NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10942
SPONSOR: Rules (Gottfried)
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the election law, in relation to authorizing boards of
elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off locations
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To allow local Boards of Elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off
locations to provide voters with a convenient alternative option to
submit their absentee ballots.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 adds a new Section 8-414 to the Election Law to authorize
local Boards of Elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off
locations and direct the State Board of Elections to promulgate regu-
lations to implement the provisions of the section.
Section 2 amends Section 8-410 of the Election Law to provide that
absentee ballot envelopes may be deposited in an absentee ballot drop
box established by the Board of Elections of the county or city of the
Sections 3 and 4 amend Section 8-412 of the Election Law to deem an
absentee ballot received by a local Board of Elections if it is deposit-
ed in an absentee ballot drop box before the close of polls on election
day, and require local Boards of Elections to close absentee ballot
boxes at the close of polls and collect ballots deposited therein.
Section 5 establishes the effective date of the bill.
As New York expands voters' ability to cast their votes via absentee
ballot to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should be
providing voters with as many options to return their ballots as possi-
ble. Many states currently authorize voters to return their voted
ballots to election officials by depositing them in a secure drop box,
rather than mailing them or bringing them in to a Board of Elections
During the recent June primary elections, more than 84,000 mail.-in
ballots were not counted or invalidated in New York City, which makes up
a stunning 21% of all ballots received by the New York City Board of
Elections. Many of these ballots were invalidated for issues related to
the mail-in process, including lack of an appropriate postmark or late
arrival due to postal backlogs and delays.
By authorizing local Boards of Elections to establish secure absentee
ballot - drop boxes, this bill would emulate the systems of other states
that have successfully conducted vote-by-mail elections for years by
providing voters a convenient alternative option to submit their ballots
without having to rely on an overburdened postal service struggling to
keep up with an unprecedented volume of ballot submissions.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
To be determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.