senate Bill S6519

Relates to amending deadlines to facilitate timely transmission of ballots to overseas military voters for primary and general 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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  • 31 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.156
  • 11 / Feb / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 26 / Feb / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 20 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Amends deadlines to facilitate timely transmission of ballots to overseas military voters for primary and general elections.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S6519
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd El L, generally; amd ยง42, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S5848

Votes

5
0
5
Aye
0
Nay
4
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Elections committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6519

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to amend-
ing certain deadlines to facilitate the timely transmission of ballots
to military voters stationed overseas; and to amend the public officers
law, in relation to filling vacancies in elective offices

Purpose:

Provides for changes in the election law to allow for compliance with
the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act.

Summary of Provisions:

Various sections of the election law are changed to provide adequate
time for the sending of ballots to military and overseas voters. These
provisions include the following:

Moves the primary election for federal, state, and local offices to the
third Tuesday in August;

Moves the certification of local ballot proposals to three months before
the election;

Provides for the certification of candidates for the ballot at least
fifty-four days before the election, in the case of the state board of
elections, and at least fifty-three days before the election, in the
case of local boards of elections;

Requires voter check cards be sent to voters between forty and forty-
five days before the election to notify them of their poll site and
hours of voting;

Requires candidates for county committee who have been designated for
more than one election district notify the board of election in which
district they wish to run at least ten weeks before the primary;

Moves the filing of designating petitions to between the thirteenth
Friday and the twelfth Wednesday preceding the primary election;

Moves the filing of opportunity to ballot petitions to between the elev-
enth Wednesday and the tenth Wednesday before the primary election;
Provides that judicial conventions be held between the fourth Tuesday
and the fourth Thursday in August;

Moves the filing of petitions for independent petitions to no earlier
than fourteen weeks and no later than thirteen weeks before the general
election;

Requires certificates of acceptance or declination for independent
petitions be filed no later than the third day after the thirteenth
Tuesday before the general election;

Provides that the certificate to fill a vacancy in an independent nomi-
nation be filed no later than six days after the thirteenth Tuesday
before the general election;

Requires a vacancy occur at least three months before the general
election to be filled at that election;

Requires military and overseas voters ballots be sent at least forty-
five days before the primary and general elections.

Justification:

The enactment of the federal Military Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE)
Act requires that ballots for military and overseas voters be sent at
least forty-five days prior to an election to ensure their receipt in
time for the voter to vote and return their ballot to be counted.

A U.S. District Court ordered that the primary election for federal
office in New York be moved to the fourth Tuesday in June. The court
explicitly stated in the order that this date could be changed by the
state if they adopted a date that complies with the MOVE Act. A June
primary for state offices would be disruptive to the normal legislative
cycle, negatively impact the budget and end-of-session matters, and
unnecessarily inject politics into the governing process.

This bill provides a solution to the current law which requires conduct-
ing two primary elections in New York, one for federal office and a
second one for state and local offices. It is beneficial to the voters
and the taxpayers of New York to combine these two primaries into one.
The cost of conducting a statewide primary in New York has been esti-
mated to cost over $40 million. By combining the primaries the state
taxpayers save the cost of one of the primaries. In addition the voters
only have to make time to go to the polls for one primary and one gener-
al election.

Protecting the rights of the military and overseas voters is the goal of
this legislation. Giving them adequate time to receive and vote their
ballots should be the goal of every New Yorker.

Fiscal Implications:

Save counties upwards of $40 million.

Effective Date:

Immediately

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

                                  6519

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2014
                               ___________

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 amending certain  dead-
  lines  to  facilitate  the  timely transmission of ballots to military
  voters stationed overseas; and to amend the public  officers  law,  in
  relation to filling vacancies in elective offices

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

  Section 1.   Paragraph b of subdivision 1  of  section  4-108  of  the
election  law, as amended by chapter 117 of the laws of 1985, is amended
to read as follows:
  b. Whenever any proposal, proposition or referendum as provided by law
is to be submitted to a vote of the people  of  a  county,  city,  town,
village  or  special  district, at an election conducted by the board of
elections, the clerk of such political subdivision, at least [thirty-six
days] THREE MONTHS prior to the election at which such proposal,  propo-
sition or referendum is to be submitted, shall transmit to each board of
elections  a certified copy of the text of such proposal, proposition or
referendum and a statement of the form in which it is to  be  submitted.
If  a  special  election is to be held, such transmittal shall also give
the date of such election.
  S 2. Section 4-110 of the election law, as amended by chapter  434  of
the laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows:
  S  4-110. Certification of primary election candidates; state board of
elections.  The state board of elections  not  later  than  [thirty-six]
FIFTY-FOUR  days before a primary election, shall certify to each county
board of elections: The name and residence of each candidate to be voted
for within the political subdivision of such board  for  whom  a  desig-
nation  has  been filed with the state board; the title of the office or
position for which the candidate is designated; the name  of  the  party
upon  whose  primary  ballot  his name is to be placed; and the order in
which the names of the candidates are to be printed as determined by the
state board.  Where an office or position is uncontested,  such  certif-
ication shall state such fact.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13602-01-4

S. 6519                             2

  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 4-112 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 4 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  1.   The  state  board  of  elections,  not  later  than  [thirty-six]
FIFTY-FOUR days before a general election, or fifty-three days before  a
special  election,  shall  certify to each county board of elections the
name and residence of each candidate nominated in any valid  certificate
filed with it or by the returns canvassed by it, the title of the office
for which nominated; the name of the party or body specified of which he
is  a  candidate; the emblem chosen to distinguish the candidates of the
party or body; and a notation as to whether or  not  any  litigation  is
pending  concerning the candidacy. Upon the completion of any such liti-
gation, the state board of elections shall forthwith notify  the  appro-
priate county boards of elections of the results of such litigation.
  S 4. Section 4-114 of the election law, as amended by chapter 4 of the
laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  S  4-114.  Determination  of candidates and questions; county board of
elections. The county board of elections, not later  than  the  [thirty-
fifth]  FIFTY-THIRD  day  before  the  day of a primary [or], general OR
SPECIAL election, [or the fifty-third day before  a  special  election,]
shall  determine the candidates duly nominated for public office and the
questions that shall appear on the ballot  within  the  jurisdiction  of
that board of elections.
  S 5. Subdivision 1 of section 4-117 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 288 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  The  board of elections, [between August first and August fifth of
each year] NOT LESS THAN FORTY DAYS NOR MORE THAN FORTY-FIVE DAYS BEFORE
THE PRIMARY ELECTION IN EACH YEAR, shall send by  first  class  mail  on
which  is  endorsed  "ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED" and which contains a
request that any such mail received for  persons  not  residing  at  the
address be dropped back in the mail, a communication, in a form approved
by  the state board of elections, to every registered voter who has been
registered without a change of address since the beginning of such year,
except that the board of elections shall not be required  to  send  such
communications  to  voters  in  inactive status. The communication shall
notify the voter of the days and hours of the ensuing primary and gener-
al elections, the place where he OR SHE appears by his OR HER  registra-
tion records to be entitled to vote, the fact that voters who have moved
or will have moved from the address where they were last registered must
re-register  or,  that  if  such move was to another address in the same
county or city, that such voter may either notify the board of elections
of his OR HER new address or vote by paper ballot at the  polling  place
for  his OR HER new address even if such voter has not re-registered, or
otherwise notified the board of elections of the change of  address.  If
the  location of the polling place for the voter's election district has
been moved, the communication shall contain the following legend in bold
type: "YOUR POLLING PLACE HAS BEEN CHANGED. YOU NOW VOTE  AT..........".
The  communication  shall  also  indicate  whether  the polling place is
accessible to physically disabled voters, that a voter who will  be  out
of the city or county on the day of the primary or general election or a
voter  who  is ill or physically disabled may obtain an absentee ballot,
that a physically disabled voter whose polling place is  not  accessible
may  request that his OR HER registration record be moved to an election
district which has a polling place which is accessible, the phone number
to call for applications to move a registration record or  for  absentee
ballot applications, the phone number to call for the location of regis-
tration  and  polling  places, the phone number to call to indicate that

S. 6519                             3

the voter is willing to serve on election day as an election  inspector,
poll clerk, interpreter or in other capacities, the phone number to call
to obtain an application for registration by mail, and such other infor-
mation  concerning  the  elections  or  registration  as  the  board may
include. In lieu of  sending  such  communication  to  every  registered
voter,  the  board  of  elections  may  send a single communication to a
household containing more than one registered voter, provided  that  the
names  of all such voters appear as part of the address on such communi-
cation.
  S 6. Subdivision 1 of section 6-108 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 160 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows:
  1. In any town in a county having a population of over  seven  hundred
fifty  thousand inhabitants, as shown by the latest federal decennial or
special population census, party  nominations  of  candidates  for  town
offices  shall  be  made  at  the primary preceding the election. In any
other town, nominations of candidates for town offices shall be made  by
caucus  or  primary  election as the rules of the county committee shall
provide, except that the members of the county committee from a town may
adopt by a two-thirds vote, a rule providing that the  party  candidates
for  town  offices shall be nominated at the primary election. If a rule
adopted by the county committee of a political party or by  the  members
of  the county committee from a town, provides that party candidates for
town offices, shall be nominated at a primary election, such rule  shall
not  apply  to  nor  affect a primary held less than four months after a
certified copy of the rule shall have  been  filed  with  the  board  of
elections.  After  the filing of such a rule, the rule shall continue in
force until a certified copy of a rule revoking the same shall have been
filed with such board at least four months before a subsequent  primary.
Such  a  caucus  shall  be  held  no earlier than the first day on which
designating petitions for the [fall] primary election may be signed.
  S 7. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 6-147 of  the  election  law,  as
amended  by  chapter  434  of  the  laws of 1984, are amended to read as
follows:
  1.  The name of a person designated on more than  one  petition  as  a
candidate for a party position to be filled by two or more persons shall
be  printed on the ballot with the group of candidates designated by the
petition first filed unless such person, in a certificate duly  acknowl-
edged by him OR HER and filed with the board of elections not later than
the  [eighth]  TENTH Tuesday preceding the primary election or five days
after the board of elections mails such person notice of his designation
in more than one group, whichever is later, specifies another  group  in
which his OR HER name shall be printed.
  2.  A  person  designated as a candidate for the position of member of
the county committee in more than one election district shall be  deemed
to  have been designated in the lowest numbered election district unless
such person, in a certificate duly acknowledged by him OR HER, and filed
with the board of elections not later than the  [eighth]  TENTH  Tuesday
preceding the primary election or five days after the board of elections
mails  such  person  notice  of  his OR HER designation in more than one
election district whichever is later, specifies that he OR SHE wishes to
be deemed designated in a different election district.
  S 8. Subdivisions 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 11, 12 and 14 of section 6-158 of the
election law, subdivisions 1, 4, 11 and 12 as amended by chapter 434  of
the  laws of 1984, subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 79 of the laws of
1992, and subdivision 9 as amended by chapter 517 of the laws  of  1986,
are amended to read as follows:

S. 6519                             4

  1.  A  designating petition shall be filed not earlier than the [tenth
Monday] THIRTEENTH FRIDAY before, and not later than the  [ninth  Thurs-
day] TWELFTH WEDNESDAY preceding the primary election.
  4. A petition of enrolled members of a party requesting an opportunity
to write in the name of an undesignated candidate for a public office or
party  position  at a primary election shall be filed not later than the
[eighth Thursday] ELEVENTH WEDNESDAY  preceding  the  primary  election.
However,  where  a  designating  petition  has been filed and the person
named therein has declined such designation and another person has  been
designated  to  fill  the vacancy, then in that event, a petition for an
opportunity to ballot in a primary election shall  be  filed  not  later
than  the  [seventh  Thursday]  TENTH  WEDNESDAY  preceding such primary
election.
  5. A judicial district convention shall be held not earlier  than  the
[Tuesday  following  the  third  Monday]  FOURTH  TUESDAY in [September]
AUGUST preceding the general election and not  later  than  the  [fourth
Monday] FOURTH THURSDAY in [September] AUGUST preceding such election.
  6.  A certificate of a party nomination made other than at the primary
election for an office to be filled at the time of  a  general  election
shall  be  filed  not  later  than  seven  days after the [fall] primary
election, except that a certificate of nomination for  an  office  which
becomes  vacant  after  the  seventh day preceding such primary election
shall be filed not later than fourteen days after the creation  of  such
vacancy  and  except, further, that a certificate of party nomination of
candidates for elector of president and  vice-president  of  the  United
States  shall  be  filed  not  later than fourteen days after the [fall]
primary election, and except still further that a certificate  of  party
nomination  made  at  a  judicial district convention shall be filed not
later than the day after the last day to hold such  convention  and  the
minutes  of  such  convention, duly certified by the chairman and secre-
tary, shall be filed within seventy-two hours after adjournment  of  the
convention.    A  certificate  of  party  nomination for an office to be
filled at a special election shall be filed  not  later  than  ten  days
following the issuance of a proclamation of such election.
  9. A petition for an independent nomination for an office to be filled
at  the  time  of  a  general  election  shall be filed not earlier than
[twelve] FOURTEEN weeks and  not  later  than  [eleven]  THIRTEEN  weeks
preceding such election. A petition for an independent nomination for an
office  to be filled at a special election shall be filed not later than
twelve days following the issuance of a proclamation of such election. A
petition for trustee of the Long Island Power Authority shall  be  filed
not  earlier than seven weeks and not later than six weeks preceding the
day of the election of such trustees.
  11. A certificate of acceptance or declination of an independent nomi-
nation for an office to be filled at the  time  of  a  general  election
shall  be  filed not later than the third day after the [eleventh] THIR-
TEENTH Tuesday preceding such election except that a candidate who files
such a certificate of acceptance for an office for which there have been
filed certificates or petitions designating more than one candidate  for
the nomination of any party, may thereafter file a certificate of decli-
nation  not  later  than  the  third day after the primary election.   A
certificate of acceptance or declination of  an  independent  nomination
for  an  office  to  be  filled at a special election shall be filed not
later than fourteen days following the issuance  of  a  proclamation  of
such election.

S. 6519                             5

  12.  A  certificate  to  fill  a vacancy caused by a declination of an
independent nomination for an office to be  filled  at  the  time  of  a
general  election  shall be filed not later than the sixth day after the
[eleventh] THIRTEENTH Tuesday preceding such election. A certificate  to
fill  a vacancy caused by a declination of an independent nomination for
an office to be filled at a special election shall be  filed  not  later
than  sixteen  days  following  the  issuance  of a proclamation of such
election.
  14. A vacancy occurring [before September twentieth of] NOT LESS  THAN
THREE  MONTHS BEFORE THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION IN any year in any office
authorized to be filled at a general election, except in the offices  of
governor,  lieutenant-governor, or United States senator shall be filled
at the general election held next thereafter, unless otherwise  provided
by the constitution, or unless previously filled at a special election.
  S  9.  Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 8-100 of the election
law, as amended by chapter 17 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as
follows:
  (a) A primary election[, to be known as the fall  primary,]  shall  be
held  on  the  [first  Tuesday after the second Monday] THIRD TUESDAY in
[September]  AUGUST  before  every  general  election  unless  otherwise
changed  by an act of the legislature. In each year in which electors of
president and vice president of the United States are to be  elected  an
additional  primary  election,  to be known as the [spring] PRESIDENTIAL
primary, shall be held on the first Tuesday in February unless otherwise
changed by an act of the legislature, for the purpose of electing deleg-
ates to the national convention, members of state and county  committees
and assembly district leaders and associate assembly district leaders.
  S  10. Subdivision 1 of section 9-211 of the election law, as added by
chapter 181 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Within fifteen days after each general  or  special  election,  and
within  [seven]  FIFTEEN  days  after  every primary or village election
conducted by the board of elections, the board of elections or a  bipar-
tisan  committee  appointed by such board shall manually audit the voter
verifiable audit records  from  three  percent  of  voting  machines  or
systems  within  the  jurisdiction  of  such  board.  Voting machines or
systems shall be selected for audit through a random, manual process. At
least five days prior to the time fixed for such selection process,  the
board  of elections shall send notice by first class mail to each candi-
date, political party and independent body entitled to have had watchers
present at the polls in any election district in such board's  jurisdic-
tion.  Such  notice shall state the time and place fixed for such random
selection process. The audit shall be conducted in the same  manner,  to
the  extent  applicable,  as a canvass of paper ballots. Each candidate,
political party or independent body  entitled  to  appoint  watchers  to
attend  at  a  polling place shall be entitled to appoint such number of
watchers to observe the audit.
  S 11. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 10-108 of the election
law, as amended by chapter 4 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read  as
follows:
  (a)  Ballots for military voters shall be mailed or otherwise distrib-
uted by the board of elections, in accordance with the preferred  method
of  transmission  designated  by the voter pursuant to section 10-107 of
this article, as soon as practicable but in any  event  not  later  than
[thirty-two]  FORTY-FIVE  days  before  a  primary or general election[;
twenty-five days  before],  a  New  York  city  community  school  board
district  or  city  of  Buffalo school district election[; fourteen days

S. 6519                             6

before], OR a village election conducted by the board of elections;  and
forty-five  days  before a special election. A voter who submits a mili-
tary ballot application shall be entitled to a military ballot thereaft-
er for each subsequent election through and including the next two regu-
larly scheduled general elections held in even numbered years, including
any  run-offs which may occur; provided, however, such application shall
not be valid for any election held within seven days after its  receipt.
Ballots  shall  also  be  mailed  to any qualified military voter who is
already registered and who requests such military ballot from such board
of elections in a letter, which is signed by the voter and  received  by
the  board  of  elections  not  later  than  the  seventh day before the
election for which the ballot is requested and which states the  address
where  the voter is registered and the address to which the ballot is to
be mailed. The board of elections shall enclose with such ballot a  form
of  application  for military ballot. In the case of a primary election,
the board shall deliver only the ballot of  the  party  with  which  the
military  voter  is enrolled according to the military voter's registra-
tion records. In the event a primary  election  is  uncontested  in  the
military  voter's  election district for all offices or positions except
the party position of member of the ward, town, city or  county  commit-
tee,  no  ballot  shall  be  delivered  to  such military voter for such
election; and the military voter shall be advised of the reason  why  he
or she will not receive a ballot.
  S  12. Subdivision 4 of section 11-204 of the election law, as amended
by chapter 4 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  4. If the board of elections shall determine that the applicant making
the application provided for in this section is qualified to receive and
vote a special federal ballot, it shall, as soon as practicable after it
shall have so determined, or not later than [thirty-two] FORTY-FIVE days
before each general or primary  [election  and  forty-five  days  before
each]  OR special election in which such applicant is qualified to vote,
or three days after receipt of such an application, whichever is  later,
mail  to  him  or her at the residence address outside the United States
shown in his or her application, a  special  federal  ballot,  an  inner
affirmation envelope and an outer envelope, or otherwise distribute same
to  the  voter  in  accordance with the preferred method of transmission
designated by the voter pursuant to section 11-203 of  this  title.  The
board  of  elections shall also mail, or otherwise distribute in accord-
ance with the preferred method of transmission designated by  the  voter
pursuant  to  section  11-203 of this title, a special federal ballot to
every qualified special federal voter who is already registered and  who
requests  such  special federal ballot from such board of elections in a
letter, which is signed by the  voter  and  received  by  the  board  of
elections  not  later than the seventh day before the election for which
the ballot is first requested and which states  the  address  where  the
voter is registered and the address to which the ballot is to be mailed.
The board of elections shall enclose with such ballot a form of applica-
tion for a special federal ballot.
  S  13.  Subdivisions 1 and 4 of section 42 of the public officers law,
subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 878 of the laws of 1946 and subdivi-
sion 4 as amended by chapter 317 of the laws of  1954,  are  amended  to
read as follows:
  1.  A  vacancy occurring [before September twentieth of] NOT LESS THAN
THREE MONTHS BEFORE THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION IN any year in any  office
authorized  to be filled at a general election, except in the offices of
governor or lieutenant-governor, shall be filled at the general election

S. 6519                             7

held next thereafter, unless otherwise provided by the constitution,  or
unless previously filled at a special election.
  4.  A  special  election  shall  not  be held to fill a vacancy in the
office of a representative in congress unless such vacancy occurs on  or
before  the first day of July of the last year of the term of office, or
unless it occurs thereafter and a special session of congress is  called
to meet before the next general election, or be called after [September]
AUGUST  nineteenth  of such year; nor to fill a vacancy in the office of
state senator or in the office of member of assembly, unless the vacancy
occurs before the first day of April of the last year  of  the  term  of
office, or unless the vacancy occurs in either such office of senator or
member  of  assembly after such first day of April and a special session
of the legislature be called to meet between such first day of April and
the next general election or be called after  [September]  AUGUST  nine-
teenth  in  such year. If a special election to fill an office shall not
be held as required by law, the office  shall  be  filled  at  the  next
general election.
  S 14. This act shall take effect immediately.

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