S. 1102                                                   A. 780
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                SENATE - ASSEMBLY
                                    January 10, 2019
        IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. MYRIE, ADDABBO, BAILEY, BENJAMIN, BIAG-
          SKOUFIS,  STAVISKY,  STEWART-COUSINS, THOMAS -- read twice and ordered
          printed, and  when  printed  to  be  committed  to  the  Committee  on
        IN  ASSEMBLY  --  Introduced by M. of A. LAVINE, HEASTIE, CUSICK, BLAKE,
          THIELE,  WEINSTEIN  -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BUCHWALD, LENTOL
          -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law
        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 resources
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 1102                             2                             A. 780
     1  to  ensure a voter's wait time to vote at an early voting site shall not
     2  exceed thirty minutes.
     3    §  2.  Section  4-117  of  the election law is amended by adding a new
     4  subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
     5    1-a. The notice required by subdivision  one  of  this  section  shall
     6  include  the  dates, hours and locations of early voting for the general
     7  and primary election. The board of elections may  alternatively  satisfy
     8  the  notice  requirement  of this subdivision by providing in the notice
     9  instructions to obtain the required early voting information by means of
    10  a website and phone number of the board of elections.
    11    § 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 and subdivision 2 of section 8-100
    12  of the election law, paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 as added by  chapter
    13  373  of  the laws of 1978 and subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 367 of
    14  the laws of 2017, are amended to read as follows:
    15    (b) In the event a run-off primary election is required in the city of
    16  New York, it shall be held on the [second] fourth Tuesday next  succeed-
    17  ing the date on which the initial primary election was held.
    18    2. Polls shall be open for voting during the following hours: a prima-
    19  ry  election from twelve o'clock noon until nine o'clock in the evening,
    20  except in the city of New York and  the  counties  of  Nassau,  Suffolk,
    21  Westchester,  Rockland,  Orange,  Putnam, Dutchess and Erie, and in such
    22  city or county from six o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock in the
    23  evening; the general election from six o'clock in the morning until nine
    24  o'clock in the evening; a special election called by the governor pursu-
    25  ant to the public officers law, and, except  as  otherwise  provided  by
    26  law,  every  other  election, from six o'clock in the morning until nine
    27  o'clock in the evening. Early voting  times  shall  be  as  provided  in
    28  section 8-600 of this article.
    29    §  4. Subdivision 1 of section 8-102 of the election law is amended by
    30  adding a new paragraph (k) to read as follows:
    31    (k) Voting at each polling place for early voting shall  be  conducted
    32  in  a  manner  consistent  with the provisions of this article, with the
    33  exception of the tabulation and proclamation of election  results  which
    34  shall  be  completed according to subdivisions eight and nine of section
    35  8-600 of this article.
    36    § 5. Section 8-104 of the election law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    37  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
    38    7.  This  section shall apply on all early voting days as provided for
    39  in section 8-600 of this article.
    40    § 6. Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 and  subdivi-
    41  sion  3-a  of  section  8-302  of the election law, subparagraph (ii) of
    42  paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 164 of the laws  of
    43  2010  and subdivision 3-a as amended by chapter 511 of the laws of 1985,
    44  are amended to read as follows:
    45    (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he
    46  or she has duly  registered  to  vote,  the  address  in  such  election
    47  district  from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a duly
    48  qualified voter in such election district, that his or her  registration
    49  poll  record  appears  to  be  lost or misplaced or that his or her name
    50  and/or his or her signature was  omitted  from  the  computer  generated
    51  registration  list or such record indicates the voter already voted when
    52  he or she did not do so or that he or she has moved within the county or
    53  city since he or she last registered, the address from which he  or  she
    54  was  previously  registered and the address at which he or she currently
    55  resides, and at a primary election, the party in  which  he  or  she  is
    56  enrolled.  The  inspectors  of election shall offer such an affidavit to

        S. 1102                             3                             A. 780
     1  each such voter whose residence address is in  such  election  district.
     2  Each  such affidavit shall be in a form prescribed by the state board of
     3  elections, shall be printed on an envelope of the size and quality  used
     4  for  an  absentee  ballot  envelope, and shall contain an acknowledgment
     5  that the affiant understands that any false statement  made  therein  is
     6  perjury  punishable  according to law. Such form prescribed by the state
     7  board of elections shall request information required to  register  such
     8  voter  should  the  county board determine that such voter is not regis-
     9  tered and shall constitute an  application  to  register  to  vote.  The
    10  voter's  name  and  the  entries  required shall then be entered without
    11  delay and without further inquiry in the fourth section of the challenge
    12  report or in the place provided at the end  of  the  computer  generated
    13  registration  list,  with  the  notation that the voter has executed the
    14  affidavit hereinabove prescribed, or, if such person's name  appears  on
    15  the  computer  generated  registration  list, the board of elections may
    16  provide a place to make such entry next to his or her name on such list.
    17  The voter shall then, without further inquiry, be permitted to  vote  an
    18  affidavit  ballot provided for by this chapter. Such ballot shall there-
    19  upon be placed in the envelope containing his or her affidavit, and  the
    20  envelope  sealed  and  returned  to the board of elections in the manner
    21  provided by this chapter for protested  official  ballots,  including  a
    22  statement of the number of such ballots.
    23    3-a.  The  inspectors shall also give to every person whose address is
    24  in such election district for whom no registration poll  record  can  be
    25  found and, in a primary election, to every voter whose registration poll
    26  record  does not show him to be enrolled in the party in which he wishes
    27  to be enrolled or who claims to  be  incorrectly  identified  as  having
    28  already  voted,  a  copy  of a notice, in a form prescribed by the state
    29  board of elections, advising such person of his right  to,  and  of  the
    30  procedures  by  which  he  may, cast an affidavit ballot or seek a court
    31  order permitting him to vote, and shall also give every such person  who
    32  does  not  cast  an affidavit ballot, an application for registration by
    33  mail.
    34    § 7. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 2 of section 8-508 of  the  election
    35  law,  as  amended by chapter 200 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read
    36  as follows:
    37    (b) The second section of such report shall be reserved for the  board
    38  of  inspectors to enter the name, address and registration serial number
    39  of each person who is challenged [on the day of election] at the time of
    40  voting together with the reason for the challenge.   If  no  voters  are
    41  challenged,  the  board  of  inspectors  shall enter the words "No Chal-
    42  lenges" across the space reserved for such names. In lieu  of  preparing
    43  section two of the challenge report, the board of elections may provide,
    44  next  to  the  name of each voter on the computer generated registration
    45  list, a place for the inspectors of election to record  the  information
    46  required  to  be  entered  in such section two, or provide at the end of
    47  such computer generated registration list, a place for the inspectors of
    48  election to enter such information.
    49    § 8. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title  6
    50  to read as follows:
    51                                  TITLE VI
    52                                EARLY VOTING
    53  Section 8-600. Early voting.
    54          8-602. State  board  of  elections;  powers and duties for early
    55                   voting.

        S. 1102                             4                             A. 780
     1    § 8-600. Early voting. 1. Beginning the tenth day prior to any  gener-
     2  al,  primary,  run-off  primary  pursuant  to subdivision one of section
     3  6-162 of this chapter or special election for any public or party  posi-
     4  tion  except  for such an election held pursuant to title two of article
     5  six  or article fifteen of this chapter, and ending on and including the
     6  second day prior to such general, primary, run-off  primary  or  special
     7  election  for  such public office or party position, persons duly regis-
     8  tered and eligible to vote at such election shall be permitted  to  vote
     9  as  provided  in  this  title.    The board of elections shall establish
    10  procedures, subject to approval of the  state  board  of  elections,  to
    11  ensure that persons who vote during the early voting period shall not be
    12  permitted to vote subsequently in the same election.
    13    2. (a) The board of elections shall designate polling places for early
    14  voting,  which  may  include  the offices of the board of elections, for
    15  persons to vote early pursuant to this title. There shall be  so  desig-
    16  nated  at  least one early voting polling place for every full increment
    17  of fifty thousand registered voters in each county;  provided,  however,
    18  the  number  of  early  voting  polling  places in a county shall not be
    19  required to be greater than seven, and a county with  fewer  than  fifty
    20  thousand voters shall have at least one early voting polling place.
    21    (b)  The board of elections of each county or the city of New York may
    22  establish additional polling places for early voting in  excess  of  the
    23  minimum  number  required  by  this  subdivision  for the convenience of
    24  eligible voters.
    25    (c) Notwithstanding the minimum number  of  early  voting  poll  sites
    26  otherwise  required  by  this  subdivision,  for  any primary or special
    27  election, upon majority vote of the board of elections,  the  number  of
    28  early voting sites may be reduced when the board of elections determines
    29  a  lesser  number  of  sites  is  sufficient  to meet the needs of early
    30  voters.
    31    (d) Polling places for early voting shall be located so that voters in
    32  the county have adequate and equitable access, taking into consideration
    33  population density, travel time to the polling place, proximity to other
    34  early voting poll sites , public transportation routes, commuter traffic
    35  patterns and such other factors the board of elections  deems  appropri-
    36  ate.  The  provisions  of section 4-104 of this chapter, except subdivi-
    37  sions four and five of such section, shall apply to the  designation  of
    38  polling places for early voting except to the extent such provisions are
    39  inconsistent with this section.
    40    3.  Any  voter  may  vote at any polling place for early voting estab-
    41  lished pursuant to subdivision two of this section in the  county  where
    42  such  voter is registered to vote; provided, however, if it is impracti-
    43  cal to provide each polling place for early voting all of  the  election
    44  district  ballots  or  if  early  voting at any such polling place makes
    45  ensuring that no voter  has  not  previously  voted  early  during  such
    46  election,  the  board  of  elections  may assign election districts to a
    47  particular early voting poll site. All voters in each county shall  have
    48  one or more polling places at which they are eligible to vote throughout
    49  the  early voting period on a substantially equal basis. If the board of
    50  elections does not agree by majority vote to  plan  to  assign  election
    51  districts  to  early voting poll sites, all voters in the county must be
    52  able to vote at any poll site for early voting in the county.
    53    4. (a) Polls shall be open for early voting for at least  eight  hours
    54  between  seven  o'clock  in the morning and eight o'clock in the evening
    55  each week day during the early voting period.

        S. 1102                             5                             A. 780
     1    (b) At least one polling place for  early  voting  shall  remain  open
     2  until  eight  o'clock  in  the evening on at least two week days in each
     3  calendar week during the early voting period.   If  polling  places  for
     4  early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to subdi-
     5  vision  three  of  this  section,  polling places that remain open until
     6  eight o'clock shall be designated such that any person entitled to  vote
     7  early  may  vote until eight o'clock in the evening on at least two week
     8  days during the early voting period.
     9    (c) Polls shall be open for early  voting  for  at  least  five  hours
    10  between  nine  o'clock  in the morning and six o'clock in the evening on
    11  each Saturday, Sunday and legal holiday during the early voting period.
    12    (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit  any  board
    13  of  elections  from  establishing  a  greater number of hours for voting
    14  during the early voting period beyond the number of  hours  required  in
    15  this subdivision.
    16    (e) Early voting polling places and their hours of operation for early
    17  voting  at  a  general election shall be designated by May first of each
    18  year pursuant to subdivision one  of  section  4-104  of  this  chapter.
    19  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of subdivision one of section 4-104 of
    20  this chapter early voting polling places and their  hours  of  operation
    21  for  early  voting  for: (i) a primary or special election shall be made
    22  not later than forty-five days before such primary or special  election;
    23  and  (ii) a run-off primary pursuant to subdivision one of section 6-162
    24  of this chapter shall be made as soon as practicable.
    25    5. Each board of elections shall create a communication plan to inform
    26  eligible voters of the opportunity to vote early.  Such plan may utilize
    27  any and all media outlets, including social media, and shall  publicize:
    28  the  location and dates and hours of operation of all polling places for
    29  early voting; an indication of whether each polling place is  accessible
    30  to  voters with physical disabilities; a clear and unambiguous notice to
    31  voters that if they cast a ballot during the early  voting  period  they
    32  will  not  be  allowed  to  vote election day; and if polling places for
    33  early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to subdi-
    34  vision three of this section, the location of  the  polling  places  for
    35  early  voting  serving the voters of each particular city, town or other
    36  political subdivision.
    37    6. The form of paper ballots used in early voting  shall  comply  with
    38  the  provisions  of article seven of this chapter that are applicable to
    39  voting by paper ballot on election day and such ballot shall be cast  in
    40  the  same  manner  as  provided  for  in  section 8-312 of this article,
    41  provided, however, that ballots cast  during  the  early  voting  period
    42  shall be secured in the manner of voted ballots cast on election day and
    43  such ballots shall not be canvassed or examined until after the close of
    44  the  polls  on  election  day, and no unofficial tabulations of election
    45  results shall be printed or viewed in any manner until after  the  close
    46  of polls on election day.
    47    7.  Voters  casting ballots pursuant to this title shall be subject to
    48  challenge as provided in sections 8-500, 8-502 and 8-504 of  this  arti-
    49  cle.
    50    8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, at the end of
    51  each  day  of  early voting, any early voting ballots that have not been
    52  scanned because a ballot scanner was not available or because the ballot
    53  has been abandoned by the voter at the ballot scanner shall be cast in a
    54  manner consistent with section 9-110 of this chapter, except  that  such
    55  ballots  which  cannot  then  be  cast on a ballot scanner shall be held
    56  inviolate and unexamined and shall be duly secured until after the close

        S. 1102                             6                             A. 780
     1  of polls on election  day  when  such  ballots  shall  be  examined  and
     2  canvassed  in  a manner consistent with subdivision two of section 9-110
     3  of this chapter.
     4    9.  The  board of elections shall secure all ballots and scanners used
     5  for early voting from the beginning of the early voting  period  through
     6  the  close  of  the  polls on election day; provided, however, the state
     7  board of elections may by regulation duly adopted by a majority of  such
     8  board  establish  a  procedure  whereby  ballot  scanners used for early
     9  voting may also be used on election day if the portable  memory  devices
    10  used  during  early voting containing the early voting election informa-
    11  tion and vote tabulations are properly secured apart from the  scanners,
    12  and  the  results  therefrom  shall be duly canvassed after the close of
    13  polls on election day.
    14    10. After the close of polls on election day, inspectors or  board  of
    15  elections  employees  appointed  to  canvass  ballots  cast during early
    16  voting shall follow all relevant provisions  of  article  nine  of  this
    17  chapter  that  are  not  inconsistent with this section, for canvassing,
    18  processing, recording, and announcing results of voting at polling plac-
    19  es for early voting, and securing ballots, scanners, and other  election
    20  materials.  Such  canvass  may  occur  at  the  offices  of the board of
    21  elections, at the early voting polling  place  or  such  other  location
    22  designated by the board of elections.
    23    11.  Notwithstanding  the  requirements  of  this  title requiring the
    24  canvass of ballots cast during early voting after the close of polls  on
    25  election day, such canvass may begin one hour before the scheduled close
    26  of  polls  on election day provided the board of elections adopts proce-
    27  dures to prevent the public release of election  results  prior  to  the
    28  close  of  polls on election day and such procedures shall be consistent
    29  with the regulations of the state board of elections and shall be  filed
    30  with the state board of elections at least thirty days before they shall
    31  be effective.
    32    § 8-602. State board of elections; powers and duties for early voting.
    33  The  state  board  of  elections  shall  promulgate rules or regulations
    34  necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this title.   Such
    35  rules  and  regulations shall include, but not be limited to, provisions
    36  to (i) ensure that ballots cast early, by any method allowed under  law,
    37  are  counted  and  canvassed  as if cast on election day, (ii) ensure an
    38  efficient and fair early voting process that respects the privacy of the
    39  voter, and (iii) require that the voting history record for  each  voter
    40  be  continually updated to reflect each instance of early voting by such
    41  voter.
    42    § 9. The opening paragraph of section 9-209 of the  election  law,  as
    43  amended  by  chapter  163  of  the  laws  of 2010, is amended to read as
    44  follows:
    45    Before completing the canvass of votes cast in any  primary,  general,
    46  special,  or  other  election at which voters are required to sign their
    47  registration poll records before voting, the board  of  elections  shall
    48  proceed  in  the  manner  hereinafter prescribed to cast and canvass any
    49  absentee, military,  special  presidential,  special  federal  or  other
    50  special  ballots  and  any  ballots voted by voters who moved within the
    51  county or city after registering, voters who  are  in  inactive  status,
    52  voters whose registration was incorrectly transferred to another address
    53  even  though  they  did not move, voters whose registration poll records
    54  were missing on the day of such election, voters who have not had  their
    55  identity  previously verified and voters whose registration poll records
    56  did not show them to be enrolled in the party in which they  claimed  to

        S. 1102                             7                             A. 780
     1  be  enrolled  and voters incorrectly identified as having already voted.
     2  Each such ballot shall be retained in the original  envelope  containing
     3  the  voter's  affidavit  and  signature, in which it is delivered to the
     4  board of elections until such time as it is to be cast and canvassed.
     5    §  10.  This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however that
     6  early voting pursuant to the provisions of this act shall first apply to
     7  the general election held in November 2019, and to any general, primary,
     8  run-off primary or special election held thereafter as provided  for  in
     9  the election law.