Bill Text: NY A00582 | 2011-2012 | General Assembly | Introduced
Bill Title: Enacts the "NYC instant run-off voting act"; requires an instant run-off in any municipal election in New York City; provides that if one candidate for any municipal office receives a majority of first preferences, such candidate is elected; provided, however, if no candidate is the first choice of at least half the voters, the instant runoff re-tabulation shall be performed and then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated; makes related changes. [Track Bill]
Status: 2012-01-04 - referred to election law [A00582 Detail]
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K ________________________________________________________________________ 582 2011-2012 Regular Sessions I N A S S E M B L Y (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. LANCMAN, CLARK, GALEF, M. MILLER -- Multi-Spon- sored by -- M. of A. GLICK, LUPARDO -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to enacting the "NYC instant run-off voting act"; and to repeal subdivision 5 of section 3-705 and subdivision 6 of section 3-709 of the administrative code of the city of New York relating to certain run-off elections in the city of New York THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: 1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as 2 the "NYC instant run-off voting act". 3 S 2. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds and declares 4 that the run-off system of voting in primary elections for the offices 5 of mayor, comptroller and public advocate in New York city is unduly 6 expensive and generates an unacceptably low turnout of voters. Addi- 7 tionally, the absence of any run-off system at all for the offices of 8 borough president and council member has resulted in candidates being 9 elected with much less than a majority of the votes cast, and signif- 10 icantly dilutes minority voting power when multiple minority candidates 11 compete for the same office. In an "instant run-off" system, voters rank 12 candidates by order of preference, and if no candidate receives a major- 13 ity of first-place votes, the top two candidates have the votes of elim- 14 inated candidates redistributed to them in order of each voter's prefer- 15 ence. The candidate with the most votes after this "second round" is the 16 winner. An instant run-off voting system eliminates the need for a cost- 17 ly and sparsely attended second election, rewards candidates who broaden 18 their appeal as widely as possible, and promotes minority representation 19 by limiting the dilution of minority voting power when multiple minority 20 candidates are on the ballot for the same office. EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03806-01-1 A. 582 2 1 S 3. Section 6-162 of the election law, as amended by chapter 424 of 2 the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 3 S 6-162. [Primary; New York City, run-off. 1. In the city of New York, 4 when no candidate for the office of mayor, public advocate or comp- 5 troller receives forty percent or more of the votes cast by the members 6 of a political party for such office in a city-wide primary election, 7 the board of elections of such city shall conduct a run-off primary 8 election between the two candidates receiving the greatest number of 9 votes for the same office. 10 2. In any jurisdiction that authorizes a run-off election after a 11 primary election, if one of the two candidates receiving the greatest 12 number of votes for the same office files with the local board of 13 elections a certificate of withdrawal within three days following such 14 primary election, the board shall accept and certify the withdrawal and 15 declare the remaining candidate the winner and no such run-off primary 16 election shall be held. Such certificate of withdrawal shall be in affi- 17 davit or affirmation form as determined by the state board of 18 elections.] INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING IN NEW YORK CITY. 1. ELECTIONS FOR 19 MUNICIPAL OFFICE IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK SHALL USE AN "INSTANT RUN-OFF 20 VOTING" SYSTEM. 21 2. ON EVERY BALLOT USING INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING, THE VOTERS SHALL BE 22 GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO RANK CANDIDATES IN THE ORDER OF THEIR PREFER- 23 ENCE. 24 3. THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES SHALL BE USED TO DETERMINE WINNERS IN 25 INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING: 26 (A) THE BALLOTS SHALL BE COUNTED INITIALLY ACCORDING TO THE FIRST 27 CHOICE MARKED ON EACH BALLOT. IF ONE CANDIDATE RECEIVES A MAJORITY OF 28 THE VOTES CAST, THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL CERTIFY THAT CANDIDATE AS 29 THE WINNER. 30 (B) IF AT THE END OF THE INITIAL ROUND OF COUNTING, NO CANDIDATE 31 RECEIVED A MAJORITY OF FIRST CHOICES, ALL CANDIDATES SHALL BE ELIMINATED 32 EXCEPT THE TWO CANDIDATES WITH THE GREATEST NUMBER OF FIRST CHOICES. THE 33 BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL THEN CONDUCT A SECOND, FINAL ROUND OF COUNTING 34 IN WHICH BALLOTS THAT RANK ELIMINATED CANDIDATES AS A FIRST CHOICE AND 35 THAT INDICATE ONE OF THE UNELIMINATED CANDIDATES AS AN ALTERNATIVE 36 CHOICE SHALL BE COUNTED AS VOTES FOR WHICHEVER OF THE UNELIMINATED 37 CANDIDATES IS RANKED HIGHER ON EACH BALLOT. IN THE SECOND ROUND, EACH 38 BALLOT IS COUNTED AS ONE VOTE FOR THE HIGHEST RANKED CANDIDATE ON THAT 39 BALLOT WHO HAS NOT BEEN ELIMINATED. THE CANDIDATE WITH THE GREATER 40 NUMBER OF VOTES IN THE SECOND ROUND SHALL BE CERTIFIED AS THE WINNER. 41 (C) IN CASE OF A TIE BETWEEN CANDIDATES SUCH THAT TWO OR MORE CANDI- 42 DATES HAVE AN EQUAL NUMBER OF FIRST CHOICES AND MORE THAN TWO CANDIDATES 43 QUALIFY FOR THE SECOND ROUND, INSTANT RUN-OFF VOTING SHALL BE USED TO 44 DETERMINE WHICH TWO CANDIDATES SHALL ADVANCE TO THE SECOND ROUND. 45 S 4. Subdivision 5 of section 3-705 of the administrative code of the 46 city of New York is REPEALED. 47 S 5. Subdivision 6 of section 3-709 of the administrative code of the 48 city of New York is REPEALED. 49 S 6. This act shall take effect immediately.