senate Bill S4911

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Eliminates the reference to "inmate" when referring to residents of veteran's administration hospitals for purposes of absentee voting

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to elections
Jun 24, 2011 committed to rules
Jun 13, 2011 advanced to third reading
Jun 07, 2011 2nd report cal.
Jun 06, 2011 1st report cal.1028
Apr 29, 2011 referred to elections

Votes

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Jun 6, 2011 - Elections committee Vote

S4911
8
0
committee
8
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Elections Committee Vote: Jun 6, 2011

Co-Sponsors

S4911 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7769
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง5-215, 8-400 & 8-404, El L

S4911 - Bill Texts

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Eliminates the reference to "inmate" when referring to residents of veteran's administration hospitals for purposes of absentee voting.

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BILL NUMBER:S4911

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to eliminating the reference to
"inmate" when referring to residents of veteran's administration
hospitals for purposes of absentee voting

PURPOSE:
Modifies the Election law to correct the designation of veterans in
absentee voting procedures to read as a "resident or patient of a
veteran's administration hospital", which more aptly describes the
situation of these individuals upon requesting and submitting an
absentee ballot.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 5-215, section 8-400, and section 8-404 of The Election law
are amended in order to eliminate all references to a resident of
veteran's administration hospitals as an "inmate" for the purposes of
absentee voting to appropriately categorize veterans as either a
resident or a patient of a veteran's administration hospital.

JUSTIFICATION:
At present, pursuant to New York State Election Law, voters who in
good faith expect to be absent on election day must request an
application to qualify for an absentee ballot. Of the varying reasons
permitted, a veteran who is an "inmate or patient of a veteran's
administration hospital" or VA hospital may receive a ballot. At
issue here is not the execution of this process, rather the improper
and erroneous implication associated with this distinction in the
law. Men and women who have fulfilled the strenuous duty of defending
this great nation that now take residence in New York's veteran's
administration hospitals are by no means inmates. Although "inmate"
was originally intended for its institutional usage, updating the
language to "resident" will be better suited to current standards of
voter registration.
Basing the absentee process on residence in this manner certifies that
a veteran's vote is respectfully counted without any unwanted
connotation. We must protect the dignity of those who have served
honorably by ensuring that our most precious democratic institution
of voting to choose who governs does not mar the service of our heroes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  4911

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             April 29, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  KLEIN, CARLUCCI, SAVINO -- 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 eliminating the refer-
  ence to "inmate" when referring to  residents  of  veteran's  adminis-
  tration hospitals for purposes of absentee voting

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

  Section 1. Subdivisions 1, 5 and 8 of section 5-215  of  the  election
law,  subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 90 of the laws of 1991, subdi-
vision 8 as added by chapter 347 of the laws of 1982, and  such  section
as renumbered by chapter 659 of the laws of 1994, are amended to read as
follows:
  1.  The board of elections in the county in which a veterans' hospital
is located shall appoint a board of registration which shall attend each
veterans' hospital between the hours of nine o'clock in the morning  and
five  o'clock in the evening on the seventh Thursday before each general
election and, in the event that it be necessary for  the  completion  of
its  duties,  on  the seventh Friday before such election except that if
any of the religious holidays of  Yom  Kippur,  Rosh  Hashanah,  Simchas
Torah,  Shmini  Atzereth or Succoth shall fall on such days, such regis-
tration shall be held on the next regular business day  which  does  not
fall on any of such religious holidays, and shall receive from [inmates]
RESIDENTS  or  patients therein, or their spouses, parents and children,
the applications of such of them as  desire  and  are  qualified  to  be
registered by absentee registration.
  5.  If  a Veterans' Administration Hospital in which any veteran enti-
tled to vote in this state is [an inmate]  A  RESIDENT  or  patient,  is
located  outside  the  State of New York, an application for an absentee
ballot signed by such veteran or his OR  HER  spouse,  parent  or  child
accompanying  or being with him OR HER, if a qualified voter and a resi-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD11060-02-1

S. 4911                             2

dent of the same election district, shall constitute permanent  personal
registration.
  8.  The  board  of  elections shall not be required to send a board of
central registration to each veterans' hospital in such county, pursuant
to the provisions of this section, if, in lieu thereof, it shall provide
such hospital with mail registration  application  forms  in  sufficient
quantity  so that each [inmate] RESIDENT or patient of such hospital who
wishes to register will  be  able  to  do  so.  A  complete  application
received  from [an inmate] A RESIDENT or patient whose residence is in a
county other than the county in which the hospital is located  shall  be
immediately transmitted to the appropriate board of elections.
  S  2.  Paragraph (c) of subdivision 1 of section 8-400 of the election
law, as amended by chapter 63 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as
follows:
  (c) [an inmate] A RESIDENT or patient of  a  veteran's  administration
hospital; or
  S  3.  Subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (c) of subdivision 3 of section
8-400 of the election law, as amended by chapter 63 of the laws of 2010,
is amended to read as follows:
  (iii) [an inmate] A RESIDENT or patient of a veteran's  administration
hospital; or
  S  4.  Subdivision 1 of section 8-404 of the election law, the opening
paragraph as amended by chapter 359 of the laws of 1989,  paragraph  (b)
as  amended  by  chapter  373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as
follows:
  1. After entering upon the registration records, the  application  for
registration  of [an inmate] A RESIDENT or patient of a veterans' admin-
istration hospital 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 registration by the spouse,  parent  or  child  of  such
[inmate]  RESIDENT or patient, accompanying 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 OR HER at such  hospital
an  absentee ballot and shall record in the signature column on the back
of his OR HER permanent personal  registration  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
before each election, the board of elections shall compile  and  send  a
list  to  each  veterans' administration hospital of all [inmates] RESI-
DENTS and patients of veterans' administration hospitals who  appear  by
the  records  of  such  board  to be "hospitalized veterans" entitled to
receive  absentee  ballots  at  each  such  hospital  pursuant  to   the
provisions of this section. Each veterans' administration hospital shall
no later than fifteen days following the receipt of such list, return it
with  notations  made  thereon  showing whether the [inmate] RESIDENT or
patient continues to be confined therein or has been  discharged  there-
from.  Upon the receipt of such returned list from each veterans' admin-
istration hospital with the proper notations showing that  a  "hospital-
ized  veteran"  continues  to be confined in such hospital, the board of
elections, by mail addressed to such "hospitalized veteran"  at  his  OR

S. 4911                             3

HER last known hospital address and by mail addressed to such "hospital-
ized  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] IN THIS SECTION 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
contains a notation showing that a "hospitalized veteran" is  no  longer
[an inmate] A RESIDENT or patient at the veterans' administration hospi-
tal where he OR SHE is recorded as staying, or if such letter containing
an  absentee voter's ballot for a "hospitalized veteran" or a "hospital-
ized veterans' relative" is returned by the post office  as  undelivera-
ble,  the  board  of elections shall ascertain whether the "hospitalized
veteran" or "hospitalized 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,  the board shall cause a central board of registration 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 where he OR SHE is staying. If  he  OR
SHE is not residing at the place of residence given on his OR HER regis-
tration  records  and the board cannot ascertain that he OR SHE has been
transferred to another  veterans'  administration  hospital,  the  board
shall  cancel  his  OR  HER  registration.    Whenever a registration is
cancelled pursuant [hereto] TO THIS PARAGRAPH notice shall be mailed  to
the  veteran  or  his  OR HER relative at his OR HER permanent residence
address and last temporary address.
  S 5. This act shall take effect immediately.

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