A10504 Summary:

BILL NOA10504
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01148
 
SPONSORRules (Bores)
 
COSPNSRSimone, O'Donnell, Thiele, Lupardo, Epstein, Seawright, Woerner, Stern, Ra
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §4-104, El L
 
Relates to designating early polling places.
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A10504 Actions:

BILL NOA10504
 
05/29/2024referred to election law
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A10504 Committee Votes:

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A10504 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A10504 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A10504
 
SPONSOR: Rules (Bores)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to designating early poll- ing places   PURPOSE:' This bill provides that public schools shall not be designated as early voting polling sites.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends § 4-104 of the Election Law to provide that public buildings shall be designated as polling places to the extent practica- ble, however in no case shall a public school be designated as an early voting polling location. If additional polling places are needed, a building exempt from taxation or owned by an entity receiving more than one millions dollars in annual state grant funding shall be used as a polling place unless the owner demonstrates that the entity's function is significantly incompatible with operating as a polling place. This section also repeals the prohibition of designating a polling site at a location where there is a business licensed to sell alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption. Section 2: The act shall take effect immediately.   EXISTING LAW: Under current law, there is no restriction on placing early voting poll- ing sites at public schools. On the contrary, the law provides that if a board chooses a public school building for a polling place, without distinction for whether it is for early voting or on Election Day, the board or agency controlling the school building must make the building available. In addition, current law prohibits polling places from being placed where alcohol is also being sold on the premises.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2019, New York state lawmakers took historic steps in approving a series of reforms intended to make New York's voting process easier, more efficient, more transparent, and more accountable to its citizens. Among these reforms were the scheduling of state and federal primaries on the same day, automatic updating of voters' registrations when they move, preregistration of those ages 16 and 17 prior to an election in which they will be eligible to vote, and requirements that established 10 days of early voting which includes two full weekends prior to elections. With regard to early voting, the intent of the legislature was to provide a flexible timeline within which voters can cast their ballots, taking into account the reality that voters often have busy schedules, vacations, and family obligations that can get in the way of voting on Election Day. Early voting provides flexibility and a longer voting process that encourages civic involvement by New York's citizens. Following analysis of early voting polling site locations in the 2019 election cycle, there were concerns voiced about the continued use of schools as early voting polling places. While schools are normally closed during Election Day, schools are not closed during the days of early voting. This creates logistical and security concerns and disrupts the school day. In addition, vital areas of a public school such as cafeterias and gymnasiums become unavailable to students during this time, which can occur multiple times a year due to primary, general, and special elections. In the 2020 general election, while schools tried to hold in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional concerns were raised as voters were allowed to enter public schools. Although students, teach- ers, and school staff were required to have their temperature checked, and additional precautions were implemented, voters were able to enter the school without being subjected to similar requirements. A vast majority of early voting sites were not at public schools but rather colleges, community centers, and museums. Only one locality outside of the City of New York used public schools as polling places, and none of the polling places in the borough of Queens were public schools. The prohibition on placing polling sites on the same premises as alcohol being sold is repealed in order to expand the types of sites available for early voting in light of the restriction on placement at public schools.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2021-22: S.1039/a.7580 - Passed Senate 2019-20: s.6930/a.9655 - Passed Senate   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
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A10504 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          10504
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                      May 29, 2024
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  COMMITTEE  ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Bores) --
          read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law
 
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to designating early poll-
          ing places
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 4-104 of the election law,
     2  subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 5 of the laws of 2019  and  subdivi-
     3  sion  3  as  amended  by chapter 694 of the laws of 1989, are amended to
     4  read as follows:
     5    1. Every board of elections shall, in  consultation  with  each  city,
     6  town and village, designate the polling places in each election district
     7  in  which  the  meetings  for  the  registration  of voters, and for any
     8  election may be held. The board of trustees of  each  village  in  which
     9  general  and  special  village  elections  conducted  by  the  board  of
    10  elections are held at a time other than the time of a  general  election
    11  shall submit such a list of polling places for such village elections to
    12  the  board  of  elections.  A polling place may be located in a building
    13  owned by a religious organization or used by it as a place  of  worship.
    14  If  such  a  building  is designated as a polling place, it shall not be
    15  required to be open for voter registration on any Saturday  if  this  is
    16  contrary to the religious beliefs of the religious organization. In such
    17  a  situation,  the  board  of  elections  shall  designate  an alternate
    18  location to be used for voter registration. Such polling places must  be
    19  designated  by March fifteenth, of each year, and shall be effective for
    20  one year thereafter. Such a list required to be submitted by  a  village
    21  board  of  trustees  must  be submitted at least four months before each
    22  general village election and shall be effective until four months before
    23  the subsequent general village election. [No place in which  a  business
    24  licensed  to  sell  alcoholic  beverages  for on premises consumption is
    25  conducted on any day of local registration or  of  voting  shall  be  so
    26  designated.]  If,  within  the  discretion  of  the board of elections a
    27  particular polling place so  designated  is  subsequently  found  to  be
    28  unsuitable  or  unsafe  or should circumstances arise that make a desig-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD03667-01-3

        A. 10504                            2
 
     1  nated polling place unsuitable or unsafe, then the board of elections is
     2  empowered to select an alternative meeting place. In  the  city  of  New
     3  York,  the  board  of  elections shall designate such polling places and
     4  alternate  registration  places  if the polling place cannot be used for
     5  voter registration on Saturdays.
     6    3. A board or body empowered to designate polling places shall  desig-
     7  nate  any  public building as a polling place to the extent practicable,
     8  provided, however, that in no case shall a  public  school  building  be
     9  designated  as  an  early voting polling location. If additional polling
    10  places shall be needed, a building exempt from taxation or owned  by  an
    11  entity  receiving  more  than  one million dollars in annual state grant
    12  funding shall be used [whenever possible] as a polling place  if  it  is
    13  situated  in the same or a contiguous election district, and may contain
    14  as many distinctly separate polling places  as  public  convenience  may
    15  require, unless the owner or operator of such building shall demonstrate
    16  that such use is significantly incompatible with the primary function of
    17  the  entity.  The  expense, if any, incidental to its use, shall be paid
    18  like the expense of other places of registration and voting. If a  board
    19  or  body  empowered  to designate polling places chooses a public school
    20  building for such purpose, the  board  or  agency  which  controls  such
    21  building  must make available a room or rooms in such building which are
    22  suitable for registration and voting and which are as close as  possible
    23  to  a  convenient  entrance to such building and must make available any
    24  such room or rooms which the board or  body  designating  such  building
    25  determines  are  accessible to physically disabled voters as provided in
    26  subdivision  one-a.  Notwithstanding  the  provisions  of  any  general,
    27  special  or local law, if a board or body empowered to designate polling
    28  places chooses a publicly owned or leased building, other than a  public
    29  school building, for such purposes the board or body which controls such
    30  building  must make available a room or rooms in such building which are
    31  suitable for registration and voting and which are as close as  possible
    32  to  a  convenient entrance to such building, and must make available any
    33  such room or rooms which the board or  body  designating  such  building
    34  determines  are  accessible  to  physically  disabled voters unless, not
    35  later than thirty days after notice of  its  designation  as  a  polling
    36  place,  the  board  or  body  controlling such building, files a written
    37  request for a cancellation of such designation with the  board  or  body
    38  empowered  to designate polling places on such form as shall be provided
    39  by the board  or  body  making  such  designation.  The  board  or  body
    40  empowered  to  so designate shall, within twenty days after such request
    41  is filed, determine whether the use of such building as a polling  place
    42  would unreasonably interfere with the usual activities conducted in such
    43  building and upon such determination, may cancel such designation.
    44    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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