senate Bill S4135B

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter

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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
May 08, 2014 print number 4135b
amend (t) and recommit to elections
Jan 08, 2014 referred to elections
Apr 29, 2013 print number 4135a
amend (t) and recommit to elections
Mar 12, 2013 referred to elections

Bill Amendments

Original
A
B (Active)
Original
A
B (Active)

S4135 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8815A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add §7-107, El L; add §2022-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5517B
2009-2010: A3738A

S4135 - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille and large print, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter no less than 30 days prior to each election day.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4135

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the education
law, in relation to making absentee ballots available in Braille and
large-print

PURPOSE: To allow blind and visually impaired individuals access to
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one adds a new section 7-107 to the election law to state that
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print for every election
shall be made available upon the request of any registered voter who
is blind or visually impaired; that these ballots shall be made
available upon the request of any registered voter who is blind or
visually impaired; and that persons wishing to use these ballots must
give notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to
each election day. This section also gives the state board of
elections the task of promulgating rules for the preparation,
distribution, casting and canvass of these ballots; directs that the
rules be developed in consultation with state disability advocacy
groups; defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this
section; and provides proof reading standards for the ballots.

Section two adds a new section 2022-a to the education law that states
ballots printed in Braille and large-print for every election shall be
made available upon the request of any registered voter who is blind
or visually impaired; that these ballots shall be made available at
polling places upon request, and may be used by a voter in lieu of the
voting machine; and that persons wishing to use these ballots must
give notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to
each election day. This section also gives the commissioner, in
consultation with the state board of elections, the task of
promulgating rules for the preparation, distribution, casting and
canvass of these ballots; directs that the rules be developed in
consultation with state disability advocacy groups; defines Braille
and large-print for the purposes of this section; and provides
proofreading standards for the ballots.

Also section two states absentee ballots printed in Braille and
large-print shall be made available upon request of any registered
voter who is visually impaired. Those wishing to receive such ballots
must give notice no less than thirty days prior to each election day.
The commissioner in consultation with the state board of elections,
the task of promulgating rules for the preparation, distribution,
casting and canvass of these ballots; directs that the rules be
developed in consul- tation with state disability advocacy groups;
defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this section; and
provides proofreading standards for the ballots.

Section three is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: It is important that people who are blind or visually
impaired have equal access to ballots in the voting process. While it
is not the intent of this measure to replace the critical need for


fully accessible voting machines for all people with disabilities,
there are some individuals who either need or wish to vote by absentee
ballot.

This act will enable blind and visually impaired Persons to request
Braille or large-print absentee ballots be made available to them.
Currently, blind or visually impaired people must have someone assist
them when filling out absentee ballots because they are simply not
Produced in accessible formats. This present situation interferes with
the rights of blind or visually impaired people to vote independently,
and it forces such individuals to trust that the person assisting them
will vote according to their wishes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2001-2002: A.6321 - Referred to Election Law
2003-2004: A.3726 - Passed Assembly 2005-2606: A.1852 - Passed
Assembly 2007-2008: A.7196 - Passed Assembly 2009-2010: A.3738 -
Passed Assembly 2011-2012: S.5517 - Referred to Elections / A. 5337 -
Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: There will be some cost associated with the
production of the Braille & large print ballots.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of December
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law;
provided, however that effective immediately, the addition, amendment
and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the
implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and
directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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

                                  4135

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 12, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law and the education law, in  relation  to
  making absentee ballots available in Braille and large-print

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

  Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new  section  7-107
to read as follows:
  S 7-107. ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE.    1. ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE
MADE AVAILABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED.    PERSONS WISHING TO RECEIVE BRAILLE OR LARGE-PRINT
BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF TO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS NO LESS  THAN
THIRTY  DAYS  PRIOR  TO EACH ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE THE BOARD TO PREPARE
AND DISTRIBUTE SUCH BALLOTS.
  2. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE RULES FOR THE  PREPA-
RATION,  DISTRIBUTION,  CASTING,  AND CANVASS OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE BALLOTS.   THE STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  DEVELOP  THE
INITIAL  FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION
WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN  THE
FIELD  OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRI-
ATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  SHALL  DETERMINE.  FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, "BRAILLE"
REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS TO A FONT OF  EIGH-
TEEN  POINT OR LARGER.  UPON THE PRINTING OF A BRAILLE BALLOT, THE BOARD
OF ELECTIONS SHALL REQUIRE SUCH BRAILLE BALLOT  TO  BE  PROOFREAD  BY  A
QUALIFIED  BRAILLE READER.  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL ESTABLISH
THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR A BRAILLE BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTA-
TION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN
THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPRO-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05514-01-3

S. 4135                             2

PRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL
DETERMINE.
  S  2.   The education law is amended by adding a new section 2022-a to
read as follows:
  S 2022-A.  BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAILABLE. 1.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE UPON REQUEST. PERSONS WISHING TO RECEIVE  BRAILLE  AND  LARGE-PRINT
BALLOTS  MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF NO LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO EACH
ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.  THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD   OF
ELECTIONS,  SHALL  PROMULGATE  RULES  FOR THE PREPARATION, DISTRIBUTION,
CASTING, AND CANVASS OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT  ABSENTEE  BALLOTS.  THE
DEPARTMENT  SHALL DEVELOP THE INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND LARGE-
PRINT BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE  ORGAN-
IZATIONS  WITH  EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISA-
BILITIES  AND  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR
ORGANIZATIONS  AS  SUCH  BOARD SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS
SECTION, "BRAILLE" REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT"  REFERS
TO  A  FONT  OF EIGHTEEN POINT OR LARGER. UPON THE PRINTING OF A BRAILLE
BALLOT, SUCH BRAILLE BALLOT SHALL BE PROOFREAD BY  A  QUALIFIED  BRAILLE
READER.  THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR A
BRAILLE BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW  YORK
STATE  ORGANIZATIONS  WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES
OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however that
effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule
or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effec-
tive  date  are  authorized  and directed to be made and completed on or
before such effective date.

S4135A - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8815A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add §7-107, El L; add §2022-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5517B
2009-2010: A3738A

S4135A - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille and large print, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter no less than 30 days prior to each election day.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4135A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the education
law, in relation to making absentee ballots available in Braille and
large-print; and providing for the repeal of certain provisions upon
the expiration thereof

PURPOSE: To allow blind and visually impaired individuals access to
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section one adds a new section 7-107 to the election law to state that
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print for every election
shall be made available upon the request of any registered voter who
is blind or visually impaired; that these ballots shall be made
available upon the request of any registered voter who is blind or
visually impaired; and that persons wishing to use these ballots must
give notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to
each election day, This section also gives the state board of
elections the task of promulgating rules for the preparation,
distribution, casting and canvass of these ballots; directs that the
rules be developed in consultation with state disability advocacy
groups; defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this
section; and provides proof reading standards for the ballots.

Section two adds a new section 2022-a to the education law that states
ballots printed in Braille and large-print for every election shall be
made available upon the request of any registered voter who is blind
or visually impaired; that these ballots shall be made available at
polling places upon request, and may be used by a voter in lieu of the
voting machine; and that persons wishing to use these ballots must
give notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to
each election day. This section also gives the commissioner, in
consultation with the state board of elections, the task of
promulgating rules for the preparation, distribution, casting and
canvass of these ballots; directs that the rules be developed in
consultation with state disability advocacy groups; defines Braille
and large-print for the purposes of this section; and provides
proofreading standards for the ballots.

Also section two states absentee ballots printed in Braille and
large-print shall be made available upon request of any registered
voter who is visually impaired. Those wishing to receive such ballots
must give notice no less than thirty days prior to each election day.
The commissioner in consultation with the state board of elections,
the task of promulgating rules for the preparation, distribution,
casting and canvass of these ballots; directs that the rules be
developed in consultation with state disability advocacy groups;
defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this section; and
provides proofreading standards for the ballots.

Section four is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: It is important that people who are blind or visually
impaired have equal access to ballots in the voting process While it
is not the intent of this measure to replace the critical need for


fully accessible voting machines for all people with disabilities,
there are some individuals who either need or wish to vote by absentee
ballot. This act will enable blind and visually impaired Persons to
request Braille or large-print absentee ballots be made available to
them Currently, blind or visually impaired people must have someone
assist them when filling out absentee ballots because they are simply
not Produced in accessible formats. This present situation interferes
with the rights of blind or visually impaired people to vote
independently, and it forces such individuals to trust that the person
assisting them will vote according to their wishes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2001-2002: A.6321 - Referred to Election Law
2003-2004: A.3726 - Passed Assembly 2005-2606: A.1852 - Passed
Assembly
2007-2008: A.7196 - Passed Assembly 2009-2010: A.3738 - Passed
Assembly
2011-2012: S.5517 - Referred to Elections / A. 5337 - Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: There will be some cost associated with the
production of the Braille & large print ballots.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of December
next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law;
provided, however that effective immediately, the addition, amendment
and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the
implementation of this act on its effective date are authorized and
directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4135--A

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 12, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Elections  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to said committee

AN  ACT  to amend the election law and the education law, in relation to
  making absentee ballots available  in  Braille  and  large-print;  and
  providing  for  the  repeal  of certain provisions upon the expiration
  thereof

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

  Section  1.  The election law is amended by adding a new section 7-107
to read as follows:
  S 7-107. ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE.  1. ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT  SHALL  BE
MADE  AVAILABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND OR
VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  PERSONS WISHING TO RECEIVE  BRAILLE  OR  LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE  BALLOTS  MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF TO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS NO
LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO EACH ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE THE BOARD  TO
PREPARE AND DISTRIBUTE SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE RULES FOR THE PREPA-
RATION, DISTRIBUTION, CASTING, AND CANVASS OF  BRAILLE  AND  LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE  BALLOTS.    THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS SHALL DEVELOP THE
INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT BALLOTS IN  CONSULTATION
WITH  AT  LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE
FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER  APPROPRI-
ATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR ORGANIZATIONS AS THE STATE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE PURPOSE OF  THIS  SECTION,  "BRAILLE"
REFERS  TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS TO A FONT OF EIGH-
TEEN POINT OR LARGER.  UPON THE PRINTING OF A BRAILLE BALLOT, THE  BOARD
OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  REQUIRE  SUCH  BRAILLE BALLOT TO BE PROOFREAD BY A
QUALIFIED BRAILLE READER.  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL  ESTABLISH

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05514-03-3

S. 4135--A                          2

THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR A BRAILLE BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTA-
TION  WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN
THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPRO-
PRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL
DETERMINE.
  S 2.  The education law is amended by adding a new section  2022-a  to
read as follows:
  S 2022-A.  BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAILABLE. 1.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE  FOR EVERY ELECTION UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS
BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED. SUCH BALLOTS  SHALL  BE  MADE  AVAILABLE  AT
POLLING  PLACES  UPON REQUEST, AND MAY BE USED BY A VOTER IN LIEU OF THE
VOTING MACHINE.   ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN  BRAILLE  AND  LARGE-PRINT
SHALL  BE MADE AVAILABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS
BLIND OR VISUALLY IMPAIRED.  PERSONS  WISHING  TO  RECEIVE  BRAILLE  AND
LARGE-PRINT  ABSENTEE  OR  IN-PERSON BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF NO
LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO EACH ELECTION DAY TO  ENABLE  PREPARATION
AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.   THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES  FOR  THE  PREPARATION,  DISTRIBUTION,
CASTING,  AND  CANVASS  OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE BALLOTS. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP THE INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND  LARGE-
PRINT  BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGAN-
IZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE  WITH  DISA-
BILITIES  AND  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR
ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS
SECTION,  "BRAILLE" REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS
TO A FONT OF EIGHTEEN POINT OR LARGER. UPON THE PRINTING  OF  A  BRAILLE
BALLOT,  SUCH  BRAILLE  BALLOT SHALL BE PROOFREAD BY A QUALIFIED BRAILLE
READER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR  A
BRAILLE  BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK
STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY  FOR  PEOPLE
WITH  DISABILITIES  AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES
OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE.
  S 3. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  2022-a  to
read as follows:
  S  2022-A. BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAILABLE. 1.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED.  PERSONS  WISHING  TO RECEIVE BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE
BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF NO LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO  EACH
ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.   THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES  FOR  THE  PREPARATION,  DISTRIBUTION,
CASTING,  AND  CANVASS  OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE BALLOTS. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP THE INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND  LARGE-
PRINT  BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGAN-
IZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE  WITH  DISA-
BILITIES  AND  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR
ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS
SECTION,  "BRAILLE" REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS
TO A FONT OF EIGHTEEN POINT OR LARGER. UPON THE PRINTING  OF  A  BRAILLE
BALLOT,  SUCH  BRAILLE  BALLOT SHALL BE PROOFREAD BY A QUALIFIED BRAILLE
READER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR  A
BRAILLE  BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK
STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY  FOR  PEOPLE

S. 4135--A                          3

WITH  DISABILITIES  AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES
OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE.
  S  4.  This  act  shall take effect immediately; provided however that
sections one and two of this act shall  take  effect  on  the  first  of
December  next  succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law;
provided, further that section 2022-a of  the  education  law  added  by
section  two of this act shall expire and be deemed repealed on the same
date as chapter 359 of the laws of 2010 expires, when upon such date the
provisions of section three of this act shall take effect; and provided,
further that  effective  immediately,  the  addition,  amendment  and/or
repeal  of  any  rule  or regulation necessary for the implementation of
this act on its effective date are authorized to be made  on  or  before
such effective date.

S4135B (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8815A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add §7-107, El L; add §2022-a, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S5517B
2009-2010: A3738A

S4135B (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view summary

Provides that absentee ballots for all elections shall be made available in Braille and large print, upon request of a blind or visually impaired voter no less than 30 days prior to each election day.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S4135B

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law and the education
law, in relation to making absentee ballots available in Braille and
large-print

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

To allow blind or visually impaired individuals access to absentee
ballots printed in Braille and large-print.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1 adds a new section 7-107 to the election law requiring that
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print be made available
upon the request of any registered voter who is blind or visually
impaired and that persons wishing to receive such ballots must give
notice to the board of elections no less than 30 days prior to each
election day. This section also gives the state board of
elections(SBOE) the task of promulgating rules for the preparation,
distribution, casting and canvassing of such ballots; directs that
such rules be developed in consultation with state disability advocacy
groups; defines Braille and large-print for the purposes of this
section; and provides proof reading standards for the ballots.

Section 2 adds a new section 2022-a to the education law that states
absentee ballots printed in Braille and large-print shall be made
available upon request of any registered voter who is blind or
visually impaired. It further states that such ballots may be cast in
parson on Election Day. Those wishing to receive such ballots must
give notice no less than thirty days prior to each Election Day. The
commissioner in consultation with the SBOE are to promulgate rules for
the preparation, distribution, casting and canvass of these ballots;
directs that such rules be developed in consultation with state
disability advocacy groups; defines Braille and large-print for the
purposes of this section; and provides proof reading standards for the
ballots.

Section 3 adds a new section 2022-a to the election law to take effect
when lever machines are no longer able to be used in elections
pursuant to the education law and there will be no need for such
Braille and large-print ballots for in person voting use.

Section 4 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

This act will enable blind and visually impaired persons to request
and receive Braille or large-print absentee ballots. While the
adoption and implementation of technologically advanced ballot marking
devices with optical scanners has marked a new milestone for
accessibility of in-person voting for individuals with disabilities,
currently, blind or visually impaired people must have someone assist
them in filling out absentee ballots because such ballots are not
produced in accessible formats. The present situation interferes with
the rights of blind or visually impaired people to vote independently.


LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2013: S.4135 - Referred to Elections.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

There will be costs associated with the production of the Braille and
large print ballots.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeeding
the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however that
effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any
rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its
effective date are authorized to be made on or before such effective
date.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 4135--B

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 12, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  LANZA  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Elections  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to  said  committee  --  recommitted  to the Committee on Elections in
  accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --  committee  discharged,  bill
  amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
  tee

AN ACT to amend the election law and the education law, in  relation  to
  making absentee ballots available in Braille and large-print

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

  Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new  section  7-107
to read as follows:
  S 7-107. ABSENTEE BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE.    1. ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE
MADE AVAILABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR
VISUALLY  IMPAIRED.    PERSONS WISHING TO RECEIVE BRAILLE OR LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF TO THE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS  NO
LESS  THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO EACH ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE THE BOARD TO
PREPARE AND DISTRIBUTE SUCH BALLOTS.
  2. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE RULES FOR THE  PREPA-
RATION,  DISTRIBUTION,  CASTING,  AND CANVASS OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT
ABSENTEE BALLOTS.   THE STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  DEVELOP  THE
INITIAL  FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION
WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN  THE
FIELD  OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRI-
ATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  SHALL  DETERMINE.  FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS SECTION, "BRAILLE"
REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS TO A FONT OF  EIGH-
TEEN  POINT OR LARGER.  UPON THE PRINTING OF A BRAILLE BALLOT, THE BOARD
OF ELECTIONS SHALL REQUIRE SUCH BRAILLE BALLOT  TO  BE  PROOFREAD  BY  A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05514-10-4

S. 4135--B                          2

QUALIFIED  BRAILLE READER.  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL ESTABLISH
THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR A BRAILLE BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTA-
TION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE  IN
THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND SUCH OTHER APPRO-
PRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL
DETERMINE.
  S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new  section  2022-a  to
read as follows:
  S  2022-A. BALLOTS IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT TO BE MADE AVAILABLE. 1.
ABSENTEE BALLOTS PRINTED IN BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT SHALL BE MADE AVAIL-
ABLE UPON THE REQUEST OF ANY REGISTERED VOTER WHO IS BLIND  OR  VISUALLY
IMPAIRED.  PERSONS  WISHING  TO RECEIVE BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE
BALLOTS MUST GIVE NOTICE THEREOF NO LESS THAN THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO  EACH
ELECTION DAY TO ENABLE PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH BALLOTS.
  2.   THE  COMMISSIONER,  IN  CONSULTATION  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS, SHALL PROMULGATE RULES  FOR  THE  PREPARATION,  DISTRIBUTION,
CASTING,  AND  CANVASS  OF BRAILLE AND LARGE-PRINT ABSENTEE BALLOTS. THE
DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP THE INITIAL FORMAT FOR BOTH BRAILLE AND  LARGE-
PRINT  BALLOTS IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK STATE ORGAN-
IZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY FOR PEOPLE  WITH  DISA-
BILITIES  AND  SUCH  OTHER  APPROPRIATE  PERSONS,  GROUPS,  ENTITIES  OR
ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH BOARD SHALL DETERMINE. FOR THE  PURPOSES  OF  THIS
SECTION,  "BRAILLE" REFERS TO GRADE TWO BRAILLE AND "LARGE-PRINT" REFERS
TO A FONT OF EIGHTEEN POINT OR LARGER. UPON THE PRINTING  OF  A  BRAILLE
BALLOT,  SUCH  BRAILLE  BALLOT SHALL BE PROOFREAD BY A QUALIFIED BRAILLE
READER. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH THE MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS FOR  A
BRAILLE  BALLOT PROOFREADER IN CONSULTATION WITH AT LEAST THREE NEW YORK
STATE ORGANIZATIONS WITH EXPERTISE IN THE FIELD OF ADVOCACY  FOR  PEOPLE
WITH  DISABILITIES  AND SUCH OTHER APPROPRIATE PERSONS, GROUPS, ENTITIES
OR ORGANIZATIONS AS SUCH DEPARTMENT SHALL DETERMINE.
  S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of December next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided  that  effec-
tive  immediately,  the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or
regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective
date are authorized to be made on or before such effective date.

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