senate Bill S6862

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to instant run-off elections in N.Y. city

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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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Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 20, 2014 referred to elections

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S6862 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7013A
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Rpld & add §6-162, amd §7-114, El L

S6862 - Bill Texts

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Relates to instant run-off elections in cities with a population of one million or more.

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BILL NUMBER:S6862

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to instant
run-off voting in the city of New York; and to repeal certain provisions
of such law relating thereto

PURPOSE: To establish instant run-off voting in primary elections for
mayor, public advocate, and comptroller in the city of New York.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill repeals Section 6-162 of
the election law and adds a new Section 6162. Subdivision 1 defines
which offices are subject to instant run-off voting. Subdivision 2
defines instant runoff voting and provides that a second round of
voting, using the instant runoff voting method, shall take place if the
candidate with the most votes receives less than fifty percent plus one
vote in the initial round of voting. Subdivision 3 provides guidelines
for the design of the ballots to be used in instant run-off elections.
Subdivision 4 defines the instructions to be printed on the ballot.
Subdivision 5 provides that the board of elections, with the approval of
the state board of elections, may adopt devices, methods, and ballot
formats for sorting, counting, tabulating, and invalidating votes for
offices subject to instant runoff voting, provided that any such changes
substantially conform to the provisions of this chapter.

Section 2 of the bill amends subdivision 2 of Section 7-114 of the
election law to clarify that the instructions printed on the ballot for
elections subject to instant run-off voting differ from the instructions
typically printed on the ballot and can be found in Section 6162.

Section 3 sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently, if no candidate in a primary election, with
more than two candidates for mayor, public advocate, or comptroller in
New York City wins more than forty percent of the vote, a run-off
election is held between the top two vote-getters two weeks later. Due
to the adoption of paper ballots and optical scan ballot machines, the
New York City Board of Elections cannot certify the results of a primary
within the required two weeks, nor can it ensure that military and over-
seas voters receive their ballots in a timely manner. An instant run-off
method would allow voters to rank their choices and cast their vote for
a hypothetical runoff election at the same time that they cast their
vote for the primary election. Since an instant runoff election elimi-
nates the costs associated with a runoff election, the threshold for
avoiding a runoff should be raised from a forty percent plurality of the
votes cast in the primary to a fifty percent plus one majority.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPACT: None for the state. The city of New York would save 20
million dollars for each runoff election that would no longer need to be
administered.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

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

                                  6862

                            I N  S E N A T E

                             March 20, 2014
                               ___________

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, in relation to instant run-off  voting
  in  the city of New York; 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.  Section  6-162  of the election law is REPEALED and a new
section 6-162 is added to read as follows:
  S 6-162. PRIMARY; NEW YORK CITY, INSTANT RUN-OFF  VOTING.  1.  IN  THE
CITY  OF  NEW  YORK,  ANY  CITY-WIDE PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR THE OFFICE OF
MAYOR, PUBLIC ADVOCATE OR COMPTROLLER, IN WHICH MORE THAN TWO CANDIDATES
APPEAR ON THE BALLOT FOR THE SAME OFFICE, SHALL BE CONDUCTED BY  INSTANT
RUN-OFF VOTING.
  2.  FOR  THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING
MEANS AN ELECTION IN WHICH VOTERS MAY RANK  UP  TO  FIVE  CANDIDATES  IN
ORDER  OF  PREFERENCE, FIRST, SECOND, AND SO ON, AND IN WHICH TABULATION
PROCEEDS IN UP TO TWO ROUNDS AS FOLLOWS: IF THE CANDIDATE WITH THE  MOST
VOTES  RECEIVES  A VOTE TOTAL LESS THAN FIFTY PERCENT PLUS ONE VOTE, THE
TWO CANDIDATES WITH THE MOST VOTES PROCEED TO A SECOND ROUND OF  BALLOT-
COUNTING.  IN  SUCH  SECOND  ROUND, EACH BALLOT IS COUNTED AS A VOTE FOR
WHICHEVER OF THE TWO ADVANCING  CANDIDATES  IS  RANKED  HIGHER  BY  THAT
VOTER.  ANY BALLOT THAT DOES NOT RANK EITHER OF THE TWO ADVANCING CANDI-
DATES  SHALL  NOT BE COUNTED IN THE SECOND ROUND. THE CANDIDATE WITH THE
MOST VOTES IN THE SECOND ROUND SHALL BE DECLARED THE WINNER.
  3. THAT PORTION OF THE BALLOT PERTAINING  TO  ELECTIONS  CONDUCTED  BY
INSTANT  RUN-OFF  VOTING SHALL ALLOW A VOTER TO RANK CANDIDATES IN ORDER
OF CHOICE IN A WAY THAT IS  CLEAR  AND  EASY  TO  UNDERSTAND  AND  SHALL
INCLUDE  THE OPPORTUNITY TO RANK NO MORE THAN ONE WRITE-IN CANDIDATE. TO
THE EXTENT POSSIBLE, BALLOTS SHALL BE DESIGNED SO THAT A VOTER MAY  MARK
THAT  VOTER'S FIRST CHOICE IN THE SAME MANNER AS FOR OFFICES NOT ELECTED
BY INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING.
  4. INSTRUCTIONS ON THE BALLOT FOR ELECTIONS CONDUCTED BY INSTANT  RUN-
OFF  VOTING  MUST CONFORM SUBSTANTIALLY TO THE FOLLOWING SPECIFICATIONS,

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08671-05-4

S. 6862                             2

SUBJECT TO MODIFICATION BASED ON BALLOT DESIGN,  USABILITY  TESTING  AND
VOTING  MACHINES:  "VOTE  FOR CANDIDATES BY INDICATING YOUR FIRST-CHOICE
CANDIDATE AND RANKING ADDITIONAL  CANDIDATES  IN  ORDER  OF  PREFERENCE.
INDICATE  YOUR  FIRST  CHOICE BY INDICATING A NUMBER "1" BESIDE A CANDI-
DATE'S NAME, YOUR SECOND CHOICE BY INDICATING  A  NUMBER  "2"  BESIDE  A
CANDIDATE'S  NAME,  YOUR THIRD CHOICE BY MARKING THE NUMBER "3" BESIDE A
CANDIDATE'S NAME AND SO ON. YOU MAY CHOOSE TO RANK ONLY  ONE  CANDIDATE,
BUT RANKING ANOTHER CANDIDATE AS A LOWER CHOICE WILL NOT HURT YOUR FIRST
CHOICE.  YOU  MAY  RANK THE SAME CANDIDATE MORE THAN ONCE, BUT THE ADDI-
TIONAL RANKING DOES NOT HELP THAT CANDIDATE. DO NOT MARK THE SAME NUMBER
BESIDE MORE THAN ONE CANDIDATE. DO NOT SKIP NUMBERS."
  5. THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, WITH THE APPROVAL OF  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS,  MAY  PROVIDE  FOR THE USE OF MECHANICAL, ELECTRONIC OR OTHER
DEVICES FOR SORTING AND COUNTING BALLOTS AND TABULATING RESULTS AND  MAY
MODIFY THE FORM OF THE BALLOTS, AND THE METHOD OF SORTING, COUNTING, AND
INVALIDATING  BALLOTS  AND  THE  TABULATING AND RECOUNTING OF VOTES WITH
RESPECT TO OFFICES ELECTED BY INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING, PROVIDED THAT  ANY
CHANGE MADE SUBSTANTIALLY CONFORMS TO THIS CHAPTER.
  S  2.  Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 7-114 of the election
law, as amended by chapter 234 of the laws of 1976, is amended  to  read
as follows:
  (c)  On the front of the stub, above the perforated line at the top of
the paper ballot shall be printed the same instructions as on the gener-
al election ballot, AND ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS, IF ANY, REQUIRED  UNDER
SECTION 6-162 OF THIS CHAPTER.
  S 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

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