S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
March 22, 2011
Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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 absentee ballots for
patients or inmates of Veteran Administration medical facilities
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Section 8-404 of the election law, the opening paragraph of
subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 359 of the laws of 1989 and para-
graph (b) of subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 373 of the laws of
1978, is amended to read as follows:
S 8-404. Absentee voting; hospitalized veterans, special provisions.
1. UNITED STATES VETERANS' (V.A.) MEDICAL FACILITIES USUALLY ARE CLASSI-
FIED AS MEDICAL CENTERS FOR ACUTE-CARE FACILITIES AND AS EXTENDED CARE
CENTERS FOR LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES. After entering upon the registra-
tion records, the application for registration of an inmate or patient
of a [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER as to
whom the medical superintendent or medical head of such hospital has
attested that he OR SHE expects that he OR SHE will not be discharged
prior to the day following the next general or special village, primary,
special, general or New York city community school board district or
city of Buffalo school district election, and the application for regis-
tration by the spouse, parent or child of such inmate or patient, accom-
panying or being with him or her, if a qualified voter and a resident of
the same election district, the board of elections, without further
investigation and without further application by the applicant, shall
send to him at such hospital an absentee ballot and shall record in the
signature column on the back of his OR HER permanent personal registra-
tion poll record that such ballot has been sent.
(a) Any voter who is duly registered and whose registration records
are marked "Hospitalized Veteran" or "Hospitalized Veteran's Relative"
need not thereafter make application for an absentee ballot. Sixty days
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 4168 2
before each election, the board of elections shall compile and send a
list to each [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE
CENTER of all inmates and patients of [veterans' administration hospi-
tals] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTERS who appear by the records of such board
to be "hospitalized veterans" entitled to receive absentee ballots at
each such [hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER pursuant to the
provisions of this section. Each [veterans' administration hospital]
V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER shall no later than fifteen days following the
receipt of such list, return it with notations made thereon showing
whether the inmate or patient continues to be confined therein or has
been discharged therefrom. Upon the receipt of such returned list from
each [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER with
the proper notations showing that a "hospitalized veteran" continues to
be confined in such [hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board of
elections, by mail addressed to such "hospitalized veteran" at his OR
HER last known [hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER address and by mail
addressed to such "hospitalized veteran's relative" at his OR HER last
known address shall send an absentee ballot for the ensuing election to
such "hospitalized veteran" and such "hospitalized veteran's relative"
an absentee ballot in the same manner as provided herein for a qualified
voter entitled to an absentee ballot because of permanent disability.
The board shall record on the back of his OR HER registration poll
record in the space reserved for his OR HER signature at such election,
the fact that such ballot has been sent.
(b) If the returned list from a [veterans' administration hospital]
V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER contains a notation showing that a "hospital-
ized veteran" is no longer an inmate or patient at the [veterans' admin-
istration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER where he OR SHE is
recorded as staying, or if such letter containing an absentee voter's
ballot for a "hospitalized veteran" or a "hospitalized veterans' rela-
tive" is returned by the post office as undeliverable, the board of
elections shall ascertain whether the "hospitalized veteran" or "hospi-
talized veteran's relative" is residing at the address given on his OR
HER registration records as his OR HER permanent address. If he OR SHE
is residing there, the board shall not send him OR HER any further
absentee ballots unless he OR SHE applies therefor in the regular way.
If he OR SHE is not residing at the place of residence given on his OR
HER registration records but the board ascertains that he OR SHE has
been transferred to another [veterans' administration hospital] V.A.
EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board shall cause a central board of registra-
tion to make the necessary changes of temporary address on his OR HER
registration records and shall continue sending him OR HER absentee
ballots at the [veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE
CENTER where he OR SHE is staying. If he OR SHE is not residing at the
place of residence given on his OR HER registration records and the
board cannot ascertain that he OR SHE has been transferred to another
[veterans' administration hospital] V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTER, the board
shall cancel his OR HER registration. Whenever a registration is
cancelled pursuant hereto notice shall be mailed to the veteran or his
OR HER relative at his OR HER permanent residence address and last
2. The board of elections shall furnish to each party county chairman
in such county a list of the names and residence addresses of the hospi-
talized veterans and hospitalized veterans' relatives to whom absentee
ballots have been sent.
S. 4168 3
3. Such ballots shall be mailed, voted, returned, counted, and
canvassed as provided in this chapter for other absentee voters'
4. ONE DAY PRIOR TO A GENERAL OR SPECIAL VILLAGE, PRIMARY, SPECIAL,
GENERAL OR NEW YORK CITY COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT OR CITY OF
BUFFALO SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION; THE PATIENTS AND INMATES OF V.A.
MEDICAL CENTERS AND V.A. EXTENDED CARE CENTERS WILL BE CANVASSED BY THE
LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO IDENTIFY QUALIFIED VOTERS NOT REGISTERED TO
RECEIVE ABSENTEE BALLOTS WHO ARE REQUESTING EMERGENCY AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS
FOR THE ELECTION DISTRICTS IN WHICH THEY RESIDE. ON ELECTION DAY THE
LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL DISTRIBUTE THOSE EMERGENCY AFFIDAVIT
BALLOTS TO THE PATIENTS AND INMATES OF THE V.A. MEDICAL CENTERS AND V.A.
EXTENDED CARE CENTERS WHO ARE QUALIFIED VOTERS, WHO HAVE NOT REGISTERED
FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS AND WHO HAVE REQUESTED EMERGENCY AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS.
THE LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS ON ELECTION DAY SHALL COLLECT THE EMERGENCY
AFFIDAVIT BALLOTS FROM SUCH PATIENTS.
S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.