senate Bill S6636

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Removes the requirement that party emblems be included in ballot design

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (1)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 21, 2014 referred to elections

S6636 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9046
Current Committee:
Senate Elections
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง1-104, 2-124, 4-112, 6-128, 6-138, 6-140, 6-206, 15-108 & 16-104, El L

S6636 - Bill Texts

view summary

Removes the requirement that party emblems be included in ballot design.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S6636

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
removing the requirement that party emblems be included in ballot
design

PURPOSE:

To amend those sections of Election Law which require the party
emblems be utilized in ballot design, to remove such requirements in
an effort to make ballots more readable.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

This bill amends the following sections of Election Law to remove the
requirement in the Election Law that the party emblem be included in
the ballot design: Subdivision 18 of section 1-104; subdivisions 1 and
2 of section 2-124; subdivision 1 of section 4-112; subdivision 1 of
section 6-128; subdivision 3 of section 6-138; paragraph a of
subdivision 1 of section 6-140; subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 6-206;
subdivision 4 of section 15-108; subdivision 1 of section 16-104.

JUSTIFICATION:

With the transition to electronic voting systems throughout the State
many of the county boards of elections found that the requirement to
include the party emblem on the ballot makes the ballot significantly
less readable to the voter. When included in the ballot design, the
spacing requirements virtually minimized the emblem to a size that
made them unrecognizable. Removing the requirement that the emblems be
included allows the county boards of election the flexibility to
design the ballots in a much more usable and readable format.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This bill shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  6636

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 21, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced by Sen. MARCHIONE -- 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 removing the require-
  ment that party emblems be included in ballot design

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

  Section  1.  Subdivision  18  of section 1-104 of the election law, as
amended by chapter 181 of the laws  of  2005,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  18.  The  word  "ballot"  when referring to voting machines or systems
means that portion of the cardboard or paper or other material or  elec-
tronic display within the ballot frame containing the name of the candi-
date  and  [the  emblem of] the party organization by which he was nomi-
nated, of the form of submission of a proposed constitutional amendment,
proposition referendum or question as provided in this chapter, with the
word "yes" for voting for any question  or  the  word  "no"  for  voting
against  any  question  except that where the question or proposition is
submitted only to the voters of a territory wholly within  a  county  or
city,  such  form  shall be determined by the county board of elections.
Such statement and the title shall be printed and/or  displayed  in  the
largest  type  or  display  which  it is practicable to use in the space
provided.
  S 2. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 2-124 of the election law, subdi-
vision 2 as amended by chapter 9 of the laws of  1978,  are  amended  to
read as follows:
  1.  The state committee of a party shall select a name [and emblem] to
distinguish the candidates  of  the  party  for  public  office  in  all
districts  of the state, and shall file in the office of the state board
of elections, a certificate executed  by  its  chairman  and  secretary,
setting forth the name [and showing the emblem so selected].
  2.  The name of a party shall be in the English language and shall not
include the words "American", "United  States",  "National",  "New  York
State",  "Empire  State",  or  any abbreviation thereof, nor the name or
part of the name, or an abbreviation of the name, of an existing  party.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14119-01-4

S. 6636                             2

[The  emblem  chosen  may  be a star, an animal, an anchor, or any other
proper symbol, but may not be the same as  or  similar  to  any  emblem,
insignia,  symbol  or  flag  used by any political or governmental body,
agency or entity nor any religious emblem, insignia, symbol or flag, nor
the  portrait  of any person, nor the representation of a coin or of the
currency of the United States.] The name [and emblem] chosen  shall  not
be similar to or likely to create confusion with the name [or emblem] of
any other existing party or independent body.
  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 4-112 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 4 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  The state board of elections not later than thirty-six days before
a general election, or fifty-three days before a special election, shall
certify to each county board of elections the name and residence of each
candidate nominated in any valid certificate filed with  it  or  by  the
returns  canvassed  by  it, the title of the office for which nominated;
the name of the party or body specified of which he is a candidate; [the
emblem chosen to distinguish the candidates of the party or body;] and a
notation as to whether or not any litigation is pending  concerning  the
candidacy.  Upon  the completion of any such litigation, the state board
of elections shall forthwith notify the  appropriate  county  boards  of
elections of the results of such litigation.
  S  4. Subdivision 1 of section 6-128 of the election law is amended to
read as follows:
  1. When an independent body becomes a party at a general  election  by
qualifying  under  the requirements set by law, nominations shall, prior
to and including the first  general  election  thereafter,  be  made  as
provided  by  the rules of such party. A certificate of such nominations
shall contain:
  (a) The name of the party filing the nominations.
  (b) The title of the office for which the nomination is made  and  the
name and residence address of the person so nominated.
  (c)  The  names  of the members of the committee, if any, appointed to
fill vacancies in nominations.
  (d) [A description and representation of the party's emblem.
  (e)] The name of the committee making the nomination.
  [(f)] (E) A certified copy of the party rules describing the rule-mak-
ing body and nomination process.
  [(g)] (F) An affidavit containing a statement by the presiding officer
and secretary of the committee that  they  are  such  officers  and  the
statements in the certificate are true.
  S 5. Subdivision 3 of section 6-138 of the election law, as amended by
chapter 305 of the laws of 1992, paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 306
of the laws of 1992, is amended to read as follows:
  3. a. The name selected for the independent body making the nomination
shall be in English characters and shall not include the name or part of
the  name  or an abbreviation of the name or part of the name, nor shall
the [emblem or] name be of such a configuration as to create the  possi-
bility  of confusion with the [emblem or] name of a then existing party,
or the [emblem or] name of an independent body selected by a  previously
filed independent nominating petition for the same office.
  b.  Notwithstanding  the  requirements of paragraph a of this subdivi-
sion, if the [emblem or] name selected for an independent  body  on  any
independent  nominating  petition  is  the  same as that selected by any
previously filed independent nominating petition for  the  same  office,
the  board  of elections with which such later petition was filed shall,
not later than two days after the filing of such later  filed  petition,

S. 6636                             3

send  notice  of  such duplicate selection of [emblem or] name by first-
class mail, to the candidate for such office who was nominated  by  such
later  filed  petition,  and  that  the candidate to whom such notice is
required  to  be  sent  may file with such board of elections, not later
than seven days after such notice was mailed, a certificate selecting  a
different [emblem or] name.
  c.  A  person who has been nominated or who expects to be nominated as
the candidate of an independent body for the office of President of  the
United  States at any election for such office may, not later than three
days after the last day to file  nominating  petitions,  file  with  the
state  board  of  elections, a special certificate which shall be irrev-
ocable, stating that such person does not wish to permit candidates  for
any  other  office,  except  the  office of Vice-President of the United
States, to appear on the ballot with the same name [and emblem]  as  the
independent body which has nominated or will nominate such candidate for
the office of President.
  d.  Not  later  than  seven days after the last day to file nominating
petitions, the state board of elections shall notify each local board of
elections of the name of each candidate  for  President  of  the  United
States  who has filed such a special certificate, together with the name
[and emblem] of the independent body  selected  on  the  petition  which
nominated such candidate.
  e. If any candidate has been nominated for any other office by a peti-
tion which selected the same name [or emblem] for an independent body as
the  name  [or emblem] selected on the petition which nominated a candi-
date for President of the United States who has filed a special  certif-
icate  pursuant  to  paragraph  c  of  this  subdivision,  the  board of
elections with which the petition nominating  such  candidate  for  such
other office was filed shall, not later than ten days after the last day
to  file  nominating  petitions,  send  to each such candidate, by first
class mail, notice that a special certificate pursuant to paragraph c of
this subdivision has been filed and that  the  candidate  to  whom  such
notice  is  sent  may  file with such board of elections, not later than
seven days after such notice  was  mailed,  a  certificate  selecting  a
different name [and emblem].
  f.  If  [such a petition shall not show an emblem, or if] the petition
shall fail to select a name for such independent body, or if pursuant to
the provisions of paragraph b or paragraph  e  of  this  subdivision,  a
candidate  shall  fail to select another [emblem or] name for such inde-
pendent body, the officer or board in whose office the petition is filed
shall select [an emblem or] A name [or both] to distinguish  the  candi-
dates  nominated thereby. The name [and emblem] shown upon such petition
or selected by a candidate authorized to make such  selection  by  para-
graph b or paragraph e of this subdivision, or selected by an officer or
board  shall  also  conform  to  the  requirements  of this chapter with
respect to names [or emblems] permitted to be selected by a party.
  g. Nothing contained in this subdivision shall  preclude  a  court  of
competent jurisdiction from rejecting an independent nominating petition
if  the  court  determines that fraud was involved in the selection of a
name [or emblem].
  S 6. Paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section  6-140  of  the  election
law,  as  amended by chapter 235 of the laws of 2000, is amended to read
as follows:
  a. Each sheet of an independent nominating petition shall be signed in
ink, shall contain the following information and shall  be  in  substan-
tially the following form:

S. 6636                             4

  I,  the  undersigned,  do hereby state that I am a registered voter of
the political unit for which a nomination for public  office  is  hereby
being  made, that my present place of residence is truly stated opposite
my signature hereto, and that I do hereby nominate the  following  named
person  (or  persons)  as a candidate (or as candidates) for election to
public office (or public offices) to be voted for at the election to  be
held  on  the  ............  day of ................, 20...., and that I
select the name ............................ (fill in name) as the  name
of  the  independent  body  making  the nomination (or nominations) [and
................ (fill in emblem) as the emblem of such body].

                                           Place of residence
                                           (also post office
 Name of            Public                  address
 Candidate          Office                 if not identical)
 ..........         .................      ..........................
 ..........         .................      ..........................
I do hereby appoint ............................. (here insert the names
and addresses of at least three persons, all of whom shall be registered
voters within such political unit), as a committee to fill vacancies  in
accordance with the provisions of the election law.
  In  witness  whereof,  I  have  hereunto set my hand, the day and year
placed opposite my signature.

 Date              Name of Signer            Residence
 ......            ................          .......................
 ......            ................          .......................
                                             Town or city (except
                                             in the city of New
                                             York, the county)
                                             .......................
                                             .......................

  S 7. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 6-206 of the election law, subdi-
vision 1 as amended by chapter 447 of the laws of 2006, and  subdivision
3  as  added  by chapter 359 of the laws of 1989, are amended to read as
follows:
  1. Independent nominations for elective village offices shall be  made
by  a  petition  containing  the  signatures  in ink of residents of the
village  who  are  registered  with  the  appropriate  county  board  of
elections at the time of signing. The sheets of such a petition shall be
numbered. A signer need not himself or herself fill in the date or resi-
dence.  Each sheet of such petition must be in substantially the follow-
ing form and shall contain all the information required therein:

                 VILLAGE INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION

  I, the undersigned, do hereby state that I am a  registered  voter  of
the Village of......., that my present place of residence is truly stat-
ed  opposite  my signature, and I do hereby nominate the following named
person (or persons) as a candidate (or as candidates)  for  election  to
public  office (or public offices) to be voted for at the election to be
held  on  the.....day  of........, 20.....,  and  that  I   select   the
name........... (fill  in  name)  as  the  name  of the independent body
making the nomination (or nominations) [and.....(fill in emblem) as  the
emblem of such body].

S. 6636                             5

     Name of
    Candidate           Public Office           Term        Residence
   .............      ....................      ....      ...............
   .............      ....................      ....      ...............

  I  do  hereby  appoint  (insert  names and addresses of at least three
persons, all of whom shall be registered voters within such village)  as
a  committee  to fill vacancies in accordance with the provisions of the
election law.
  In witness whereof, I have signed this petition on the  day  and  year
stated before my signature.
    Date          Signature           Residence
  ..........    .................   ...................
  ..........    .................   ...................

                          STATEMENT OF WITNESS

  I,  .....................  state  that I am a duly qualified voter and
now reside at ...................... (residence address) in the  Village
of  ................  in  the  State  of  New  York  in  the  County  of
................. . Each of the voters whose  names  are  subscribed  to
this  petition sheet containing ................ (fill in number) signa-
tures, subscribed his or her name in my presence.
  I understand that this statement 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
sworn.
 .......................           ..............................
    Date                               Signature of witness

  3.  The  name  selected for the independent body making the nomination
shall be in the English language and shall not include the name or  part
of the name, or an abbreviation of the name or of part of the name, of a
then  existing  party.  The  name  [and emblem] shown upon such petition
shall conform to the requirements of this  chapter,  relating  to  party
names [and party emblems]. If [such a petition shall not show an emblem,
or]  the petition shall fail to select a name for such independent body,
the board of elections shall select [an emblem or] A name, [or both]  to
distinguish the candidates nominated thereby.
  S  8.  Subdivision 4 of section 15-108 of the election law, as amended
by chapter 447 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows:
  4. Independent nominations for elective village offices shall be  made
by  a  petition  containing  the  signatures  in ink of residents of the
village  who  are  registered  with  the  appropriate  county  board  of
elections at the time of signing or who are residents of the village who
were  on  the list of registered voters for the last village election in
such village. The sheets of such a  petition  shall  be  numbered.  Such
petition  must  set  forth in each instance the correct date of signing,
the name of the signer and his or her present address, and may set forth
a committee to fill vacancies consisting of at least three persons qual-
ified to vote in the village election and  their  residence  within  the
village.  A signer need not himself or herself fill in the date or resi-
dence. Each sheet of such petition must be in substantially the  follow-
ing  form  and shall contain all the information required therein except
as may otherwise be permitted by law.

S. 6636                             6

                 VILLAGE INDEPENDENT NOMINATING PETITION

  I,  the  undersigned,  do hereby state that I am a registered voter of
the Village of .........., that my present place of residence  is  truly
stated  opposite  my  signature,  and I do hereby nominate the following
named person (or persons) as a candidate (or as candidates) for election
to public office (or public offices) to be voted for at the election  to
be  held  on  the ..... day  of ........, 20....., and that I select the
name .............. (fill in name) as the name of the  independent  body
making  the  nomination  (or nominations) [and ..... (fill in emblem) as
the emblem of such body].
    Name of Candidate     Public Office       Term        Residence

  ....................  .................   ........    .................
  ....................  .................   ........    .................

I do hereby appoint _ _ _ _
        Name                            Residence

  .............................   .................................
  .............................   .................................
as a committee to fill vacancies in accordance with  the  provisions  of
the election law.
  IN  WITNESS  WHEREOF,  I have signed this petition on the day and year
stated before my signature.

    Date             Signature          Residence
  .............    .................  ...............
  .............    .................  ...............

                          STATEMENT OF WITNESS

  I, ............... state that I am a  duly  qualified  voter  and  now
reside    at ............. (residence    address)    in    the   Village
of ........... in the State of New York in the County of ........ . Each
of the voters  whose  names  are  subscribed  to  this  petition  sheet,
containing ........ (fill  in  number) signatures, subscribed his or her
name in my presence.
  I understand that this statement 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
sworn.

  Date ....................        ...........................
                                      Signature of Witness

  S 9. Subdivision 1 of section 16-104 of the election law is amended to
read as follows:
  1.  The form and content of any ballot, or portion thereof, to be used
in an election, and the right to use any [emblem design,]  color,  party
or independent body name, may be contested in a proceeding instituted in
the  supreme  court by any aggrieved candidate or by the chairman of any
party committee or independent body.
  S 10. This act shall take effect immediately.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.