Senator Robach Remarks on Special Election Legislation

March 03, 2011

NYS Senate passes bill, supported by Governor Cuomo, to extend time for special elections to help accommodate military voters

Robach hopeful this will lead to announcement of special election in 26th Congressional District

The New York State Senate today gave final legislative approval to S.3500, a bill that ensures special elections in New York State provide more time for military absentee ballots to be mailed and counted. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently noted that current state law fails to provide adequate time for state and county boards of elections to adhere to federal law requiring that elections officials finalize and transmit the final ballot to military voters overseas within 45 days of a special election.


Governor Cuomo sent a proposal to change the law to both houses of the Legislature on February 23rd and urged its swift enactment.  It was approved by the Assembly yesterday and will now be delivered to the Governor to be signed into law.  The measure would take effect immediately.


Senator Robach said, “I was happy to support the Governor’s program bill in an effort to assist our military voters.  It is my hope that by passing this bill, Governor Cuomo will move ahead with an election announcement to fill the vacant seat in the 26th Congressional District; thereby, avoiding an extended lack of representation as seen when Eric Massa left office.”  

Under current state law, special elections are held between 30 and 40 days from their announcement by the Governor.  The new measure will more than double that timeframe to between 70 and 80 days and give county boards of elections adequate time prior to special elections for absentee ballots for military voters to be mailed and counted in compliance with federal law.