Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced that his bill (S3553), was signed this week by the Governor (Chapter 289). The new law will simplify the process of obtaining an absentee ballot. It will now be easier for registered voters, who cannot be present at their polling place on Election Day, to vote. The legislation is designed to accommodate commuters, who would likely spend most of the day away from their county of residence, and people who are primary care providers or have a physical disability.
Currently, absentee ballot applications for village elections are not uniform across the state, which could lead to confusion among voters when applying for absentee ballots. Laws governing village elections are different from those laws that govern general elections. The focus of this legislation is standardizing the application process so that registered voters can cast a ballot without the lengthy process that presently exists for village, but not general and primary elections. This legislation would amend the Village Election Law concerning the application and administration of absentee ballots to standardize the process so that voting in a village election would be identical to voting in other elections.
Senator David Carlucci said "We encourage everyone to go the polls and exercise their right to vote, but often that is not possible. People work long hours, or fall ill, or go on vacation. In those instances, or others, we want to make it as easy as possible. This bill leads to a simplification of the process to enable more people to be involved in the democratic process."
“We need to simplify the voting process,” said Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly. “As the law stands it is much harder for people to apply for an absentee ballot than it should be. Many people I represent commute far from home, or have difficulties leaving their home because they are caregivers, so we cannot expect that they can always vote at their polling place on Election Day. I have experienced this myself.”