senate Bill S5446

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to enacting voting rights expansion act

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to elections
May 16, 2013 referred to elections

S5446 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Rpld ยงยง8-400 & 8-402, amd El L, generally

S5446 - Bill Texts

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Relates to voting rights expansion, voter registration on election day, expansion of the use of and requirements for absentee voting, creation of a real-time state-wide voter registration database, special ballots for election employees, and voter affidavits.

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BILL NUMBER:S5446

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
voting rights expansion, voter registration on election day, expansion
of the use of and requirements for absentee voting, creation of a
real-time state-wide voter registration database, special ballots for
election employees, voter affidavits and to repeal certain provisions
of such law relating thereto

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To all qualified New Yorkers the
true right to vote up until the day of election.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Any person whose name is not on the checklist but who is
otherwise a qualified voter shall be entitled to vote by requesting to
be registered to vote at the polling place on election date

Section 2: A qualified voter may vote as an absentee voter under this
chapter if, on the occurrence of an election, if s/he elects to do
such; Absentee ballots shall be mailed to every registered and
Qualified voter residing in such county or city; For primary
elections, the board shall deliver only the ballot of the party in
which the records of the board of elections show the absentee voter to
be enrolled; Provisions for if a person is unable to sign because of
illness; the board shall keep a record of all absentee ballots that
are mailed and if requested provide a copy as such

Section 3: Any voter, upon application, may request that their
absentee ballot be mailed to them at an address other than their
permanent address, if s/he expects to be absent from the county or
city of residence and unable to obtain their absentee ballot;
application forms shall be furnished by the board of elections until
the day before election; applications shall also be supplied by the
board of inspectors; information that must be in application for an
absentee ballot; if the board shall find that the applicant is a
qualified voter it shall mail to it to him or her

Section 4: Absentee voting; hospitalized veterans; special provisions.

Section 5: Delivery of Absentee ballots

Section 6: Voting by residents of nursing homes, residential health
care facilities, facilities operated or licensed, or under the
jurisdiction of, the department of mental hygiene or hospitals or
facilities operated by the Veteran's Administration of the United
States; appointment of bi-partisan boards of inspectors; duties of
superintendent, administrator or director

Section 7: Method of Absentee voting

Section 8: Provision for the board of elections to cast absentee
ballots

Section 9: Computerized statewide voter registration list; centralized
statewide registration system; time period to become centralized;


maintenance and additional capabilities of the centralized statewide
registration system; cost of acquiring computer hardware and training.

Section 10: Special ballots for board of election employees

Section 11: Affidavit of qualified voter

Section 12: This act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: Every person who is qualified to vote should be able to
do so up until the day of election. Nine states plus the District of
Columbia presently offer same-day registration (SDR), allowing any
qualified resident of the state to to the polls or an election
official's office on Election Day, register that day, and then vote.
Another two states--California and Connecticut--have enacted same-day
registration but have not yet implemented it.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New legislation

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5446

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- 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  voting  rights  expan-
  sion,  voter registration on election day, expansion of the use of and
  requirements for absentee voting, creation of a  real-time  state-wide
  voter  registration  database, special ballots for election employees,
  voter affidavits and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating
  thereto

  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 two new sections
5-217 and 5-217-a to read as follows:
  S 5-217. REGISTERING AT THE POLLING PLACE; ELECTION DAY  REGISTRATION.
1.  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS  SECTION AND SECTION 5-217-A OF THIS TITLE
SHALL BE USED AS AN ADDITIONAL PROCEDURE FOR VOTER  REGISTRATION.    FOR
THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION AND SECTION 5-217-A OF THIS TITLE, THE TERM
"ELECTION  DAY"  SHALL  REFER  TO  STATE  PRIMARY  AND  TO STATE GENERAL
ELECTIONS, TO ALL TOWN, CITY,  SCHOOL  DISTRICT,  AND  VILLAGE  DISTRICT
ELECTIONS,  AND  TO  ALL  ELECTIONS  WHERE  PERSONS MAY VOTE BY ABSENTEE
BALLOT. A PERSON REGISTERING TO VOTE ON ELECTION  DAY  SHALL  DO  SO  IN
ACCORDANCE  WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND ALL OTHER APPLICABLE
LAW INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO COMPLETION  OF  A  VOTER  REGISTRATION
FORM  AS  PROVIDED FOR IN SECTION 5-210 OF THIS TITLE. THE PROVISIONS OF
THIS SECTION AND THOSE OF 5-217-A OF THIS  TITLE  SHALL  APPLY  NOTWITH-
STANDING ANY PROVISIONS OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY.
  2.  ANY PERSON WHOSE NAME IS NOT ON THE CHECKLIST BUT WHO IS OTHERWISE
A QUALIFIED VOTER SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE BY REQUESTING TO  BE  REGIS-
TERED  TO VOTE AT THE POLLING PLACE ON ELECTION DATE. THE VOTER MAY THEN
VOTE IN SUCH ELECTION. THE APPLICANT SHALL BE REQUIRED TO PRODUCE APPRO-
PRIATE PROOF OF QUALIFICATIONS AS PROVIDED IN THIS CHAPTER.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD10970-01-3

S. 5446                             2

  3. ANY PERSON WHO IS WAITING TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THE POLLING  PLACE
ON ELECTION DAY AT THE TIME SCHEDULED FOR THE CLOSING OF THE POLLS SHALL
BE ALLOWED TO VOTE IF DETERMINED TO BE QUALIFIED TO REGISTER.
  S  5-217-A.  EFFECT  OF  REGISTRATION  ON ELECTION DAY. ANY PERSON WHO
REGISTERS TO VOTE ON ELECTION DAY ACCORDING TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION
5-217 OF THIS TITLE SHALL BE REGISTERED TO VOTE AT ALL SUBSEQUENT  TOWN,
STATE, AND FEDERAL ELECTIONS.
  S  2.  Section 8-400 of the election law is REPEALED and a new section
8-400 is added to read as follows:
  S 8-400. ABSENTEE VOTING. 1. A QUALIFIED VOTER MAY VOTE AS AN ABSENTEE
VOTER UNDER THIS CHAPTER IF, ON THE OCCURRENCE OF ANY  VILLAGE  ELECTION
CONDUCTED BY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, PRIMARY ELECTION, SPECIAL ELECTION,
GENERAL  ELECTION  OR  NEW  YORK CITY COMMUNITY SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT OR
CITY OF BUFFALO SCHOOL DISTRICT ELECTION, IF HE  OR  SHE  ELECTS  TO  DO
SUCH.  ANY REFERENCE TO "BOARD OF ELECTIONS" IN THE REMAINING PROVISIONS
OF THIS SECTION MEANS ONLY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS OF THE COUNTY OR  CITY
IN WHICH THE ABSENTEE VOTER IS A QUALIFIED VOTER.
  2.  THE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS FOR ALL COUNTIES OR CITIES SHALL MAIL AN
ABSENTEE BALLOT TO EVERY REGISTERED AND QUALIFIED VOTER RESIDING IN SUCH
COUNTY OR CITY. SUCH ABSENTEE BALLOT SHALL BE MAILED TO EVERY REGISTERED
AND QUALIFIED VOTER AT THE ADDRESS GIVEN  ON  HIS  OR  HER  REGISTRATION
RECORDS NO LATER THAN THIRTY DAYS BEFORE THE SCHEDULED ELECTION IS TO BE
HELD.
  3. IN THE CASE OF A PRIMARY ELECTION, THE BOARD SHALL DELIVER ONLY THE
BALLOT  OF THE PARTY IN WHICH THE RECORDS OF THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHOW
THE ABSENTEE VOTER TO BE ENROLLED. IN THE EVENT A  PRIMARY  ELECTION  IS
UNCONTESTED  IN THE ABSENTEE VOTERS ELECTION DISTRICT FOR ALL OFFICES OR
POSITIONS EXCEPT THE PARTY POSITION OF MEMBER OF THE WARD, TOWN, CITY OR
COUNTY COMMITTEE, NO BALLOT SHALL BE DELIVERED TO  SUCH  ABSENTEE  VOTER
FOR SUCH ELECTION; AND THE ABSENTEE VOTER SHALL BE ADVISED WHY HE OR SHE
IS NOT BEING SENT A BALLOT.
  4.  IF A PERSON VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT IS UNABLE TO SIGN HIS OR HER
SIGNATURE BECAUSE OF ILLNESS, PHYSICAL DISABILITY OR INABILITY TO  READ,
HE  OR  SHE  SHALL  BE  EXCUSED FROM SIGNING UPON MAKING A STATEMENT, IN
SUBSTANTIALLY THE FOLLOWING  FORM,  WHICH  SHALL  BE  WITNESSED  BY  ONE
PERSON:
  "I  HEREBY  STATE  THAT I AM UNABLE TO SIGN MY ABSENTEE BALLOT WITHOUT
ASSISTANCE BECAUSE I AM UNABLE TO WRITE BY REASON OF MY ILLNESS OR PHYS-
ICAL DISABILITY OR BECAUSE I AM UNABLE TO READ. I  HAVE  MADE,  OR  HAVE
RECEIVED ASSISTANCE IN MAKING, MY MARK IN LIEU OF MY SIGNATURE."

(DATE)..................

                               ..................(MARK)
                                                 (NAME OF VOTER)

  "I, THE UNDERSIGNED, HEREBY CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE NAMED VOTER AFFIXED
HIS OR HER MARK TO THIS APPLICATION IN MY PRESENCE AND I KNOW HIM OR HER
TO  BE  THE  PERSON  WHO AFFIXED HIS OR HER MARK TO SAID APPLICATION AND
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS STATEMENT WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR ALL PURPOSES AS  THE
EQUIVALENT  OF  AN  AFFIDAVIT AND IF IT CONTAINS A MATERIAL FALSE STATE-
MENT, SHALL SUBJECT ME TO THE SAME PENALTIES  AS  IF  I  HAD  BEEN  DULY
SWORN."

                    ....................
                  (SIGNATURE OF WITNESS)

S. 5446                             3

                    ....................
                    (ADDRESS OF WITNESS)

  SUCH  STATEMENT  SHALL BE INCLUDED IN THE ABSENTEE BALLOT FURNISHED BY
THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  ALSO
APPLY  TO  ANY  APPLICATION  FOR  AN ABSENTEE BALLOT PURSUANT TO SECTION
8-402 OF THIS TITLE.
  5. THE BOARD SHALL KEEP A RECORD OF  ALL  ABSENTEE  BALLOTS  THAT  ARE
MAILED,  SHOWING  THE  NAMES  AND RESIDENCES OF THE ABSENTEE VOTERS, AND
THEIR PARTY ENROLLMENT IN THE CASE OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS, AND, AS SOON AS
PRACTICABLE SHALL, WHEN REQUESTED, GIVE TO THE CHAIRMAN  OF  EACH  POLI-
TICAL  PARTY OR INDEPENDENT BODY IN THE COUNTY, AND SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE
FOR INSPECTION TO ANY OTHER QUALIFIED VOTER  UPON  REQUEST,  A  COMPLETE
LIST  OF  ALL  ABSENTEE  VOTERS  TO  WHOM BALLOTS HAVE BEEN DELIVERED OR
MAILED, CONTAINING THEIR NAMES AND PLACES OF RESIDENCE AS THEY APPEAR ON
THE REGISTRATION RECORD, INCLUDING THE ELECTION DISTRICT  AND  WARD,  IF
ANY,  AND IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK AND THE COUNTY OF NASSAU, THE ASSEMBLY
DISTRICT, AND THEIR PARTY ENROLLMENT IN THE CASE OF PRIMARY ELECTIONS.
  S 3. Section 8-402 of the election law is REPEALED and a  new  section
8-402 is added to read as follows:
  S  8-402. APPLICATIONS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS. 1. ANY VOTER, UPON APPLI-
CATION, MAY REQUEST THAT THEIR ABSENTEE BALLOT BE MAILED TO THEM  AT  AN
ADDRESS  OTHER  THAN THEIR PERMANENT ADDRESS, IF HE OR SHE EXPECTS TO BE
ABSENT FROM THE COUNTY OR CITY OF RESIDENCE AND UNABLE TO  OBTAIN  THEIR
ABSENTEE BALLOT.
  (A)  APPLICATION  FORMS SHALL BE FURNISHED BY AND MAY BE OBTAINED FROM
ANY BOARD OF ELECTIONS AT ANY TIME UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE  SUCH  ELECTION.
APPLICATION  FORMS  SHALL ALSO BE SUPPLIED BY THE BOARD OF INSPECTORS OF
THE ELECTION DISTRICT IN WHICH APPLICANT IS A QUALIFIED VOTER ON ALL  OF
THE DAYS PROVIDED FOR LOCAL REGISTRATION. IN ADDITION, APPLICATION FORMS
SHALL  BE  SUPPLIED  UPON  THE  REQUEST OF THE PERSON AUTHORIZED TO VOTE
PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, ANY SUCH PERSON'S SPOUSE, PARENT OR  CHILD,  A
PERSON  RESIDING WITH THE APPLICANT AS A MEMBER OF HIS HOUSEHOLD, OR THE
APPLICANT'S DULY AUTHORIZED AGENT. APPLICATION FORMS SENT OUTSIDE OF THE
UNITED STATES TO A COUNTRY OTHER THAN CANADA OR MEXICO,  SHALL  BE  SENT
AIR MAIL.
  (B)  THE APPLICATION FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT WHEN FILED MUST CONTAIN IN
EACH INSTANCE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
  (I) APPLICANT'S FULL NAME,  DATE  OF  BIRTH,  AND  RESIDENCE  ADDRESS,
INCLUDING  THE  STREET AND NUMBER, IF ANY, RURAL DELIVERY ROUTE, IF ANY,
MAILING ADDRESS IF DIFFERENT FROM THE RESIDENCE ADDRESS AND HIS  OR  HER
TOWN OR CITY AND AN ADDRESS TO WHICH THE BALLOT SHALL BE MAILED.
  (II)  A  STATEMENT  THAT  THE  APPLICANT IS A QUALIFIED AND REGISTERED
VOTER.
  (III) A STATEMENT THAT THE APPLICANT  EXPECTS  IN  GOOD  FAITH  TO  BE
ABSENT  FROM THE COUNTY OR CITY OF HIS OR HER RESIDENCE PROVIDED, HOWEV-
ER, IF THE APPLICANT EXPECTS TO BE ABSENT FROM SUCH COUNTY OR CITY FOR A
DURATION COVERING MORE THAN ONE ELECTION AND SEEKS  AN  ABSENTEE  BALLOT
FOR  EACH  ELECTION,  HE  OR  SHE  SHALL  STATE THE DATES WHEN HE OR SHE
EXPECTS TO BEGIN AND END SUCH ABSENCE.
  2. THE APPLICATION FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT SHALL CONTAIN THE  FOLLOWING
LANGUAGE  PRINTED  IN  BOLD  FACE  DIRECTLY ABOVE THE SIGNATURE LINE: "I
CERTIFY THAT THE INFORMATION IN THIS APPLICATION IS TRUE AND CORRECT AND
UNDERSTAND THAT THIS APPLICATION WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR  ALL  PURPOSES  AS
THE  EQUIVALENT  OF  AN  AFFIDAVIT  AND, IF IT CONTAINS A MATERIAL FALSE
STATEMENT, SHALL SUBJECT ME TO THE SAME PENALTIES AS IF I HAD BEEN  DULY

S. 5446                             4

SWORN."  SUCH  APPLICATION  SHALL  BE  ACCEPTED  FOR ALL PROPOSES AS THE
EQUIVALENT OF AN AFFIDAVIT AND IF IT CONTAINS A MATERIAL FALSE STATEMENT
SHALL SUBJECT THE PERSON SIGNING IT TO THE SAME PENALTIES AS  IF  HE  OR
SHE HAD BEEN DULY SWORN.
  3.  FOR  PROPOSES  OF  THIS  SECTION,  THE  USE OF TITLES, INITIALS OR
CUSTOMARY ABBREVIATIONS OF GIVEN NAMES BY THE SIGNERS OF,  OR  WITNESSES
TO,  AN  ABSENTEE  BALLOT REQUEST LETTER, AN ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION
FORM OR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT ENVELOPE, OR THE USE  OF  CUSTOMARY  ABBREVI-
ATIONS  OF  ADDRESSES OF SUCH SIGNERS OR WITNESSES, SHALL NOT INVALIDATE
SUCH VOTER'S SIGNATURE OR WITNESS'S SIGNATURE ON AN APPLICATION  FOR  AN
ABSENTEE  BALLOT  OR UPON CANVASS OR RECANVASS OF THE BALLOT PURSUANT TO
THIS CHAPTER.
  4. PRINTED FORMS OF APPLICATIONS FOR ABSENTEE  BALLOTS  IN  ACCORDANCE
WITH  THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE PROVIDED BY THE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS. AN APPROPRIATE NUMBER SHALL  BE  RETAINED  BY  THE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF  FURNISHING AN APPLICATION FORM TO EACH
QUALIFIED VOTER WHO APPLIES THEREFOR  BEFORE  THE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS,
EITHER  IN  PERSON OR BY MAIL, AND AN APPROPRIATE NUMBER SHALL BE DELIV-
ERED TO EACH BOARD OF INSPECTORS ON REGISTRATION DAYS WITH THE  ELECTION
SUPPLIES,  AND  THE  BOARD  OF INSPECTORS SHALL RETAIN THE COMPLETED AND
UNUSED APPLICATIONS AND RETURN THEM TO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS WITH THEIR
ELECTION SUPPLIES AND AN  APPROPRIATE  NUMBER  SHALL  BE  AVAILABLE  FOR
DISTRIBUTION TO OFFICERS OF POLITICAL PARTIES, COUNTY CLERKS, CITY, TOWN
AND  VILLAGE  CLERKS,  COLLEGES,  LIBRARIES,  HOSPITALS,  NURSING HOMES,
SENIOR CITIZENS CENTERS AND ANY  OTHER  CONVENIENT  DISTRIBUTION  SOURCE
WHICH  IS  APPROVED  BY  THE LOCAL OR STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND WHICH
REQUESTS SUCH FORMS.
  5. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PRESCRIBE A STANDARD APPLICATION
FORM FOR USE UNDER THIS SECTION. THE USE OF ANY APPLICATION  FORM  WHICH
SUBSTANTIALLY  COMPLIES  WITH  THE  PROVISIONS  OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE
ACCEPTABLE AND ANY APPLICATION FILED ON SUCH A FORM  SHALL  BE  ACCEPTED
FOR FILING.
  6.  IF THE BOARD SHALL FIND THAT THE APPLICANT IS A QUALIFIED VOTER OF
THE ELECTION DISTRICT CONTAINING HIS OR HER RESIDENCE AS STATED  IN  HIS
OR  HER STATEMENT AND THAT HIS OR HER STATEMENT IS SUFFICIENT, IT SHALL,
AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE AFTER IT SHALL HAVE DETERMINED HIS OR  HER  RIGHT
THERETO,  MAIL  TO HIM OR HER AT AN ADDRESS DESIGNATED BY HIM OR HER, OR
DELIVER TO HIM OR HER, OR TO ANY PERSON DESIGNATED FOR SUCH  PURPOSE  IN
WRITING  BY  HIM  OR  HER,  AT THE OFFICE OF THE BOARD, SUCH AN ABSENTEE
VOTER'S BALLOT OR SET OF BALLOTS AND AN ENVELOPE THEREFOR. IF THE BALLOT
OR BALLOTS ARE TO BE SENT OUTSIDE OF THE  UNITED  STATES  TO  A  COUNTRY
OTHER THAN CANADA OR MEXICO, SUCH BALLOT OR BALLOTS SHALL BE SENT BY AIR
MAIL. HOWEVER, IF AN APPLICANT WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR AN ABSENTEE BALLOT IS
A RESIDENT OF A FACILITY OPERATED OR LICENSED BY, OR UNDER THE JURISDIC-
TION  OF,  THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HYGIENE, OR A RESIDENT OF A FACILITY
DEFINED AS A NURSING HOME OR RESIDENTIAL HEALTH CARE  FACILITY  PURSUANT
TO  SUBDIVISIONS TWO AND THREE OF SECTION TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED ONE
OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, OR A RESIDENT OF A HOSPITAL OR OTHER  FACILITY
OPERATED  BY  THE  VETERAN'S  ADMINISTRATION  OF THE UNITED STATES, SUCH
ABSENTEE BALLOT NEED NOT BE SO MAILED OR DELIVERED TO ANY SUCH APPLICANT
BUT, MAY BE DELIVERED TO THE VOTER IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED  BY  SECTION
8-407 OF THIS TITLE IF SUCH FACILITY IS LOCATED IN THE COUNTY OR CITY IN
WHICH SUCH VOTER IS ELIGIBLE TO VOTE.
  S  4.  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-

S. 5446                             5

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. After entering upon the registration  records,  the  application  for
registration  of  an  inmate  or  patient  of a veterans' administration
hospital as to whom the medical superintendent or medical head  of  such
hospital has attested that he OR SHE expects that [he] SUCH VETERAN 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 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  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 or  patient  continues
to  be  confined  therein  or  has  been  discharged therefrom. Upon the
receipt of such returned list from each veterans' administration  hospi-
tal  with  the  proper  notations  showing that a "hospitalized veteran"
continues to be confined in such hospital, the board  of  elections,  by
mail  addressed  to such "hospitalized veteran" at his OR HER last known
hospital 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 "hospi-
talized  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
contains  a  notation showing that a "hospitalized veteran" is no longer
an inmate or patient at the veterans' administration hospital  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'
relative" 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  applies  therefor  in the regular way] AN
ABSENTEE BALLOT AT SUCH ADDRESS. 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  veter-

S. 5446                             6

ans'  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 absen-
tee  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 registration records and the board cannot ascertain  that  he
OR  SHE  has been transferred to another veterans' administration hospi-
tal, the board shall cancel his OR HER registration.  Whenever a  regis-
tration  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 temporary address.
  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.
  3. Such  ballots  shall  be  mailed,  voted,  returned,  counted,  and
canvassed  as  provided  in  this  chapter  for  other  absentee voters'
ballots.
  S 5. Section 8-406 of the election law, as amended by chapter  296  of
the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
  S 8-406. Absentee ballots, delivery of. [If the] THE board shall [find
that  the  applicant  is  a  qualified  voter  of  the election district
containing his residence as stated in his statement and that his  state-
ment is sufficient, it shall, as soon as practicable after it shall have
determined  his  right  thereto,]  mail  to [him] ALL VOTERS AN ABSENTEE
BALLOT AND AN ENVELOPE at [an] THE PERMANENT address designated [by him,
or deliver to him, or to any person designated for such purpose in writ-
ing by him, at the office of the board, such an absentee voter's  ballot
or  set of ballots and an envelope therefor] ON SUCH VOTERS REGISTRATION
RECORDS. If the ballot or ballots are to be sent outside of  the  United
States  to a country other than Canada or Mexico, such ballot or ballots
shall be sent by air mail. However, if [an applicant who is eligible for
an absentee ballot] A VOTER is a resident  of  a  facility  operated  or
licensed  by,  or  under  the  jurisdiction of, the department of mental
hygiene, or a resident of a facility defined as a nursing home or  resi-
dential  health  care facility pursuant to subdivisions two and three of
section two thousand eight hundred one of the public health  law,  or  a
resident  of  a  hospital  or  other  facility operated by the Veteran's
Administration of the United States, such absentee ballot need not be so
mailed or delivered to any such applicant but, may be delivered  to  the
voter  in the manner prescribed by section 8-407 of this chapter if such
facility is located in the county or city in which such voter is  eligi-
ble to vote.
  S 6. Section 8-407 of the election law, as added by chapter 296 of the
laws  of 1988, subdivisions 1, 3 and 15 as amended by chapter 195 of the
laws of 2001, and subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 326 of the laws of
1989, is amended to read as follows:
  S 8-407. Voting by residents of nursing homes, residential health care
facilities, facilities operated or licensed, or under  the  jurisdiction
of, the department of mental hygiene or hospitals or facilities operated
by  the  Veteran's  Administration of the United States. 1. The board of
elections of a county or city in which there is  located  at  least  one
facility operated or licensed, or under the jurisdiction of, the depart-
ment of mental hygiene, or a facility defined as a nursing home or resi-
dential  health  care facility pursuant to subdivisions two and three of
section two thousand eight hundred one of the public health  law  or  an

S. 5446                             7

adult  care  facility  subject to the provisions of title two of article
seven of the social services law, or a hospital or other facility  oper-
ated  by the Veteran's Administration of the United States shall provide
[that]  residents  of  each  such  facility  [for  which  such board has
received twenty-five or more applications for]  absentee  ballots  [from
voters who are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in such city or coun-
ty  at  such  election,  may vote by absentee ballot only] in the manner
provided for in this  section.  [Such  board  may,  in  its  discretion,
provide that the procedure described in this subdivision shall be appli-
cable  to  all  such facilities in such county or city without regard to
the number of absentee ballot applications received from  the  residents
of any such facility.]
  2.  Such  a  board  of  elections shall appoint, in the same manner as
other inspectors, one or more bi-partisan  boards  of  inspectors,  each
composed  of two such inspectors. Such inspectors may be regular employ-
ees of such board of elections.
  3. Not earlier than thirteen days before or later than the day  before
such  an election such a board of inspectors shall, between the hours of
nine o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the evening,  attend  at
each  such  facility  for the residents [of which the board of elections
has custody of twenty-five or more absentee ballots or, if the board  of
elections  has  so  provided, each such facility for which the board has
custody of one or more such absentee ballots, pursuant to the provisions
of this chapter].
  4. Each such board of inspectors may attend at more than one facility,
provided, however, that no such board of inspectors shall be assigned to
attend at more facilities than it reasonably can be expected to complete
within the time specified by this section.
  5. The board of elections shall deliver to each  board  of  inspectors
all  [the]  absentee  ballots [in the custody of such board of elections
which are addressed to] FOR residents of the facilities which such board
of inspectors is assigned to attend, together with one or more  portable
voting  booths  of  a  type approved by the state board of elections and
such other  supplies  as  such  board  of  inspectors  will  require  to
discharge its duties properly.
  6.  The  board  of  elections,  at  least twenty days before each such
election, [or on the day after it  shall  have  received  the  requisite
number  of  applications  for absentee ballots from the residents of any
such facility, whichever is later,] shall communicate  with  the  super-
intendent,  administrator  or  director of each such facility to arrange
the day and time when the board of inspectors will attend at such facil-
ity. The board of elections shall keep a list of the  day  and  time  at
which  the  board  of  inspectors will attend at each such facility as a
public record at its office.
  7. It shall be the duty of each such superintendent, administrator  or
director  to  assist  the board of inspectors attending such facility in
the discharge of its duties, including, but not limited to making avail-
able to such board of inspectors space within such facility suitable for
the discharge of its duties.
  8. The  board  of  inspectors  shall  deliver  [each  absentee  ballot
addressed to a resident of each such facility to such resident] ABSENTEE
BALLOTS FOR RESIDENTS TO ALL FACILITIES. If [such] ANY resident is phys-
ically  disabled  the inspectors shall, if necessary, deliver the ballot
to such voter at his OR HER bedside.

S. 5446                             8

  9. The board of inspectors shall arrange the portable voting booth  or
booths  provided  and  effect  such  safeguards  as  may be necessary to
provide secrecy for the votes cast by such residents.
  10.  If such a resident is unable to mark his OR HER ballot, he OR SHE
may be assisted in marking such ballot by the two members of  the  board
of  inspectors  or  such  other  person  as he may select. If a voter is
unable to mark the ballot and unable to communicate how he OR SHE wishes
such ballot marked, such ballot shall not be cast. No person who assists
a voter to mark his ballot pursuant to the provisions of  this  section,
shall disclose to any other person how any such ballot was marked.
  11.  [Except  as  otherwise provided in this section, all ballots cast
pursuant to this section shall be cast in the manner  provided  by  this
chapter for the casting of absentee ballots.
  12.]  After  such ballots have been cast and sealed in the appropriate
envelopes, they shall be returned to such inspectors.
  [13.] 12. Upon completion of its duties, the board of inspectors shall
forthwith return all such ballots to the board of elections.
  [14.] 13. Any person, political committee or independent body entitled
to appoint watchers for the election district in which any such facility
is located [at the election for which such absentee ballots  are  cast,]
shall  be  entitled to appoint a watcher to attend such board of inspec-
tors at such facility.
  [15.] 14. All ballots cast pursuant to the provisions of this  section
which  are received before the close of the polls on election day by the
board of elections charged with the duty of casting and canvassing  such
ballots,  may  be  delivered to the inspectors of election in the manner
prescribed by this chapter or retained at the  board  of  elections  and
cast  and  canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this
chapter as such board shall, in its discretion,  determine  pursuant  to
the provisions of subdivision one of this section.
  S  7.  Section 8-410 of the election law, as amended by chapter 352 of
the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
  S 8-410. Absentee voting; method of. The absentee voter shall mark  an
absentee  ballot  as  provided for paper ballots or ballots prepared for
counting by ballot counting machines. He OR SHE shall make  no  mark  or
writing  whatsoever  upon  the  ballot,  except as above prescribed, and
shall see that it bears no such mark or writing. He OR SHE shall make no
mark or writing whatsoever on the outside of the ballot.  After  marking
the  ballot or ballots he OR SHE shall fold each such ballot and enclose
them in the envelope and seal the envelope.  He OR SHE shall  then  take
and  subscribe the oath on the envelope, with blanks properly filled in.
The envelope, containing the ballot or ballots, shall then be mailed  or
delivered  to the board of elections of the county or city of his OR HER
residence.
  S 8. Subdivision 1 of section 8-412 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 155 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
  1. The board of elections shall cause all absentee ballots received by
it before the close of  the  polls  on  election  day  and  all  ballots
contained  in envelopes showing a cancellation mark of the United States
postal service or a foreign country's postal service, or showing a dated
endorsement of receipt by another agency of the  United  States  govern-
ment,  with  a  date  which  is ascertained to be not later than the day
before election and received by such board of elections not  later  than
seven  days following the day of election to be cast and counted [except
that the absentee ballot of a voter who requested such ballot by letter,
rather than application, shall not be counted unless a valid application

S. 5446                             9

form, signed by such voter, is received by the board of  elections  with
such ballot].
  S 9. The election law is amended by adding a new section 5-714 to read
as follows:
  S  5-714.  COMPUTERIZED  STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST. 1. THE NEW
YORK STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL, WITHIN ONE YEAR  OF  THE  EFFECTIVE
DATE  OF  THIS  SECTION  IMPLEMENT,  IN  A UNIFORM AND NONDISCRIMINATORY
MANNER, A SINGLE, UNIFORM, OFFICIAL, CENTRALIZED, INTERACTIVE, COMPUTER-
IZED STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASE SYSTEM.  SUCH DATABASE SYSTEM
SHALL BE DEFINED, MAINTAINED, AND ADMINISTERED AT THE  STATE  LEVEL  AND
SHALL  CONTAIN  THE  VOTER  REGISTRATION LISTS MAINTAINED BY EACH COUNTY
BOARD OF ELECTIONS. FURTHER, SUCH DATABASE SYSTEM SHALL CONTAIN THE NAME
AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION OF EVERY LEGALLY REGISTERED  VOTER  IN  THE
STATE  AND  SHALL  ASSIGN A UNIQUE IDENTIFIER TO EACH LEGALLY REGISTERED
VOTER. THE SINGLE, UNIFORM, OFFICIAL, CENTRALIZED, INTERACTIVE,  COMPUT-
ERIZED  STATEWIDE  VOTER  REGISTRATION  DATABASE SYSTEM REQUIRED BY THIS
SECTION SHALL BE REFERRED TO AS THE "CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE  REGISTRATION
SYSTEM".
  2.  THE CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE REGISTRATION SYSTEM AND THE COMPUTERIZED
STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST SHALL  BE  FULLY  COMPLIANT  WITH  ALL
APPLICABLE  REQUIREMENTS  SPECIFIED  IN SECTION 303 OF THE FEDERAL "HELP
AMERICA VOTE ACT OF 2002", PUB.L. 107-252, CODIFIED AT  42  U.S.C.  SEC.
15301  ET  SEQ  AND SHALL MEET ALL APPLICABLE PRIVACY REQUIREMENTS UNDER
THIS CHAPTER.
  3. WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION EACH  COUNTY
BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  MAINTAIN  VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION BY
UTILIZING THE CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE  REGISTRATION  SYSTEM  DEVELOPED  OR
ACQUIRED  BY  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS UNDER SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS
SECTION. PRIOR TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE COMPUTERIZED STATEWIDE VOTER
REGISTRATION LIST REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS  SECTION,  IF  THE
COUNTY  CHOOSES  TO  MAINTAIN  VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION ON ITS OWN
COMPUTER SYSTEM, THE INFORMATION REQUIRED BY LAW TO  BE  TRANSMITTED  TO
THE  NEW  YORK  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL BE TRANSMITTED IN A MEDIA
FORMAT ACCEPTABLE TO THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS  AND  WITHIN
THE TIME PRESCRIBED BY THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.
  4.  (A) THE CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE REGISTRATION SYSTEM SHALL ENABLE THE
STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO MAINTAIN VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION  AND
SHALL INCLUDE SUCH ADDITIONAL CAPABILITIES AS MAY BE NECESSARY OR DESIR-
ABLE  TO  ENABLE  THE  COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS AND THE STATE BOARD OF
ELECTIONS TO CARRY OUT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES RELATED TO THE CONDUCT  OF
ELECTIONS.  SUCH  ADDITIONAL  CAPABILITIES  MAY  INCLUDE BUT NEED NOT BE
LIMITED TO THE PREPARATION OF  BALLOTS,  THE  IDENTIFICATION  OF  VOTING
DISTRICTS  FOR EACH ADDRESS, ACCESS BY COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTIONS TO THE
MASTER LIST OF REGISTERED ELECTORS.
  (B) WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION THE COMPUT-
ERIZED STATEWIDE VOTER REGISTRATION LIST  MAINTAINED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS
SECTION SHALL ALLOW FOR:
  (I)  THE  MANAGEMENT  OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS, THE PREPARATION OF OFFICIAL
ABSTRACTS OF VOTES CAST, THE TRANSMISSION OF  VOTING  DATA  FROM  COUNTY
BOARDS  OF  ELECTION  TO  THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, AND REPORTING OF
VOTING RESULTS ON ELECTION NIGHT; AND
  (II) ACCESS TO THE DIGITIZED SIGNATURES OF ELECTORS IN THE CENTRALIZED
STATEWIDE REGISTRATION SYSTEM FOR THE PURPOSE OF COMPARING AN  ELECTOR'S
SIGNATURE  IN THE SYSTEM WITH THE SIGNATURE ON THE RETURN ENVELOPE OF AN
ABSENTEE BALLOT, INCLUDING BY USING A SIGNATURE VERIFICATION.

S. 5446                            10

  5. (A)  SUBJECT  TO  AVAILABLE  APPROPRIATIONS,  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COST OF ACQUIRING COMPUTER HARDWARE AND
PROVIDING  NECESSARY TRAINING FOR THE CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE REGISTRATION
SYSTEM. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PROMULGATE  RULES  SPECIFYING
WHETHER  SUCH  HARDWARE IS OWNED BY THE STATE OR THE COUNTIES OR WHETHER
AND TO WHAT EXTENT OWNERSHIP MAY BE SHARED BETWEEN  THE  STATE  AND  THE
COUNTIES.  IF  THE  STATE PROVIDES SYSTEM HARDWARE TO ANY COUNTY, IT MAY
TRANSFER OWNERSHIP OF THE HARDWARE TO THAT COUNTY. THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS MAY PROMULGATE RULES PROVIDING THAT THE COUNTY SHALL BE SOLELY
RESPONSIBLE  FOR THE SUPPORT AND MAINTENANCE OF THE HARDWARE PROVIDED TO
THE COUNTIES.
  (B) WITHIN FOUR YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION THE  STATE
BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SHALL  MAKE THE CENTRALIZED STATEWIDE REGISTRATION
SYSTEM  SOFTWARE  AVAILABLE  AT  NO  CHARGE  TO  EACH  COUNTY  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS.
  (C)  AS  SOON  AS  PRACTICABLE, THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE SHALL MAKE THE
MASTER LIST OF REGISTERED ELECTORS AVAILABLE AT NO CHARGE ON THE  INTER-
NET TO COUNTY BOARDS OF ELECTION. THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO
REQUIRE THE STATE TO PROVIDE OR PAY FOR INTERNET CONNECTION SERVICES FOR
ANY COUNTY.
  S 10. Section 11-302 of the election law, as amended by chapter 163 of
the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
  S  11-302.  Special  ballots for board of election employees. A person
who is an employee of the board of elections or who has  been  appointed
to  serve as an inspector of elections, poll clerk or election coordina-
tor at a polling place other than the one at which he or she  is  regis-
tered to vote, may deliver to the inspectors of election of the election
district in which he or she is registered, or to the board of elections,
at  any  time  during the period in which an application for an absentee
ballot may be so delivered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, a
written statement that he or she will be unable to appear at the polling
place for such election district on the day of an election  because  his
or  her  duties  as  an  employee of such board or as an inspector, poll
clerk or election coordinator require him or her to  be  elsewhere.  The
board of elections shall provide such voter a special ballot [not earli-
er  than  two weeks before the election and] not later than the close of
the polls on election  day.  ABSENT  AFFIRMATIVE  PROOF  OF  FRAUD  SUCH
BALLOTS  SHALL  BE  PRESUMED  VALID  AND  CAST. Such cast ballots may be
delivered to an office of such board of elections or  to  any  board  of
inspectors  not  later than the close of the polls on election day. Such
ballots shall be retained  at  the  board  of  elections  and  cast  and
canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this chapter.
  S  11.  Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 of section
8-302 of the election law, as amended by chapter  164  of  the  laws  of
2010, is amended to read as follows:
  (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he
or  she  has  duly  registered  to  vote,  the  address in such election
district from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a  duly
qualified  voter in such election district, that his or her registration
poll record appears to be lost or misplaced or  that  his  or  her  name
and/or  his  or  her  signature  was omitted from the computer generated
registration list or that he or she has moved within the county or  city
since  he  or she last registered, [the address from which he or she was
previously registered and] the address at  which  he  or  she  currently
resides,  and  at  a  primary  election, the party in which he or she is
enrolled. The inspectors of election shall offer such  an  affidavit  to

S. 5446                            11

each  such  voter  whose residence address is in such election district.
Each such affidavit shall SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLY WITH AND  be  in  a  form
prescribed  by  the  state  board  of  elections, shall be printed on an
envelope  of  the size and quality used for an absentee ballot envelope,
and shall contain an acknowledgment that the  affiant  understands  that
any false statement made therein is perjury punishable according to law.
Such  form  prescribed  by  the  state  board of elections shall request
information required to register such  voter  should  the  county  board
determine  that  such  voter  is  not registered and shall constitute an
application to register to  vote.  The  voter's  name  and  the  entries
required shall then be entered without delay and without further inquiry
in  the  fourth section of the challenge report or in the place provided
at the end of the computer generated registration list, with  the  nota-
tion  that  the voter has executed the affidavit hereinabove prescribed,
or, if such person's name appears on the computer generated registration
list, the board of elections may provide a place to make such entry next
to his or her name on such list.  The voter shall then, without  further
inquiry,  be  permitted to vote an affidavit ballot provided for by this
chapter. Such ballot shall thereupon be placed in the envelope  contain-
ing  his  or  her affidavit, and the envelope sealed and returned to the
board of elections in the manner provided by this chapter for  protested
official ballots, including a statement of the number of such ballots.
  S 12. This act shall take effect immediately.

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