|SAME AS||SAME AS S08370-B|
|COSPNSR||Lupardo, Rozic, Paulin, Simon, Jacobson, Otis|
|Amd 9-209, El L|
|Relates to providing voters an opportunity to cure deficiencies regarding absentee ballots.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10830 SPONSOR: Rules (Lavine)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to providing voters an opportunity to cure deficiencies regarding absentee ballots   PURPOSE: Establishes procedures for when a board of elections receives an invalid absentee ballot affirmation envelope.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Section 9-209 of the election law by adding 2 new subdivisions. a) BOE will determine at time of canvass that an absentee ballot affir- mation envelope is unsigned or does not correspond to the registration signature or there is no required witness to mark or that the envelope is returned without an affirmation envelope in the return envelope. BOE shall, within one day of such determination, send to the absentee voter's address indicated in the registration records, or if different the mailing address indicated on the absentee ballot application, a notice explaining the reason for such rejection and the procedure to cure the rejection. b) the voter may cure the defect by filing a duly signed affirmation attesting to the same information required by the affirmation envelope. The BOE shall include a form of affirmation with the notice to the voter. c) Such cure affirmation must be filed with the BOE no later than 7 business days of the board mailing of a rejection notice. If the BOE is split as to the sufficiency of the cure affirmation the envelope will be set aside for 3 days and then canvassed unless the board is directed otherwise by court order. d) when the BOE invalidates a ballot envelope they shall notify the voter by mail to be sent in 3 business days. 3-a if an absentee ballot affirmation envelope is received by the BOE prior to an election and the envelope is unsealed and thus invalid, the board must notify the voter of other option for voting and provide a new absentee ballot if time permits. Section 2 effective date immediately.   JUSTIFICATION: Under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, a voter is entitled to notice when the voter's absentee ballot is rejected. And when such rejection is based on a finding that the voter's signature on the affirmation envelope does not match the voter's registration signa- ture (or similar defects), the voter must be afforded an opportunity to cure the defect. This bill specifically provides for this fundamental due process and notice. No longer will absentee voters be left to wonder whether their vote counted, nor be rendered helpless to dispute an erro- neous determination of the board of elections that their signature is not their own. This legislation delivers transparency and fairness to the canvassing of absentee votes.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: TBD.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 10830 IN ASSEMBLY July 17, 2020 ___________ Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Lavine) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to providing voters an opportunity to cure deficiencies regarding absentee ballots The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Section 9-209 of the election law is amended by adding two 2 new subdivisions 3 and 3-a to read as follows: 3 3. (a) Upon the board of elections determination at or before the time 4 of canvass that an absentee ballot affirmation envelope is unsigned or 5 that an affirmation ballot envelope signature does not correspond to the 6 registration signature or there is no required witness to a mark or that 7 the envelope is returned without an affirmation envelope in the return 8 envelope, the board shall, within one day of such determination, send to 9 the absentee voter's address indicated in the registration records and, 10 if different, the mailing address indicated on the absentee ballot 11 application, a notice explaining the reason for such rejection and the 12 procedure to cure the rejection. The board shall also contact the voter 13 by either electronic mail or telephone, if such information is available 14 to the board in the voter's registration information, in order to notify 15 the voter of the deficiency and the opportunity and the process to cure 16 the deficiency. 17 (b) The voter may cure the aforesaid defects by filing a duly signed 18 affirmation attesting to the same information required by the affirma- 19 tion envelope and attesting that the signer of the affirmation is the 20 same person who submitted such absentee ballot envelope. The board shall 21 include a form of such affirmation with the notice to the voter. The 22 affirmation shall be in a form prescribed by the state board of 23 elections. 24 (c) Such cure affirmation shall be filed with the board no later than 25 seven business days after the board's mailing of such curable rejection 26 notice. Provided the board determines that such affirmation addresses 27 the curable defect, the rejected ballot shall be reinstated and duly 28 canvassed. If the board of elections is split as to the sufficiency of EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD16405-07-0A. 10830 2 1 the cure affirmation, such envelope shall be set aside for three days 2 and then canvassed unless the board is directed otherwise by court 3 order. 4 (d) When the board of elections invalidates a ballot envelope and the 5 defect is not curable, the voter shall be notified by mail sent within 6 three business days of such rejection. 7 3-a. If an absentee ballot affirmation envelope is received by the 8 board of elections prior to the election and is found to be unsealed and 9 thus invalid, the board shall forthwith notify the voter of such defect 10 and notify the voter of other options for voting, and, if time permits, 11 provide the voter with a new absentee ballot. 12 § 2. The state board of elections shall promulgate rules and regu- 13 lations to implement this act. 14 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to 15 elections occurring on or after such effective date.