|SAME AS||SAME AS S08015-D|
|COSPNSR||Jacobson, Carroll, Buchwald, Otis, Simon, Griffin, Lupardo, Galef, Rosenthal L|
|Amd 8-400, El L|
|Authorizes absentee voting; defines the term "illness" for the purposes of absentee voting to include instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease causing illness to the voter or to other members of the public.|
Go to top
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10833 SPONSOR: Rules (Dinowitz)
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to absentee voting; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To allow voters who are concerned about voting in-person due to an epidemic or disease outbreak to request an absentee ballot.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends Election Law § 8-400 (1)(b) to include within the defi- nition of "illness" instances where a voter who is unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter because there is a risk of contracting or spread- ing a disease-causing illness to the voter or to other members of the public. Section 2 sets forth the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Currently, New York's law only allows an individual to request an absen- tee ballot if they a) will be absent from their county of residence or New York City on the day of the election, b) are unable to appear at the polling place due to illness, physical disability, or care-taking responsibilities for someone who is ill or disabled, c) are a resident or patient at a veteran health administration hospital, or d) are currently being held in jail. These restrictive criteria do not accommo- date people who are concerned about the risk voting in-person would pose to their own or other's health during a pandemic. Individuals, especially those who are high-risk, should be given the tools to take extra precautions to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. According to the CDC, older people and people with existing health conditions, like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, are at great- er risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19. High-risk individ- uals who are trying to limit their potential exposure or other's expo- sure to the virus should not have to decide between protecting their health or exercising their civic duty. Similarly, individuals who are preventively quarantined should still be able to participate in our elections. By redefining "illness," this piece of legislation will allow New York- ers to request an absentee ballot if they are unable to appear personally at their polling place due to an epidemic or disease outbreak. This will ensure that all New Yorkers can feel comfortable participating in New York's upcoming primary and general elections.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed January 1, 2022.
Go to top
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 10833 IN ASSEMBLY July 19, 2020 ___________ Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Dinowitz) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to absentee voting; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 8-400 of the election law, as 2 amended by chapter 63 of the laws of 2010, paragraph (c) as amended by 3 chapter 375 of the laws of 2015, is amended to read as follows: 4 1. A qualified voter may vote as an absentee voter under this chapter 5 if, on the occurrence of any village election conducted by the board of 6 elections, primary election, special election, general election or New 7 York city community school board district or city of Buffalo school 8 district election, he or she expects to be: 9 (a) absent from the county of his or her residence, or, if a resident 10 of the city of New York absent from said city; or 11 (b) unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election 12 district in which he or she is a qualified voter because of illness or 13 physical disability or duties related to the primary care of one or more 14 individuals who are ill or physically disabled, or because he or she 15 will be or is a patient in a hospital, provided that, for purposes of 16 this paragraph, "illness" shall include, but not be limited to, 17 instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling 18 place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter 19 because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease that may 20 cause illness to the voter or to other members of the public; or 21 (c) a resident or patient of a veterans health administration hospi- 22 tal; or 23 (d) absent from his or her voting residence because he or she is 24 detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or 25 confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other than 26 a felony, provided that he or she is qualified to vote in the election 27 district of his or her residence. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15746-15-0A. 10833 2 1 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be 2 deemed repealed January 1, 2022.