not to provide a tool for the opposing party to invalidate caucus
nominations as part of their election strategy. Unfortunately, this
has been the unintended effect. See Matter of Fitzpatrick v. Ciamarra,
27 A.D.3d 594, 811 N.Y.S.2d 767 (2d Dept. 2006); Matter of Chevere v.
Sunderland, 303 A.D.2d 428, 755 N.Y.S.2d 885 (2d Dept. 2003); Komiczky
v. Sunderland, 175 Misc.2d 912, 670 N.Y.S.2d 726 (Sup. Ct.,
Westchester County 1998).

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

A.2369, 2011 and 2012 referred to Elections.
A.851, 2009 and 2010 referred to Elections.
A.7443, 2007 and 2008 referred to Elections. Same as S.5232, 2007 and
2008 referred to Rules.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:


None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeeding
the date on which it shall become law.

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

                                  4671

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 17, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  O'MARA -- 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  filing  and  posting
  notice  of  party  caucus  at  the local board of elections in village
  elections

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

  Section  1.    Paragraph  c  of subdivision 2 of section 15-108 of the
election law, as amended by chapter 160 of the laws of 1996, is  amended
to read as follows:
  c.  A notice of any party caucus held for making party nominations for
village offices for village elections shall be given by the proper party
authorities by posting such notice in the public areas at the offices of
the village clerk [and the board of elections] and by filing such notice
with such clerk [and such board] at least ten days preceding the day  of
the  caucus and, either by newspaper publication thereof once within the
village at least one week and not more  than  two  weeks  preceding  the
caucus, or by posting such notice in six public places in the village at
least ten days preceding the day of the caucus.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD04904-01-3

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.