Reforms to Election Inspector System Will Ensure Integrity and Fairness, Protect Voters

Catharine Young

May 22, 2017

Bill allowing split shifts for election inspectors passes the Senate

ALBANY – Election inspectors ensure the integrity and fairness of our local, state and national elections and they are essential to our democratic system.

To assist Boards of Elections with recruiting and retaining inspectors, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- 57th District) has passed legislation (S.443A) that would permit the practice of split shifts for election inspectors.

“Finding people to work as election inspectors can be difficult, because the job is infrequent and can come with long hours. Polling locations are typically open for sixteen hours and additional time is required to set up and close down each site. Inspectors are often senior volunteers, but they can be dissuaded because of the strenuous time frame associated with the job,” said Senator Young.

“State law requires that polling places be supervised by at least one inspector from each of the two major political parties throughout the entire time they are open. Allowing Boards of Elections the option of dividing shifts will help attract new volunteers. The change will better ensure someone is always available to assist with voters’ questions,” said Senator Young.

The legislation, which has already passed the state Assembly, also amends Election Law to permit local boards to adjust inspectors’ pay to compensate all inspectors based on their corresponding hours.