Public Hearing: NYS Senate Standing Committee on Elections

Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.

Senator Martin Malave Dilan             Senator Thomas W. Libous                 
Senator Jose M. Serrano                    Senator Joseph A. Griffo                     
Senator Brian X. Foley                      Senator Thomas P. Morahan
SUBJECT: To address oversight of the 2009 elections, the pilot program for the use of optical scan voting machines, and proposals to eliminate runoff elections and institute instantaneous runoff voting.
November 12, 2009
6pm to 9pm
250 Broadway
19th Floor
New York, NY 10007

November 30, 2009
1pm to 4pm
Capitol 124
Albany, NY 12207

The purpose of the hearings in New York City on November 12, and Albany on November 30, is to address oversight of the 2009 elections and the pilot program for the use of optical scan voting machines, and seek public comment on the following bills:
• S3584 Authorizes the use of instantaneous runoff voting on a trial basis in primary and general elections at the option of local governments for a period of three years.
• S3589 Authorizes the State Board of Elections to establish a pilot program using instantaneous runoff voting for up to ten local governments in 2010 and 2011 with the approval of the local governments.
• S6248  Repeals the provisions of the election law that provide for runoff primary elections in New York City and elsewhere, and those in the Administrative Code of the City of New York that provide for runoff voting and its financing.

The goal of these public hearings is to seek comment about how our electoral system is functioning and ways in which it can be improved.  The November hearings in New York City and Albany are the fifth in a series that began in April and continued in May, June and October, which are dedicated to increasing awareness about election policy and voting.  During the 2009 session the Elections Committee held hearings focusing on different issues: voter registration; voting/casting a ballot and poll sites; and campaign finance reform.  And, in October, the hearings focused on new voting systems, ballot access, deceptive practices and voter intimidation.
This dialogue between lawmakers and the public is part of the Senate’s commitment to beginning a robust committee process, and development of sound public policy through open dialogue and an overall transparent legislative procedure. 
Persons who wish to testify should so indicate on the reply form. The Elections Committee will accommodate as many witnesses as possible. The Committee also encourages the submission of written testimony; which will be considered by the Committee and made part of its record. Written testimony may be e-mailed as an attachment in any common format to the Elections Committee to Allison Kelrick at:
Persons wishing to attend or testify at this hearing should complete and return the reply form as soon as possible, but no later than November 9 for the hearing in New York City, or November 26, for the hearing in Albany. It is important the form be fully completed and returned so persons may be notified in the event of postponement or cancellation of the hearing. Witnesses are asked to keep oral testimony to no more than five minutes in length. If you are testifying, please submit 10 copies of the prepared statement for the Committee and bring additional copies for the public and media.
In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the New York State Senate has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. Accommodations will be provided for individuals with disabilities, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate facilities and activities.
Questions about this hearing may be directed to:

Click the link below to view PDF version of the Public Notice.