senate Bill S899

Amended

Amends provisions of the election law to address certain issues affecting village 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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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ELECTIONS
  • 22 / Apr / 2013
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.364
  • 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
  • 23 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO ELECTIONS
  • 23 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 899A
  • 24 / Mar / 2014
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.322
  • 25 / Mar / 2014
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 26 / Mar / 2014
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / May / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 21 / May / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 21 / May / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ELECTION LAW

Summary

Relates to clarifying the number of signatures required on an independent nominating petition in a municipality with less than a thousand residents; relates to declination of office and filling vacancies; relates to establishing residency at the time of nomination in village elections; relates to paper ballots counted by hand in village elections and eliminating the ability of a candidate to timely file via mailing with postmark before midnight of the last date to file a petition.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2103
Versions:
S899
S899A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§15-108 & 15-128, add §15-115, El L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S7380, A10647

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:S899

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to clarifying the number
of signatures required on an independent nominating petition in a
municipality with less than a thousand residents, declination of office
and filling vacancies, establishing residency at the time of nomination
in village elections, paper ballots counted by hand in village elections
and eliminating the ability of a candidate to timely file via mailing
with postmark before midnight of the last date to file a petition

PURPOSE: To update several provisions of the Election
Law to address
certain issues affecting village elections.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section one amends § 18-108(8)
of the Election
Law to clarify that the actual number of required signatures for an
independent nominating petition in a village with less than
a thousand residents is 5% of registered voters at the previous
village election.

Section two adds a new subdivision to § 15-128 of the Election Law,
Notice to Person Chosen to a Village Office, to provide a procedure
in the event that a candidate elected for office declines the
position. This new language clarifies that a vacancy in office is
created when someone declines office, which should subsequently be
filled subject to the provisions set forth in § 3-312 of the Village
Law.

Section three adds a new subdivision to § 15-108 of the Election Law
to require any candidates for village elective office establish
residency by the time they file nominating or designating petitions.

Section four adds a new section to Article 15 of the Election Law to
provide a practical format for villages using hand-counted paper
ballots, as opposed to lever or scanning machines.

Section five adds a new subdivision to § 15-108 of the Election Law,
to specify that for village elections, any papers required to be
filed with the village election officer must be delivered on or
before 5 PM on the last day to file.

Section six sets the enacting date.

JUSTIFICATION:
Villages running their own elections face unique
challenges. The provisions in this bill are meant to address issues
experienced by village election officers and candidates. Specifically:

There has been confusion as to how many signatures are required for
independent nominating petitions in villages with less than a
thousand residents. The language provided in this bill would clarify
a common misconception that the number required is 5% of those that
actually voted in the previous village election. Statements from the
state Board


of Election and other statutory provisions indicate that the number
of signatures required is actually 5% of registered voters at the
last election.

The law is silent as to what happens when someone elected to office
declines the position. This bill would provide villages with a
practical procedure to address declinations of office.
Currently, the law allows candidates for village office to establish
residency by Election Day. However, unintended vacancies in office
have occurred when candidates have failed to establish proper
residency. Requiring candidates for village office to establish
residency by the date of nomination, as opposed to the date of the
election, will deter such vacancies.

Currently, New York's election law only addresses the format of paper
ballots that are to be used by scanner voting machines and does not
provide for any other form of paper ballot. Consequently, villages
that are conducting elections by hand count must either use paper
ballots in a format that complies with state law but is unsuitable
for the hand counting process, or use paper ballots in a format that
work for hand counted elections, but do not comply with state law.
This legislation will correct this oversight.

Under the Election Law, election paperwork is deemed to have been
timely filed so long as it is postmarked before midnight of the last
date to file a petition. This is problematic because it deters
individuals from lawfully examining and challenging designating
petitions and nominating petition, since prospective challengers must
file their challenges not later than one day after the last day to
file petitions with the village clerk. Thus, if a candidate postmarks
his petition on the last day, and it is received by the clerk the
next day, or even later, the deadline for someone to challenge that
petition has passed. This legislation will address the issue by
requiring candidates to file papers on or before the due date.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.7380 (2012)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.

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

                                   899

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MARTINS -- 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 clarifying  the  number
  of  signatures  required  on  an  independent nominating petition in a
  municipality with less  than  a  thousand  residents,  declination  of
  office  and  filling  vacancies, establishing residency at the time of
  nomination in village elections, paper  ballots  counted  by  hand  in
  village elections and eliminating the ability of a candidate to timely
  file  via  mailing  with  postmark before midnight of the last date to
  file a petition

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

  Section  1.  Subdivision  6  of  section 15-108 of the election law is
amended to read as follows:
  6. An independent nominating petition for a  village  office  must  be
signed  by  at  least  one hundred voters in villages containing a popu-
lation of five thousand or more; by  at  least  seventy-five  voters  in
villages  containing  a  population of three thousand and less than five
thousand; and by at least fifty voters in villages  containing  a  popu-
lation  of  one  thousand  and less than three thousand; and in villages
containing a population of less than one thousand by voters numbering at
least five per centum of the number of [voters] THOSE PERSONS REGISTERED
TO VOTE at the last regular village election. For the purposes  of  this
section,  the  population  of  a village shall be determined by the last
federal decennial or local special population  census  federally  super-
vised pursuant to section twenty of the general municipal law.
  S  2.  The  opening paragraph of section 15-128 of the election law is
designated subdivision 1 and a new subdivision 2 is  added  to  read  as
follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03537-01-3

S. 899                              2

  2.  A  PERSON  ELECTED  MAY  DECLINE THE OFFICE TO WHICH HE OR SHE WAS
ELECTED BY NOTIFYING THE VILLAGE CLERK IN WRITING. THE FILING OF A WRIT-
TEN DECLINATION WITH THE VILLAGE CLERK CREATES A VACANCY IN  THE  OFFICE
EFFECTIVE AT THE START OF THE OFFICIAL YEAR FOLLOWING THE ELECTION.  THE
VACANCY  SHALL  BE  FILLED  AFTER  THE START OF THE OFFICIAL YEAR BY THE
MAYOR, EXCEPT THAT A VACANCY IN THE OFFICE OF MAYOR SHALL BE  FILLED  BY
THE  BOARD  OF  TRUSTEES, IN THE SAME MANNER AND FOR THE PERIODS OF TIME
SET FORTH IN SECTION 3-312 OF THE VILLAGE LAW.
  S 3. Section 15-108 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
subdivision 11 to read as follows:
  11. AN INDIVIDUAL RUNNING FOR ELECTED OFFICE MUST BE A RESIDENT OF THE
VILLAGE  BY  THE  LAST  DAY TO FILE A CERTIFICATE OF PARTY NOMINATION IF
SUCH INDIVIDUAL IS NOMINATED AT A PARTY PRIMARY  OR  CAUCUS,  NOT  LATER
THAN  FORTY-SEVEN  DAYS  PRIOR TO THE VILLAGE ELECTION PURSUANT TO PARA-
GRAPH A OF SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION, OR BY THE LAST DAY TO FILE
AN INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION IF SUCH INDIVIDUAL  IS  NOMINATED  BY
THE  FILING  OF AN INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION, NOT LATER THAN THIR-
TY-FIVE DAYS PRIOR TO THE VILLAGE ELECTION PURSUANT TO  PARAGRAPH  A  OF
SUBDIVISION EIGHT OF THIS SECTION.
  S  4.  The  election  law is amended by adding a new section 15-115 to
read as follows:
  S 15-115. PAPER BALLOTS COUNTED BY HAND IN VILLAGE ELECTIONS. 1.   FOR
VILLAGES CONDUCTING AN ELECTION WHERE PAPER BALLOTS ARE TO BE COUNTED BY
HAND,  THE  FORMAT  OF  THE BALLOTS SHALL CONFORM TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF
THIS SECTION. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO  ELECTIONS  WHERE  SCANNER
MACHINES ARE USED.
  2.  PAPER BALLOTS SHALL BE PRINTED ON PAPER OF A QUALITY, SIZE, COLOR,
AND WEIGHT THAT HAD BEEN APPROVED BY THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS  PRIOR
TO THE SEVENTH DAY OF JULY, TWO THOUSAND TWELVE.
  3. ALL PAPER BALLOTS OF THE SAME KIND FOR THE SAME POLLING PLACE SHALL
BE  IDENTICAL.  A  DIFFERENT, BUT IN EACH CASE UNIFORM STYLE AND SIZE OF
TYPE, SHALL BE USED FOR PRINTING THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES, THE TITLES  OF
OFFICES,  POLITICAL  DESIGNATIONS, AND THE READING FORM OF ALL QUESTIONS
SUBMITTED. THE NAMES OF CANDIDATES SHALL BE PRINTED IN  CAPITAL  LETTERS
IN BLACK-FACED TYPE.
  4.  EACH  BALLOT  SHALL BE PRINTED ON THE SAME SHEET WITH A STUB WHICH
SHALL BE SEPARATED  THEREFROM  BY  A  HORIZONTAL  LINE  OF  PERFORATIONS
EXTENDING ACROSS THE ENTIRE WIDTH OF THE BALLOT. ON THE FACE OF THE STUB
SHALL  BE PRINTED THE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE VOTER. ON THE BACK OF THE STUB
IMMEDIATELY ABOVE THE CENTER OF THE  INDORSEMENT  ON  THE  BACK  OF  THE
BALLOT,  SHALL  BE  PRINTED  "NO.  ......"  THE  BLANK TO BE FILLED WITH
CONSECUTIVE NUMBER OF BALLOTS BEGINNING WITH "NO. 1", AND INCREASING  IN
REGULAR NUMERICAL ORDER.
  5.  ON THE BACK OF THE BALLOT, BELOW THE LINE OF PERFORATIONS, JUST TO
THE RIGHT OF CENTER, AND OUTSIDE WHEN THE BALLOT IS FOLDED, AND  ON  THE
FRONT OF THE BALLOT, DIRECTLY BELOW THE PERFORATED LINE, SHALL BE PRINT-
ED THE FOLLOWING INDORSEMENT, THE BLANKS PROPERLY FILLED IN:
"OFFICIAL BALLOT FOR VILLAGE OFFICERS.
(DATE OF ELECTION.)
(FACSIMILE  OF  THE  SIGNATURE  OF  OFFICER  OR  OFFICERS  PROVIDING THE
BALLOT.)"
  6. ON THE STUB AT THE TOP OF THE BALLOT OR ON THE EDGE OF SUCH  BALLOT
SHALL BE PRINTED IN HEAVY BLACK TYPE THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTIONS:
"INSTRUCTIONS
(1)  MARK  ONLY  WITH  A  PEN  HAVING BLUE OR BLACK INK OR WITH A PENCIL
HAVING BLACK LEAD.

S. 899                              3

(2) TO VOTE FOR A CANDIDATE WHOSE NAME IS PRINTED ON THIS BALLOT MAKE  A
SINGLE CROSS X MARK OR A CHECK V MARK IN ONE OF THE SQUARES TO THE RIGHT
OF AN EMBLEM OPPOSITE HIS OR HER NAME.
(3)  TO VOTE FOR A PERSON WHOSE NAME IS NOT PRINTED ON THIS BALLOT WRITE
OR STAMP HIS OR HER NAME ON A BLANK LINE UNDER THE NAMES OF  THE  CANDI-
DATES FOR THAT OFFICE.
(4)  TO  VOTE  YES  OR NO ON A PROPOSAL MAKE A SINGLE X OR V MARK IN THE
SQUARE OPPOSITE YOUR VOTE.
(5) ANY OTHER MARK OR WRITING,  OR  ANY  ERASURE  MADE  ON  THIS  BALLOT
OUTSIDE THE VOTING SQUARES OR BLANK SPACES PROVIDED FOR VOTING WILL VOID
THIS ENTIRE BALLOT.
(6)  DO  NOT OVERVOTE. IF YOU SELECT A GREATER NUMBER OF CANDIDATES THAN
THERE ARE VACANCIES TO BE FILLED, YOUR BALLOT  WILL  BE  VOID  FOR  THAT
PUBLIC OFFICE OR PARTY POSITION.
(7)  IF  YOU TEAR, OR DEFACE, OR WRONGLY MARK THIS BALLOT, RETURN IT AND
OBTAIN ANOTHER. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CORRECT  MISTAKES  ON  THE  BALLOT  BY
MAKING ERASURES OR CROSS OUTS. ERASURES OR CROSS OUTS MAY INVALIDATE ALL
OR  PART  OF YOUR BALLOT. PRIOR TO SUBMITTING YOUR BALLOT, IF YOU MAKE A
MISTAKE IN COMPLETING THE BALLOT OR WISH TO CHANGE YOUR BALLOT  CHOICES,
YOU MAY OBTAIN AND COMPLETE A NEW BALLOT. YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO A REPLACE-
MENT BALLOT UPON RETURN OF THE ORIGINAL BALLOT."
  7.  EACH  SUCH BALLOT SHALL BE PRINTED IN SECTIONS IN WHICH THE CANDI-
DATES' NAMES, EMBLEMS AND POLITICAL DESIGNATIONS, THE  BALLOT  PROPOSALS
AND  OTHER REQUISITE MATTER SHALL EACH BE BOXED IN BY HEAVY BLACK LINES.
ON THE BALLOT SHALL BE VOTING SQUARES IN WHICH  VOTERS  MAY  MAKE  THEIR
VOTING  MARKS. ALL VOTING SQUARES SHALL BE BOUNDED BY HEAVY BLACK LINES,
THE PERPENDICULAR LINES TO BE NOT LESS THAN  ONE-SIXTEENTH  OF  AN  INCH
WIDE.  THE  VOTING  SQUARES  AND THE SPACES OCCUPIED BY THE EMBLEM SHALL
HAVE A DEPTH AND WIDTH OF FIVE-SIXTEENTHS OF AN INCH. NO VOTING  SQUARES
SHALL  BE  PROVIDED IN FRONT OF THE BLANK SPACES PROVIDED FOR A VOTER TO
WRITE IN A NAME.
  8. THE SPACE FOR THE TITLE OF AN OFFICE SHALL BE THREE-EIGHTHS  OF  AN
INCH,  AND  THE NAME OF A CANDIDATE OR FOR WRITING IN A NAME, ONE-FOURTH
OF AN INCH, IN DEPTH. AT THE LEFT OF THE NAME OF EACH DESIGNATED  CANDI-
DATE  SHALL  BE  AN  ENCLOSED  VOTING SPACE, THREE-EIGHTHS OF AN INCH IN
WIDTH AND APPROXIMATELY ONE-FOURTH OF AN INCH IN DEPTH,  BOUNDED  ABOVE,
BELOW AND TO THE RIGHT BY BLACK LINES, HEAVIER THAN THOSE WHICH SEPARATE
THE  SPACES  CONTAINING  THE  NAMES OF CANDIDATES. TO THE LEFT OF VOTING
SPACES WHICH DO NOT ADJOIN A VERTICAL LINE  DIVIDING  TWO  PARTS,  THERE
SHALL BE A HEAVY BLACK VERTICAL LINE APPROXIMATELY ONE-EIGHTH OF AN INCH
IN  WIDTH. NO VOTING SPACE SHALL BE PROVIDED IN THE SPACE FOR WRITING IN
NAMES. IN SUCH CASE, THE SPACE CORRESPONDING TO A VOTING SPACE SHALL  BE
ALL BLACK.
  9. BELOW THE NAMES OF THE CANDIDATES FOR EACH OFFICE OR POSITION THERE
SHALL  BE  PRINTED AS MANY BLANK SPACES, FOR WRITING IN NAMES OF PERSONS
FOR WHOM THE VOTER DESIRES TO VOTE, AS THERE ARE PERSONS TO BE NOMINATED
OR ELECTED.
  10. IN CASE THE SECTIONS SHALL BE SO NUMEROUS AS TO  MAKE  THE  BALLOT
UNWIELDY  IF  THEY  ARE PRINTED IN ONE COLUMN, THEY MAY BE PRINTED IN AS
MANY COLUMNS AS SHALL BE NECESSARY,  AND  IN  THAT  CASE,  IN  ORDER  TO
PRODUCE A RECTANGULAR BALLOT, BLANK SECTIONS MAY BE USED.
  11. THE NAMES OF PARTIES OR INDEPENDENT BODIES WHICH CONTAIN MORE THAN
FIFTEEN LETTERS MAY, WHENEVER LIMITATIONS OF SPACE SO REQUIRE, BE PRINT-
ED ON THE BALLOT IN AN ABBREVIATED FORM. IN PRINTING THE NAMES OF CANDI-
DATES  WHOSE  FULL  NAMES  CONTAIN  MORE  THAN FIFTEEN LETTERS, ONLY THE
SURNAME MUST BE PRINTED IN FULL. THE OFFICER OR BOARD CHARGED  WITH  THE

S. 899                              4

DUTY OF PREPARING THE BALLOTS SHALL REQUEST EACH SUCH CANDIDATE TO INDI-
CATE,  IN  WRITING,  THE  SHORTENED  FORM  IN  WHICH,  SUBJECT  TO  THIS
RESTRICTION, HIS NAME  SHALL  BE  PRINTED.  IF  NO  SUCH  INDICATION  IS
RECEIVED  FROM  SUCH CANDIDATE WITHIN THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE REQUEST,
SUCH OFFICER OR BOARD SHALL MAKE THE NECESSARY DETERMINATION. NO  EMBLEM
SHALL  OCCUPY  A SPACE LONGER IN ANY DIRECTION THAN THE VOTING SQUARE TO
WHICH IT RELATES.
  S 5. Section 15-108 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
subdivision 12 to read as follows:
  12.  NOTWITHSTANDING  THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1-106 OF THIS CHAPTER,
ALL PAPERS REQUIRED TO BE FILED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  ARTICLE  WHICH  ARE
DELIVERED  IN  PERSON OR SENT BY MAIL TO THE VILLAGE ELECTION OFFICER AS
DEFINED IN SECTION 15-124 OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE DEEMED  TIMELY  FILED
WHEN  RECEIVED BY THE VILLAGE ELECTION OFFICER ON OR BEFORE FIVE P.M. ON
THE LAST DAY TO FILE ANY SUCH PAPERS. FAILURE OF THE POST OFFICE OR  ANY
OTHER  PERSON OR ENTITY TO DELIVER SUCH PAPERS ON OR BEFORE FIVE P.M. ON
THE LAST DAY TO FILE SHALL BE A FATAL DEFECT.
  S 6. This act shall take effect immediately.

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