New Law Makes It Easier For Soldiers To Vote

Eric T. Schneiderman

July 24, 2009

Senator Schneiderman Hails Senate Legislation That Eases Restrictions For Absentee Voting

ALBANY – Senator Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that Governor Paterson signed into law a Senate bill that makes it easier for military and overseas voters to cast ballots.

This legislation (S.5595), which was co-sponsored by Sen. Schneiderman, extends the time in which an absentee ballot can be received after an election. Now, all ballots will be counted that are received by the Board of Elections for seven days following a primary election, or thirteen days following a general or special election. In addition, for the first time ever, overseas voters will be able to fax or e-mail their request for an absentee ballot. Previously, it could take as long as 75 days from the time an overseas voter requested an absentee ballot to the time their vote was actually received.

“It is an absolute disgrace that over 8,000 service members from New York were deprived of the right to vote last year because of an overly restrictive absentee ballot process. Now that Governor Paterson signed this bill into law, I am confident that this form of disenfranchisement-by-bureaucracy will become a thing of the past,” said Senator Schneiderman. “We owe it to our brave men and women in the military – and all of our citizens overseas – to ensure that their votes are counted.”