Bill Text: NY A09608 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Relates to early voting; provides that beginning the eighth day prior to any election and ending on and including the second day prior to the election a person duly registered and eligible to vote shall be permitted to vote.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 35-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2018-04-17 - REFERRED TO ELECTIONS [A09608 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-A09608-Amended.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                         9608--B
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 26, 2018
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by M. of A. LAVINE, CUSICK, BLAKE, SIMON, PAULIN, SEPULVEDA,
          DINOWITZ, L. ROSENTHAL, LIFTON, FAHY, LUPARDO, ABINANTI, ROZIC, GALEF,
          COOK, RAMOS, SKOUFIS, CYMBROWITZ, JAFFEE, CARROLL,  TAYLOR  --  Multi-
          Sponsored  by -- M. of A. BUCHWALD, LENTOL, MAGEE, THIELE -- read once
          and referred to the Committee on Election Law -- reported and referred
          to the Committee on Ways  and  Means  --  committee  discharged,  bill
          amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-
          tee -- again reported from said  committee  with  amendments,  ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to early voting
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 3-400 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a
     2  new subdivision 9 to read as follows:
     3    9.  Notwithstanding  any  inconsistent  provisions  of  this  article,
     4  election inspectors or poll clerks, if any, at polling places for  early
     5  voting,  shall  consist of either board of elections employees who shall
     6  be appointed by the commissioners of such board or duly qualified  indi-
     7  viduals, appointed in the manner set forth in this section. Appointments
     8  to the offices of election inspector or poll clerk in each polling place
     9  for  early  voting  shall be equally divided between the major political
    10  parties. The board of elections  shall  assign  staff  and  provide  the
    11  resources they require to ensure wait times at early voting sites do not
    12  exceed thirty minutes.
    13    §  2.  Section  4-117  of  the election law is amended by adding a new
    14  subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
    15    1-a. The notice required by subdivision  one  of  this  section  shall
    16  include  the  dates, hours and locations of early voting for the general
    17  and primary election. The board of  elections  may  satisfy  the  notice
    18  requirement  of this subdivision by providing in the notice instructions
    19  to obtain the required early voting information from a  website  of  the
    20  board  of elections and providing a phone number to call for such infor-
    21  mation.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02758-07-8

        A. 9608--B                          2
     1    § 3. Subdivision 2 of section 8-100 of the election law, as amended by
     2  chapter 367 of the laws of 2017, is amended to read as follows:
     3    2. Polls shall be open for voting during the following hours: a prima-
     4  ry  election from twelve o'clock noon until nine o'clock in the evening,
     5  except in the city of New York and  the  counties  of  Nassau,  Suffolk,
     6  Westchester,  Rockland,  Orange,  Putnam, Dutchess and Erie, and in such
     7  city or county from six o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the
     8  evening; the general election from six o'clock in the morning until nine
     9  o'clock in the evening; a special election called by the governor pursu-
    10  ant to the public officers law, and, except  as  otherwise  provided  by
    11  law,  every  other  election, from six o'clock in the morning until nine
    12  o'clock in the evening; early voting  hours  shall  be  as  provided  in
    13  section 8-600 of this article.
    14    §  4. Subdivision 1 of section 8-102 of the election law is amended by
    15  adding a new paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    16    (k) Voting at each polling place for early voting shall  be  conducted
    17  in  a  manner  consistent  with the provisions of this article, with the
    18  exception of the tabulation and proclamation of election  results  which
    19  shall  be  completed according to subdivisions eight and nine of section
    20  8-600 of this article.
    21    § 5. Section 8-104 of the election law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    22  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
    23    7.  This  section shall apply on all early voting days as provided for
    24  in section 8-600 of this article.
    25    § 6. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 and  subdivi-
    26  sion  3-a  of  section  8-302  of the election law, subparagraph (ii) of
    27  paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 164 of the laws  of
    28  2010  and subdivision 3-a as amended by chapter 511 of the laws of 1985,
    29  are amended to read as follows:
    30    (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he
    31  or she has duly  registered  to  vote,  the  address  in  such  election
    32  district  from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a duly
    33  qualified voter in such election district, that his or her  registration
    34  poll  record  appears  to  be  lost or misplaced or that his or her name
    35  and/or his or her signature was  omitted  from  the  computer  generated
    36  registration  list or such record indicates the voter already voted when
    37  he or she did not do so or that he or she has moved within the county or
    38  city since he or she last registered, the address from which he  or  she
    39  was  previously  registered and the address at which he or she currently
    40  resides, and at a primary election, the party in  which  he  or  she  is
    41  enrolled.  The  inspectors  of election shall offer such an affidavit to
    42  each such voter whose residence address is in  such  election  district.
    43  Each  such affidavit shall be in a form prescribed by the state board of
    44  elections, shall be printed on an envelope of the size and quality  used
    45  for  an  absentee  ballot  envelope, and shall contain an acknowledgment
    46  that the affiant understands that any false statement  made  therein  is
    47  perjury  punishable  according to law. Such form prescribed by the state
    48  board of elections shall request information required to  register  such
    49  voter  should  the  county board determine that such voter is not regis-
    50  tered and shall constitute an  application  to  register  to  vote.  The
    51  voter's  name  and  the  entries  required shall then be entered without
    52  delay and without further inquiry in the fourth section of the challenge
    53  report or in the place provided at the end  of  the  computer  generated
    54  registration  list,  with  the  notation that the voter has executed the
    55  affidavit hereinabove prescribed, or, if such person's name  appears  on
    56  the  computer  generated  registration  list, the board of elections may

        A. 9608--B                          3
     1  provide a place to make such entry next to his or her name on such list.
     2  The voter shall then, without further inquiry, be permitted to  vote  an
     3  affidavit  ballot provided for by this chapter. Such ballot shall there-
     4  upon  be placed in the envelope containing his or her affidavit, and the
     5  envelope sealed and returned to the board of  elections  in  the  manner
     6  provided  by  this  chapter  for protested official ballots, including a
     7  statement of the number of such ballots.
     8    3-a. The inspectors shall also give to every person whose  address  is
     9  in  such  election  district for whom no registration poll record can be
    10  found and, in a primary election, to every voter whose registration poll
    11  record does not show him to be enrolled in the party in which he  wishes
    12  to  be  enrolled  or  who  claims to be incorrectly identified as having
    13  already voted, a copy of a notice, in a form  prescribed  by  the  state
    14  board  of  elections,  advising  such person of his right to, and of the
    15  procedures by which he may, cast an affidavit ballot  or  seek  a  court
    16  order  permitting him to vote, and shall also give every such person who
    17  does not cast an affidavit ballot, an application  for  registration  by
    18  mail.
    19    §  7.  Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 8-508 of the election
    20  law, as amended by chapter 200 of the laws of 1996, is amended  to  read
    21  as follows:
    22    (b)  The second section of such report shall be reserved for the board
    23  of inspectors to enter the name, address and registration serial  number
    24  of each person who is challenged on the day of election or on any day in
    25  which  there  is early voting pursuant to section 8-600 of this article,
    26  together with the reason for the challenge.   If  no  voters  are  chal-
    27  lenged,  the  board  of inspectors shall enter the words "No Challenges"
    28  across the space reserved for such names. In lieu of  preparing  section
    29  two of the challenge report, the board of elections may provide, next to
    30  the  name  of  each voter on the computer generated registration list, a
    31  place for the inspectors of election to record the information  required
    32  to be entered in such section two, or provide at the end of such comput-
    33  er  generated  registration list, a place for the inspectors of election
    34  to enter such information.
    35    § 8. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title  6
    36  to read as follows:
    37                                  TITLE VI
    38                                EARLY VOTING
    39  Section 8-600. Early voting.
    40          8-602. State  board  of  elections;  powers and duties for early
    41                   voting.
    42    § 8-600. Early voting. 1. Beginning the eighth day prior to any gener-
    43  al, primary or special election for any  public  or  party  office,  and
    44  ending on and including the second day prior to such general, primary or
    45  special  election  for  such public or party office, persons duly regis-
    46  tered and eligible to vote at such election shall be permitted  to  vote
    47  as  provided  in this title.   The board of elections of each county and
    48  the city of New York shall establish procedures, subject to approval  of
    49  the state board of elections, to ensure that persons who vote during the
    50  early  voting  period shall not be permitted to vote subsequently in the
    51  same election.
    52    2. (a) The board of elections of each county or the city of  New  York
    53  shall  designate  polling  places for early voting in each county, which
    54  may include the offices of the board of elections, for persons  to  vote
    55  early  pursuant  to  this section. There shall be so designated at least
    56  one early voting polling place for every full increment of  fifty  thou-

        A. 9608--B                          4
     1  sand  registered voters in each county; provided, however, the number of
     2  early voting polling places in a county shall  not  be  required  to  be
     3  greater  than  seven, and a county with fewer than fifty thousand voters
     4  shall have at least one early voting polling place.
     5    (b)  The board of elections of each county or the city of New York may
     6  establish additional polling places for early voting in  excess  of  the
     7  minimum  number  required  by  this  subdivision  for the convenience of
     8  eligible voters wishing to vote during the early voting period.
     9    (c) Notwithstanding the minimum number  of  early  voting  poll  sites
    10  otherwise  required  by  this  subdivision,  for  any primary or special
    11  election, upon majority vote of the board of elections,  the  number  of
    12  early  voting  sites may be reduced if the board of elections reasonably
    13  determines a lesser number of sites is sufficient to meet the  needs  of
    14  early voters.
    15    (d) Polling places for early voting shall be located to ensure, to the
    16  extent practicable, that eligible voters have adequate equitable access,
    17  taking into consideration population density, travel time to the polling
    18  place,  proximity  to  other  locations  or commonly used transportation
    19  routes and such other factors the board of elections of  the  county  or
    20  the  city of New York deems appropriate. The provisions of section 4-104
    21  of this chapter, except subdivisions four  and  five  of  such  section,
    22  shall apply to the designation of polling places for early voting except
    23  to the extent such provisions are inconsistent with this section.
    24    3.  Any  person permitted to vote early may do so at any polling place
    25  for early voting established pursuant to subdivision two of this section
    26  in the county where such voter is registered to vote. Provided, however,
    27  (a) if it is impractical to provide each polling place for early  voting
    28  all  appropriate ballots for each election to be voted on in the county,
    29  or (b) if permitting such persons to vote early  at  any  polling  place
    30  established  for  early  voting would make it impractical to ensure that
    31  such voter has not previously voted  early  during  such  election,  the
    32  board  of  elections  may  designate each polling place for early voting
    33  only for those voters registered to vote in a portion of the  county  to
    34  be  served  by  such  polling  place for early voting, provided that all
    35  voters in each county shall have one or more  polling  places  at  which
    36  they  are  eligible  to  vote  throughout  the  early voting period on a
    37  substantially equal basis.
    38    4. (a) Polls shall be open for early voting for at least  eight  hours
    39  between  seven  o'clock  in the morning and eight o'clock in the evening
    40  each week day during the early voting period.
    41    (b) At least one polling place for  early  voting  shall  remain  open
    42  until  eight  o'clock  in  the evening on at least two week days in each
    43  calendar week during the early voting period.   If  polling  places  for
    44  early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to subdi-
    45  vision  three  of  this  section,  polling places that remain open until
    46  eight o'clock shall be designated such that any person entitled to  vote
    47  early  may  vote until eight o'clock in the evening on at least two week
    48  days during the early voting period.
    49    (c) Polls shall be open for early  voting  for  at  least  five  hours
    50  between  nine  o'clock  in the morning and six o'clock in the evening on
    51  each Saturday, Sunday and legal holiday during the early voting period.
    52    (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit  any  board
    53  of  elections  from  establishing  a  greater number of hours for voting
    54  during the early voting period beyond the number of  hours  required  in
    55  this subdivision.

        A. 9608--B                          5
     1    (e) Early voting polling places and their hours of operation for early
     2  voting  at  a  general election shall be designated by May first of each
     3  year pursuant to subdivision one  of  section  4-104  of  this  chapter.
     4  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of subdivision one of section 4-104 of
     5  this  chapter requiring poll site designation by May first, early voting
     6  polling places and their hours of  operation  for  early  voting  for  a
     7  primary or special election shall be made not later than forty-five days
     8  before such primary or special election.
     9    5. Each board of elections shall create a communication plan to inform
    10  eligible voters of the opportunity to vote early.  Such plan may utilize
    11  any  and all media outlets, including social media, and shall publicize:
    12  the location and dates and hours of operation of all polling places  for
    13  early  voting; an indication of whether each polling place is accessible
    14  to voters with physical disabilities; a clear and unambiguous notice  to
    15  voters  that  if  they cast a ballot during the early voting period they
    16  will not be allowed to vote election day;  and  if  polling  places  for
    17  early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to subdi-
    18  vision  three  of  this  section, the location of the polling places for
    19  early voting serving the voters of each particular city, town  or  other
    20  political subdivision.
    21    6.  The  form  of paper ballots used in early voting shall comply with
    22  the provisions of article seven of this chapter that are  applicable  to
    23  voting  by paper ballot on election day and such ballot shall be cast in
    24  the same manner as provided  for  in  section  8-312  of  this  article,
    25  provided,  however,  that  ballots  cast  during the early voting period
    26  shall be secured in the manner of voted ballots cast on election day and
    27  such ballots shall not be canvassed or examined until after the close of
    28  the polls on election day, and no  unofficial  tabulations  of  election
    29  results  shall  be printed or viewed in any manner until after the close
    30  of polls on election day.
    31    7. Voters casting ballots pursuant to this title shall be  subject  to
    32  challenge  as  provided in sections 8-500, 8-502 and 8-504 of this arti-
    33  cle.
    34    8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, at the end of
    35  each day of early voting, any early voting ballots that  have  not  been
    36  scanned because a ballot scanner was not available or because the ballot
    37  has been abandoned by the voter at the ballot scanner shall be cast in a
    38  manner  consistent  with section 9-110 of this chapter, except that such
    39  ballots which cannot then be cast on a  ballot  scanner  shall  be  held
    40  inviolate and unexamined and shall be duly secured until after the close
    41  of  polls  on  election  day  when  such  ballots  shall be examined and
    42  canvassed in a manner consistent with subdivision two of  section  9-110
    43  of this chapter.
    44    9.  The  board of elections shall secure all ballots and scanners used
    45  for early voting from the beginning of the early voting  period  through
    46  the  close  of  the  polls on election day; provided, however, the state
    47  board of elections may by regulation duly adopted by a majority of  such
    48  board  establish  a  procedure  whereby  ballot  scanners used for early
    49  voting may also be used on election day if the portable  memory  devices
    50  used  during  early voting containing the early voting election informa-
    51  tion and vote tabulations are properly secured apart from the  scanners,
    52  and  the  results  therefrom  shall be duly canvassed after the close of
    53  polls on election day.
    54    10. After the close of polls on election day, inspectors or  board  of
    55  elections  employees  appointed  to  canvass  ballots  cast during early
    56  voting shall follow all relevant provisions  of  article  nine  of  this

        A. 9608--B                          6
     1  chapter  that  are  not  inconsistent with this section, for canvassing,
     2  processing, recording, and announcing results of voting at polling plac-
     3  es for early voting, and securing ballots, scanners, and other  election
     4  materials.  Such  canvass  may  occur  at  the  offices  of the board of
     5  elections, at the early voting polling  place  or  such  other  location
     6  designated by the board of elections.
     7    11.  Notwithstanding  the  requirements  of  this  title requiring the
     8  canvass of ballots cast during early voting after the close of polls  on
     9  election day, such canvass may begin one hour before the scheduled close
    10  of  polls  on election day provided the board of elections adopts proce-
    11  dures to prevent the public release of election  results  prior  to  the
    12  close  of  polls on election day and such procedures shall be consistent
    13  with the regulations of the state board of elections and shall be  filed
    14  with the state board of elections at least thirty days before they shall
    15  be effective.
    16    § 8-602. State board of elections; powers and duties for early voting.
    17  Any   rule  or  regulation  necessary  for  the  implementation  of  the
    18  provisions of this title shall be promulgated  by  the  state  board  of
    19  elections  provided  that  such  rules  and  regulations  shall  include
    20  provisions to ensure that ballots cast  early,  by  any  method  allowed
    21  under  law,  are  counted  and canvassed as if cast on election day. The
    22  state board of elections shall promulgate  any  other  rules  and  regu-
    23  lations  necessary  to ensure an efficient and fair early voting process
    24  that respects the privacy of the voter.  Provided,  further,  that  such
    25  rules  and  regulations shall require that the voting history record for
    26  each voter be continually updated to  reflect  each  instance  of  early
    27  voting by such voter.
    28    §  9.  The  opening paragraph of section 9-209 of the election law, as
    29  amended by chapter 163 of the laws  of  2010,  is  amended  to  read  as
    30  follows:
    31    Before  completing  the canvass of votes cast in any primary, general,
    32  special, or other election at which voters are required  to  sign  their
    33  registration  poll  records  before voting, the board of elections shall
    34  proceed in the manner hereinafter prescribed to  cast  and  canvass  any
    35  absentee,  military,  special  presidential,  special  federal  or other
    36  special ballots and any ballots voted by voters  who  moved  within  the
    37  county  or  city  after  registering, voters who are in inactive status,
    38  voters whose registration was incorrectly transferred to another address
    39  even though they did not move, voters whose  registration  poll  records
    40  were  missing on the day of such election, voters who have not had their
    41  identity previously verified and voters whose registration poll  records
    42  did  not  show them to be enrolled in the party in which they claimed to
    43  be enrolled and voters incorrectly identified as having  already  voted.
    44  Each  such  ballot shall be retained in the original envelope containing
    45  the voter's affidavit and signature, in which it  is  delivered  to  the
    46  board of elections until such time as it is to be cast and canvassed.
    47    § 10. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed-
    48  ing  the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to any
    49  election held 120 days or more after it shall have taken effect.
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