senate Bill S5235

Amended

Enacts the Disaster Voting Relief Act of 2014; provides for temporary voting procedures in a state of emergency

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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

  • 14 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 03 / Feb / 2014
    • AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 03 / Feb / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 5235A

Summary

Enacts the Disaster Voting Relief Act of 2014; provides for temporary voting procedures in a state of emergency.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7938
Versions:
S5235
S5235A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add §§3-109 & 8-414, amd §§8-302 & 9-209, El L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5235

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
enacting the disaster voting relief act of 2013

PURPOSE OF BILL: This bill would ensure that registered voters are
given an opportunity to cast their votes when a natural or manmade
disaster has affected their polling sites.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:

Section one of this bill titles the bill the "Disaster Voting Relief
Act of 2013."

Section two of the bill would add section 3-109 to the election law,
authorizing the Governor to delay or suspend an election in an
affected municipality upon declaration of a state of emergency or a
federal disaster declaration. This section also provides for the
resumption or rescheduling of an election delayed or suspended in
accordance with this provision, pursuant. to rules and regulations
promulgated by the State Board of Elections.

Section three of this bill would add section 8-414 to the election
law, allowing residents to vote by absentee ballot if their polling
place is located in an area affected by an executive order declaring a
state of emergency or a federal disaster declaration. Such declaration
must be made within 14 days of the election.

Section four of the bill would amend election law section 8-302 by
adding a new subdivision six, waiving the requirement of an affidavit
voter to affirm that he or she is registered to vote within the
election district where the poll site is located, provided that the
voter is registered to vote in the same county as the poll site upon
declaration of a state of emergency or a federal disaster declaration.

Section five of the bill would amend paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of
section 9-209 of the election law to make it clear that a voter
displaced due to a disaster shall have his or her vote counted
notwithstanding the fact that they did not appear at the correct
polling location. Such affidavit ballots would only be cast for those
contests for which the person was eligible to vote at the polling
location where he or she appeared.

Section six of the bill amends election law section 9-209, requiring
absentee ballots cast by voters pursuant to new section 8-414 to be
transmitted to the board of elections in the voter's home county where
they shall be canvassed.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would help necessitate the franchise for New
York citizens who have been displaced from their homes due to an
emergency or disaster. Over the past several years we have seen
firsthand how voters in our state have been disenfranchised due to
natural disasters that have occurred near an election. This is
unacceptable and as a state we must ensure this important right is
maintained in the face of such horrific natural or manmade acts.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.


FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the
state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 180th day after it
shall have become a law. Effective immediately the board of elections
is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations necessary for
the further implementation of this act on its effective date.

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

                                  5235

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 14, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. TKACZYK, STEWART-COUSINS, ADDABBO, SANDERS -- 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 enacting the disaster
  voting relief act of 2013

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

  Section  1.  Short Title.  This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "disaster voting relief act of 2013".
  S 2.  The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-109  to
read as follows:
  S 3-109. DISASTER; GOVERNOR MAY SUSPEND OR DELAY VOTING. 1. THE GOVER-
NOR  MAY, UPON ISSUANCE OF AN EXECUTIVE ORDER DECLARING A STATE OF EMER-
GENCY OR UPON THE ISSUANCE OF A FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION SUSPEND  OR
DELAY AN ELECTION IN SUCH MUNICIPALITY.
  2. IF A DELAY OR SUSPENSION IS AUTHORIZED BY THE GOVERNOR, THE DELAYED
VOTING SHALL RESUME OR BE RESCHEDULED AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE PURSUANT TO
THE  PROCEDURES OUTLINED IN SECTION 3-108 OF THIS TITLE. THE STATE BOARD
OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE SUCH  RULES  AND  REGULATIONS  TO  FURTHER
EFFECTUATE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  S 3. The election law is amended by adding a new section 8-414 to read
as follows:
  S  8-414.  PERSONS  ENTITLED  TO  VOTE  ABSENTEE  WHEN AN EMERGENCY IS
DECLARED. UPON ISSUANCE OF AN EXECUTIVE ORDER DECLARING A STATE OF EMER-
GENCY OR UPON THE ISSUANCE OF  A  FEDERAL  DISASTER  DECLARATION  WITHIN
FOURTEEN  DAYS OF AN ELECTION ANY QUALIFIED VOTER WHOSE POLLING LOCATION
IS WITHIN THE AREA AFFECTED BY SUCH DECLARATION MAY VOTE AS AN  ABSENTEE
VOTER NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER.
  S  4.  Section  8-302  of  the election law is amended by adding a new
subdivision 6 to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10637-03-3

S. 5235                             2

  6. UPON THE GOVERNOR'S ISSUANCE OF  AN  EXECUTIVE  ORDER  DECLARING  A
STATE OF EMERGENCY PURSUANT TO SECTION TWENTY-EIGHT OF THE EXECUTIVE LAW
OR  UPON  THE ISSUANCE OF A FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION A VOTER SEEKING
TO VOTE BY AFFIDAVIT NEED NOT AFFIRM THAT SUCH VOTER IS DULY  REGISTERED
IN  THE ELECTION DISTRICT IN WHICH SUCH VOTER SEEKS TO CAST AN AFFIDAVIT
BALLOT IF SUCH VOTER IS REGISTERED TO VOTE WITHIN THE COUNTY  FOR  WHICH
SUCH DECLARATION HAS BEEN ISSUED.
  S  5.  Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 9-209 of the election
law is amended by adding a new subparagraph (iv) to read as follows:
  (IV) NOTWITHSTANDING SUBPARAGRAPH (III) OF THIS PARAGRAPH,  THE  BOARD
OF  ELECTIONS  FOR THE COUNTY IN WHICH SUCH VOTER RESIDES SHALL CAST AND
CANVASS SUCH BALLOT, IF IT DETERMINES THAT SUCH VOTER  WAS  ENTITLED  TO
VOTE  REGARDLESS    OF  THE FACT THAT THE VOTER MAY HAVE APPEARED IN THE
INCORRECT POLLING LOCATION DUE TO THE DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGEN-
CY. SUCH BALLOT SHALL NOT BE CAST AND CANVASSED  FOR  SUCH  CONTEST  FOR
WHICH THE PERSON WAS NOT ENTITLED TO VOTE AT SUCH ELECTION.
  S  6.  The  opening paragraph of section 9-209 of the election law, as
amended by chapter 163 of the laws  of  2010,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  Before  completing  the canvass of votes cast in any primary, general,
special, or other election at which voters are required  to  sign  their
registration  poll  records  before voting, the board of elections shall
proceed in the manner hereinafter prescribed to  cast  and  canvass  any
absentee,  military,  special  presidential,  special  federal  or other
special ballots and any ballots voted by voters  who  moved  within  the
county  or  city  after  registering, voters who are in inactive status,
voters whose registration was incorrectly transferred to another address
even though they did not move, voters whose  registration  poll  records
were  missing on the day of such election, voters who have not had their
identity previously verified and voters whose registration poll  records
did  not  show them to be enrolled in the party in which they claimed to
be enrolled. Each such ballot shall be retained in the original envelope
containing the voter's affidavit and signature, in which it is delivered
to the board of elections until such time  as  it  is  to  be  cast  and
canvassed.  ABSENTEE BALLOTS CAST BY VOTERS PURSUANT TO SECTION 8-414 OF
THIS CHAPTER SHALL BE TRANSMITTED BY THE COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS WHERE
SUCH  BALLOT  WAS  CAST  TO  THE  BOARD OF ELECTIONS WHERE SUCH VOTER IS
REGISTERED TO VOTE TO BE CANVASSED WITH  OTHER  AFFIDAVIT  AND  ABSENTEE
BALLOTS FOR THE ELECTION DISTRICT WHEREIN THE VOTER RESIDES.
  S 7. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it  shall  have  become  a  law.    Effective  immediately, the board of
elections is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations  neces-
sary for the further implementation of this act on its effective date.

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