A00234 Summary:

BILL NO    A00234 

SAME AS    No same as 

SPONSOR    Cahill (MS)

COSPNSR    Dinowitz, Brook-Krasny

MLTSPNSR   Brennan, Colton, Galef, Jacobs, Lopez P, McEneny, Reilly, Weisenberg

Rpld S4-116 subs 2 & 3, S4-108 sub 1 c & d, S5-204 sub 4, S4-117 sub 2, amd
SS4-108, 4-120, 4-128, 5-204, 4-117, 16-100, add Art 7 Title 3 SS7-300 - 7-314,
S16-105, El L

Provides for the state board of elections to prepare and distribute to each
voter a ballot pamphlet for every general election; provides for contents
thereof and makes numerous related provisions including the distribution of
information relating to each ballot proposal that is submitted to a statewide
vote at such general election; permits any person eligible to vote on any
ballot proposal to institute a proceeding as to the factual accuracy of
statements or constitutional amendments.
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A00234 Actions:

BILL NO    A00234 

01/05/2011 referred to election law
01/04/2012 referred to election law
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A00234 Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A00234 Memo:

 BILL NUMBER : A234

 TITLE OF BILL :  An act to amend the election law, in relation to the
preparation, contents and distribution of a paper pamphlet containing
information relative to general elections, to repeal certain
provisions of the election law, relating to distribution of copies of
proposed amendments to the constitution or other propositions or
questions; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon
expiration thereof

 PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :  This bill provides for the
preparation and distribution of a ballot pamphlet which would help
educate the electorate about the proposals appearing on the ballot. It
would also contain voter registration information.

 SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISION :  This bill provides for the
preparation and distribution of a ballot pamphlet which would contain
the following: l) an introductory statement explaining the date and
hours during which the polls will be open for the general election; 2)
voter qualification requirements in New York State; 3) when, where,
and how to register to vote; 4) when and how absentee ballots are
obtained and used; 5) instructions on how to vote including the use of
affidavit ballots; 6) any other general information on voting deemed
necessary or useful to the electorate.

In addition to the above information, materials would be prepared and
included in the ballot pamphlet for each ballot proposal that is
submitted to a statewide vote at the general election.  The material
would include the following: l) A true copy of the form of the ballot
proposal, as it will appear on the ballot; 2) a concise explanation
stating the nature and effect of the ballot proposal; 3) a summary of
the major arguments for its passage; 4) a summary of the major
arguments against its passage; and 5) the full text of the ballot
proposal, with all additions to the state constitution to be indicated
by the use of italic type and all deletions to be indicated by the use
of brackets.

The preparation of the ballot proposal materials will be done in the
following manner:

1) All material relating to a ballot proposal would be prepared by a
seven member committee.  Both the Majority Leader of the Senate and
the Speaker of the Assembly would each appoint two members to the
committee.  The Minority Leader of the Senate and the Minority Leader
of the Assembly would jointly appoint two members to the committee.
The seventh member of the committee would be the attorney general who
would serve as the Chairperson of the committee.

Any proceeding to contest the factual accuracy of statements on
constitutional amendments, questions and propositions in the ballot
pamphlet itself would be instituted by any eligible voter in the state
no later than ten days after the state board certifies the final
contents of the ballot pamphlet and must be concluded at least fifty
days before the election in which the ballot proposals addressed in
the pamphlet are to appear.

The Board of Elections shall report to the Governor and the
Legislature on or before March 1, 2017 on the effectiveness of ballot
pamphlets in increasing voter awareness, registration and
participation and make recommendations as to continuing and improving
this title.

 JUSTIFICATION :  In past elections, New York State voters have been
asked to approve ballot propositions which call for the expenditure of
billions of dollars and affect the lives of millions of people. While
it is necessary for ballot propositions and constitutional amendments
to be presented to voters in language that is legally precise, this
language often is indecipherable to many citizens. As a result, many
voters are uncertain of what is being proposed and are confused over
the actual position which their "yes" or "no" vote represents.  Many
voters are so discouraged that they make no decision at all.

In 1988, approximately 60% of voters did not vote on the
Transportation Bond Act.  In 1993, 53% of voters did not vote on three
statewide ballot questions on state debt.  According to the State
Board of Elections, almost 63% of actual voters (and 77% of registered
voters) did not vote on the Environmental Bond Act in 1996.

In other states including California, Massachusetts, Montana,
Washington, Arizona and Oregon where the ballot pamphlet has been
utilized, there has been noticeable increases in voter responses to
ballot propositions.  In Massachusetts, 93% of their voters cast
ballots on their proposition in 1986 and voting on ballot proposals
has risen an average of 15% since the implementation of the Ballot
Pamphlet (Citizen Union).  In addition, New York City passed an
extensive ballot pamphlet proposal in 1988 to educate the public on
ballot proposals  AND  candidates for office.

Increased voter awareness and participation more than justifies the
cost of a ballot pamphlet particularly in light of the huge
expenditures voters are being asked to approve in ballot proposals.

In addition, the pamphlet would contain basic voting information which
is otherwise hard to come by.  For instance, providing information on
how to register, vote and obtain absentee ballots, would assist
thousands of people who attempt to call boards of elections and who
either never get through or receive unsatisfactory answers.

 PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

2009-2010: A.957 - Referred to Election Law
2007-2008: A.7802 - Referred to Election Law
2004: A.471 - Rules
2003: A.471 - Election
2002: A.243-B Passed Assembly
2001: A.243-A - Passed Assembly
2000: A.1190 Ways & Means
1999: A.1190 - Codes
1998: A.1787 - Election
1997: A.1787 - Ways and Means
1996: A.634-B - Ref. to Ways & Means
1995: A.634-A - Ways & Means
1994: A.4972-A - Passed Assembly
1993: A.4972 - Ways & Means
1992: A.6525-A - Ways & Means
1991: A.6525 - Ways & Means
1990: A.5409-A - Ways & Means
1987 - A.2719-A - Ways & Means
1989: A.5409-A - Ways & Means
1986 - A.10968-A - Passed Assem.
1988: A.2719-C - Ways & Means
1985 - A.3824-A - Ways & Means

 FISCAL  IMPLICATIONS  FOR  STATE  AND  LOCAL  GOVERNMENTS :    It  is
estimated that the ballot pamphlet would cost between  $.18  and  $.33
per voter, depending upon the type of pamphlet produced and the number
of registered voters. These pamphlets would be distributed to at least
one registered voter in each household.

 EFFECTIVE  DATE :    This  law shall take effect on April 1, 2011 and
shall expire May 1, 2017.
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A00234 Text:

                           S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
       ________________________________________________________________________

                                          234

                              2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                                 I N  A S S E M B L Y

                                      (PREFILED)

                                    January 5, 2011
                                      ___________

       Introduced by M. of A. CAHILL, DINOWITZ, BROOK-KRASNY -- Multi-Sponsored
         by  --  M.  of A.   BRENNAN, COLTON, GALEF, JACOBS, P. LOPEZ, McENENY,
         REILLY, WEISENBERG -- read once  and  referred  to  the  Committee  on
         Election Law

       AN  ACT  to  amend  the  election  law,  in relation to the preparation,
         contents and distribution of a paper pamphlet  containing  information
         relative  to  general  elections,  to repeal certain provisions of the
         election law, relating to distribution of copies  of  proposed  amend-
         ments  to  the  constitution  or  other propositions or questions; 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.  Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 4-116 of the election law
    2  are REPEALED.
    3    S 2. Paragraphs c and d of subdivision  1  of  section  4-108  of  the
    4  election  law are REPEALED and subdivision 3, as added by chapter 234 of
    5  the laws of 1976, is amended to read as follows:
    6    3. The attorney general  shall  advise  in  the  preparation  of  such
    7  [abstract and such] form of submission.
    8    S  3.  The  opening paragraph of subdivision 1 of section 4-120 of the
    9  election law, as amended by chapter 359 of the laws of 1989, is  amended
   10  to read as follows:
   11    The  board  of  elections  shall publish once in each of the two weeks
   12  preceding a general election, or a special or village election conducted
   13  by the board of elections, a notice specifying the day of the  election,
   14  and  the public officers to be voted for within such county, or any part
   15  thereof at such election. [If constitutional  amendments,  or  questions
   16  are  to  be submitted to the voters of the state, the notice shall state
   17  that fact and that a copy of each such  amendment  or  question  may  be
   18  obtained  at  the  board  of  elections, by any voter.] Such publication
   19  shall be in two newspapers published within the county.   If the  county
   20  contains  a  city  or  cities,  at least one of such newspapers shall be
   21  published in the city, or the largest city, if there be more than one.

        EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                             [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                  LBD01027-01-1
       A. 234                              2

    1    S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 4-128 of the election law, as amended by
    2  chapter 489 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows:
    3    1.  The  board of elections of each county shall provide the requisite
    4  number of official and facsimile ballots, two cards  of  instruction  to
    5  voters  in  the  form  prescribed  by the state board of elections, FIVE
    6  COPIES OF EACH BALLOT PAMPHLET, at least one  copy  of  the  instruction
    7  booklet  for  inspectors, a sufficient number of maps, street finders or
    8  other descriptions of all of the polling places and  election  districts
    9  within  the  county  in which the polling place is located to enable the
   10  election inspectors and poll clerks to determine  the  correct  election
   11  district  and polling place for each street address within the county in
   12  which the polling place is located, distance markers, tally  sheets  and
   13  return  blanks,  pens,  black  ink,  or  ball point pens with black ink,
   14  pencils having black lead, envelopes for the  ballots  of  voters  whose
   15  registration  poll  records are not in the ledger or whose names are not
   16  on the computer generated  registration  list,  envelopes  for  returns,
   17  identification  buttons, badges or emblems for the inspectors and clerks
   18  in the form prescribed by the state board of elections  and  such  other
   19  articles  of  stationery  as  may be necessary for the proper conduct of
   20  elections, except that when a town, city or village  holds  an  election
   21  not conducted by the board of elections, the clerk of such town, city or
   22  village,  shall  provide  such  official  and  facsimile ballots and the
   23  necessary blanks, supplies and stationery for such election.
   24    S 5. Subdivision 4 of section 5-204 of the election  law  is  REPEALED
   25  and  subdivisions 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are renumbered subdivisions 2,
   26  3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
   27    S 6. Subdivision 2 of section 4-117 of the election  law  is  REPEALED
   28  and subdivision 3 is renumbered subdivision 2.
   29    S 7. Article 7  of the election law is amended by adding a new title 3
   30  to read as follows:
   31                                  TITLE III
   32                               BALLOT PAMPHLET
   33  SECTION 7-300. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS.
   34          7-302. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO PREPARE BALLOT PAMPHLET.
   35          7-304. CONTENTS OF BALLOT PAMPHLET.
   36          7-306. PREPARATION OF BALLOT PROPOSAL MATERIALS.
   37          7-308. STATE IMMUNITY.
   38          7-310. PRINTING.
   39          7-312. DISTRIBUTION.
   40          7-314. AUTHORIZATION TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES.
   41    S  7-300.  LEGISLATIVE  FINDINGS.  THE  LEGISLATURE  HEREBY  FINDS AND
   42  DECLARES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS TITLE AND OF THE BALLOT PAMPHLET IS TO
   43  FULLY AND FAIRLY INFORM THE ELECTORATE ABOUT THE ISSUES APPEARING ON THE
   44  BALLOT. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL  UNDERTAKE  ITS  RESPONSIBIL-
   45  ITIES  IN  THE  MANNER BEST CALCULATED TO, AND ALL THE PROVISIONS HEREIN
   46  SHALL BE CONSTRUED SO AS TO ACCOMPLISH THAT GOAL.
   47    S 7-302. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO PREPARE BALLOT PAMPHLET. IT SHALL
   48  BE THE DUTY OF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO  AS
   49  THE  STATE  BOARD,  TO  PREPARE AND DISTRIBUTE A BALLOT PAMPHLET, IN THE
   50  MANNER SET OUT IN THIS TITLE, FOR EVERY GENERAL  ELECTION  CONDUCTED  IN
   51  THE  STATE  IN  WHICH A BALLOT PROPOSAL IS ON THE BALLOT. NOT LATER THAN
   52  JANUARY THIRTY-FIRST OF  EACH  YEAR,  THE  STATE  BOARD  SHALL  FIX  AND
   53  ANNOUNCE THE DATES FOR ALL DEADLINES PROVIDED FOR BY THIS TITLE.
   54    S  7-304.  CONTENTS  OF  BALLOT  PAMPHLET.  EACH BALLOT PAMPHLET SHALL
   55  CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL AND NO OTHER MATERIAL. 1. AN INTRODUCTORY
   56  STATEMENT SHALL BE PREPARED BY THE STATE BOARD EXPLAINING:
       A. 234                              3

    1    (A) THE DATE AND HOURS DURING WHICH THE POLLS WILL  BE  OPEN  FOR  THE
    2  GENERAL ELECTION;
    3    (B) VOTER QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS IN NEW YORK STATE;
    4    (C) WHEN, WHERE, AND HOW TO REGISTER TO VOTE;
    5    (D) WHEN, WHERE AND HOW ABSENTEE BALLOTS ARE OBTAINED AND USED;
    6    (E)  INSTRUCTIONS  ON  HOW  TO  VOTE,  INCLUDING  THE USE OF AFFIDAVIT
    7  BALLOTS; AND
    8    (F) ANY OTHER GENERAL INFORMATION ON VOTING DEEMED NECESSARY OR USEFUL
    9  TO THE ELECTORATE OR OTHERWISE CONSISTENT WITH THE GOALS OF THIS ARTICLE
   10  BY THE STATE BOARD.
   11    2. THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT, PRINTED IN BOLDFACE TYPE, SHALL FOLLOW THE
   12  INTRODUCTORY  STATEMENT  AND  PRECEDE  MATERIALS   RELATED   TO   BALLOT
   13  PROPOSALS:
   14    IMPORTANT:  THIS PAMPHLET CONTAINS INFORMATION ONLY ON PROPOSALS WHICH
   15  WILL BE ON THE BALLOT STATEWIDE. THERE MAY ALSO BE  PROPOSALS  OF  LOCAL
   16  INTEREST  ON  THE  BALLOT  IN  YOUR  COMMUNITY. FOR INFORMATION ON THESE
   17  PROPOSALS, CONTACT YOUR LOCAL BOARD OF  ELECTIONS  AND  SEE  YOUR  LOCAL
   18  NEWSPAPER.    THE ARGUMENTS FOR AND AGAINST THE PROPOSALS DO NOT CONSTI-
   19  TUTE ENDORSEMENT BY THE STATE OF NEW YORK, NOR DOES  THE  STATE  CERTIFY
   20  THE ACCURACY OR TRUTH OF ANY STATEMENT MADE IN THOSE MATERIALS.
   21    3.  MATERIALS SHALL BE PREPARED FOR EACH BALLOT PROPOSAL TO BE SUBMIT-
   22  TED TO A STATEWIDE VOTE AT THE GENERAL ELECTION. SUCH MATERIALS SHALL BE
   23  PREPARED AS PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 7-306 OF THIS TITLE, AND SHALL INCLUDE
   24  THE FOLLOWING:
   25    (A) A TRUE COPY OF THE FORM OF THE BALLOT PROPOSAL, AS IT WILL  APPEAR
   26  ON  THE  BALLOT,  SET  OUT  IN BOLDFACE OR ITALIC TYPE AT THE TOP OF THE
   27  PAGE;
   28    (B) A CONCISE,  IMPARTIAL,  AND  UNDERSTANDABLE  EXPLANATION,  NOT  TO
   29  EXCEED  FIVE  HUNDRED WORDS, STATING THE NATURE AND EFFECT OF THE BALLOT
   30  PROPOSAL;
   31    (C) A STATEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THREE HUNDRED WORDS, OF THE MAJOR  ARGU-
   32  MENTS FOR ITS PASSAGE, CLEARLY LABELLED AS SUCH;
   33    (D)  A STATEMENT NOT TO EXCEED THREE HUNDRED WORDS, OF THE MAJOR ARGU-
   34  MENTS AGAINST ITS PASSAGE, CLEARLY LABELLED AS SUCH;
   35    (E) THE FULL TEXT OF THE BALLOT PROPOSAL, WHICH SHALL BE PRINTED SO AS
   36  TO INDICATE BY THE USE OF ITALIC TYPE THE MATTER IF ANY  THAT  WOULD  BE
   37  ADDED  TO  THE STATE CONSTITUTION OF LAW, AND BY THE USE OF BRACKETS THE
   38  MATTER IF ANY THAT WOULD BE DELETED THEREFROM;
   39    (F) AN EXPLANATION OF  SUCH  USE  OF  ITALIC  TYPE  AND  BRACKETS,  AS
   40  DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH (E) OF THIS SUBDIVISION; AND
   41    (G) THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE THAT PREPARED THE MATERIALS.
   42    S  7-306.  PREPARATION  OF BALLOT PROPOSAL MATERIALS. 1. ALL MATERIALS
   43  REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPHS (A), (E), (F) AND (G)  OF  SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF
   44  SECTION  7-304  OF  THIS  TITLE  SHALL BE PREPARED BY THE STATE BOARD OF
   45  ELECTIONS, AND ALL MATERIALS REQUIRED BY PARAGRAPHS (B), (C) AND (D)  OF
   46  SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF  SECTION 7-304 OF THIS TITLE WITH RESPECT TO EACH
   47  BALLOT PROPOSAL, SHALL BE PREPARED BY A SEPARATE COMMITTEE CONSISTING OF
   48  SEVEN MEMBERS. THE MAJORITY LEADER  OF  THE  SENATE  SHALL  APPOINT  TWO
   49  MEMBERS  TO  SERVE ON SUCH COMMITTEE.  THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL
   50  APPOINT TWO MEMBERS TO SUCH COMMITTEE. THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE SENATE
   51  AND THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE ASSEMBLY SHALL JOINTLY APPOINT TWO  ADDI-
   52  TIONAL  PERSONS  TO  SUCH  COMMITTEE.  IN MAKING THEIR APPOINTMENTS, THE
   53  MAJORITY AND THE MINORITY LEADERS OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER  OF  THE
   54  ASSEMBLY  AND  THE  MINORITY  LEADER  OF  THE ASSEMBLY SHALL ENDEAVOR TO
   55  CREATE A COMMITTEE WITH A BROAD RANGE OF OPINIONS ON  THE  MEASURE.  THE
   56  SEVENTH  MEMBER  SHALL  BE  THE  ATTORNEY GENERAL AND SHALL SERVE AS THE
       A. 234                              4

    1  CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMITTEE. VACANCIES SHALL  BE  FILLED  IN  THE  SAME
    2  MANNER  AS THE ORIGINAL APPOINTMENT. MEMBERS WHO ARE NOT STATE OFFICIALS
    3  SHALL BE ENTITLED TO ACTUAL  AND  NECESSARY  EXPENSES  INCURRED  IN  THE
    4  PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES.
    5    2.  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL MAKE STAFF AVAILABLE TO ASSIST
    6  THE COMMITTEE IN CARRYING OUT ITS RESPONSIBILITIES.
    7    3. THE COMMITTEE MUST MEET WITHIN TEN DAYS AFTER EACH PROPOSITION  HAS
    8  PASSED  BOTH  HOUSES  OF  THE  LEGISLATURE TO DETERMINE WHO SHALL BE THE
    9  PRINCIPAL PROPONENTS AND  OPPONENTS  OF  EACH  MEASURE.  SUCH  PRINCIPAL
   10  PROPONENT OR OPPONENT MAY BE A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE OR ANY REGISTERED
   11  VOTER IN THE STATE.
   12    4.  THE  COMMITTEE  SHALL ANNOUNCE WITH SUCH NOTICE AS THE STATE BOARD
   13  SHALL SPECIFY, ITS PRELIMINARY DRAFT OF THE  EXPLANATORY  STATEMENT  AND
   14  THE  ARGUMENTS  OPPOSING  AND PROPOSING THE BALLOT PROPOSALS AS PROVIDED
   15  FOR IN PARAGRAPHS (B), (C) AND (D) OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION 7-304
   16  OF THIS TITLE, NOT LATER THAN THE DATE FIXED BY THE STATE BOARD PURSUANT
   17  TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7-302 OF THIS TITLE. ANY  PERSON  MAY  FILE
   18  WITH THE COMMITTEE A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF SUGGESTED CHANGES AND ALL SUCH
   19  STATEMENTS  SUBMITTED  NOT  LATER THAN THE DATE FIXED BY THE STATE BOARD
   20  SHALL BE CONSIDERED BY SUCH COMMITTEE.
   21    5. IN COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPHS (C) AND (D) OF SUBDIVISION  THREE  OF
   22  SECTION  7-304  OF THIS TITLE, THE COMMITTEE MAY SELECT NO MORE THAN TWO
   23  ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY PROPONENTS AND OPPONENTS OF EVERY  MEASURE  TO  BE
   24  SUBMITTED  TO  THE  VOTERS.  IF  NO  ARGUMENT  IS DEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR
   25  SELECTION, THE COMMITTEE MAY RESERVE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR  COMPOSITION
   26  OF  EITHER  OR  BOTH. IN MAKING ITS SELECTIONS, THE COMMITTEE SHALL GIVE
   27  PRIORITY TO ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY ORGANIZATIONS  OVER  CONSIDERATION  OF
   28  ARGUMENTS  ADVANCED BY INDIVIDUALS. THE STATE BOARD SHALL INCLUDE IN THE
   29  BALLOT PAMPHLET ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE PRINTED ARGUMENT RELATING TO THE
   30  MEASURE, THE NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION, IF ANY,  ADVANCING  THE  ARGUMENT
   31  AND WHETHER THE ARGUMENT SUPPORTS OR OPPOSES THE MEASURE. IF THE COMMIT-
   32  TEE  ITSELF  HAS WRITTEN THE ARGUMENT, A DISCLAIMER IN SUBSTANTIALLY THE
   33  SAME FORM SHALL BE PRINTED IMMEDIATELY BELOW THE ARGUMENT:
   34    THE PRINTING OF THIS ARGUMENT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE  AN  ENDORSEMENT  BY
   35  THE  STATE OF NEW YORK, NOR DOES THE STATE WARRANT THE ACCURACY OR TRUTH
   36  OF ANY STATEMENT MADE IN THE ARGUMENT.
   37    6. THE COMMITTEE MAY REJECT A STATEMENT OR PORTIONS THEREOF, IF IT:
   38    (A) CONTAINS ANY LANGUAGE THAT THE COMMITTEE, AT ITS  DISCRETION,  HAS
   39  CONSTRUED NOT TO ACCOMPLISH THE GOALS OF THIS TITLE;
   40    (B)  CONTAINS ANY LANGUAGE WHICH MAY NOT BE LEGALLY CIRCULATED THROUGH
   41  THE MAILS; OR
   42    (C) IS SUBMITTED AFTER THE DATE SPECIFIED BY THE BOARD.
   43    7. THEREAFTER, THE COMMITTEE SHALL MAKE ANY CHANGES IN  THE  MATERIALS
   44  AS  IT  CONSIDERS  PROPER AND SHALL FILE THE FINAL SET OF MATERIALS WITH
   45  THE STATE BOARD NOT LATER THAN THE DATE SET BY SUCH  BOARD  PURSUANT  TO
   46  THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 7-302 OF THIS TITLE.
   47    8.  THE  PRELIMINARY MATERIALS AND THE FINAL SET OF MATERIALS SHALL BE
   48  CONCURRED ON AND CERTIFIED BY THE COMMITTEE OR AT LEAST BY FOUR  OF  ITS
   49  MEMBERS.  IF  A MEMBER DOES NOT CONCUR, A STATEMENT SHALL SHOW ONLY THAT
   50  HE DISSENTS AND WHERE APPLICABLE, THAT HE WAS APPOINTED AS  A  PROPONENT
   51  OR OPPONENT OF THE MEASURE.
   52    9. THE STATE BOARD SHALL CERTIFY AND MAKE PUBLIC THE FINAL CONTENTS OF
   53  THE  BALLOT  PAMPHLET  NO  LATER  THAN SIXTY DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION AT
   54  WHICH THE MEASURE IS TO APPEAR ON THE BALLOT.
   55    S 7-308. STATE IMMUNITY. NO CAUSE OF ACTION SHALL  ARISE  AGAINST  THE
   56  STATE OF NEW YORK OR ANY AGENCY OR EMPLOYEE THEREOF WITH RESPECT TO SUCH
       A. 234                              5

    1  BALLOT  PAMPHLET  EXCEPT  AS CAUSED BY THE NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL ACTS OF
    2  THE STATE OR OF ITS AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES, NOR MAY A CAUSE OF ACTION ARISE
    3  AGAINST THE STATE OF NEW YORK OR  ANY  AGENCY  OR  EMPLOYEE  THEREOF  BY
    4  VIRTUE OF STATEMENTS PREPARED BY ANY COMMITTEE CONSTITUTED UNDER SECTION
    5  7-306 OF THIS TITLE.
    6    S  7-310. PRINTING. 1. THE STATE BOARD SHALL CAUSE THE BALLOT PAMPHLET
    7  TO BE PRINTED IN AS LEGIBLE A MANNER AS  POSSIBLE  CONSISTENT  WITH  THE
    8  PURPOSE OF THIS TITLE. IN THE EVENT THAT THE STATE BOARD DETERMINES THAT
    9  THE  PRINTING OF THE BALLOT PAMPHLET WOULD BE MORE EFFICIENT AND ECONOM-
   10  ICAL IF DONE BY THE LOCAL BOARDS OF ELECTIONS, THE STATE BOARD IS HEREBY
   11  AUTHORIZED TO INSTRUCT ALL BOARDS  OF  ELECTIONS  TO  PRINT  THE  BALLOT
   12  PAMPHLET. SHOULD THE STATE BOARD SO INSTRUCT THE BOARDS OF ELECTIONS, IT
   13  SHALL  PROMPTLY  REIMBURSE  EACH BOARD FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF PRODUCTION
   14  INCURRED BY SAID BOARD.
   15    2. THE STATE BOARD OR THE LOCAL BOARDS OF ELECTIONS AS PROVIDED FOR IN
   16  SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION, SHALL ALSO  PREPARE  AND  CAUSE  TO  BE
   17  PRINTED, AND DISTRIBUTE TO SUCH VOTERS AS IT DEEMS APPROPRIATE, A TRANS-
   18  LATION  OF  THE  BALLOT  PAMPHLET  INTO  SPANISH AND ANY OTHER LANGUAGES
   19  REQUIRED TO COMPLY WITH THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED.
   20    S 7-312. DISTRIBUTION. 1. THERE SHALL BE NO CHARGE FOR  SINGLE  COPIES
   21  OF THE BALLOT PAMPHLET.
   22    2.  IN  EVERY  GENERAL  ELECTION  IN WHICH A BALLOT PROPOSAL IS ON THE
   23  STATEWIDE BALLOT, THE STATE BOARD SHALL  CAUSE  A  COPY  OF  THE  BALLOT
   24  PAMPHLET  TO  BE  DISTRIBUTED  TO  AT LEAST ONE REGISTERED VOTER IN EACH
   25  HOUSEHOLD. IN THE EVENT THE STATE BOARD DETERMINES THAT DISTRIBUTION  OF
   26  THE  BALLOT  PAMPHLET  WOULD BE MORE EFFICIENT AND ECONOMICAL IF DONE BY
   27  THE LOCAL BOARDS OF ELECTIONS, THE STATE BOARD IS HEREBY  AUTHORIZED  TO
   28  INSTRUCT ALL BOARDS OF ELECTIONS TO DISTRIBUTE THE BALLOT PAMPHLET TO AT
   29  LEAST  ONE REGISTERED VOTER IN EACH HOUSEHOLD. SHOULD THE STATE BOARD SO
   30  INSTRUCT THE BOARDS OF ELECTIONS, IT SHALL PROVIDE A  SUFFICIENT  NUMBER
   31  OF  BALLOT PAMPHLETS TO EACH BOARD OF ELECTIONS AND SHALL PROMPTLY REIM-
   32  BURSE EACH BOARD FOR THE ACTUAL COST OF POSTAGE INCURRED BY  SAID  BOARD
   33  IN DISTRIBUTING THE PAMPHLET PROVIDED THAT SAID BOARD UTILIZE THE LOWEST
   34  FEASIBLE  POSTAGE  RATE CHARGED BY THE UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. THE
   35  DISTRIBUTION OF THE BALLOT PAMPHLETS TO REGISTERED VOTERS OR  HOUSEHOLDS
   36  SHALL BE MADE BETWEEN TWENTY AND FORTY DAYS BEFORE THE ELECTION TO WHICH
   37  THEY PERTAIN.
   38    3.  SUFFICIENT COPIES SHALL ALSO BE PROVIDED TO BOARDS OF ELECTIONS TO
   39  PERMIT EACH SUCH BOARD TO SUPPLY FIVE COPIES TO EACH ELECTION DISTRICT.
   40    4. IN ADDITION TO PROVIDING A  SUFFICIENT  NUMBER  OF  COPIES  OF  THE
   41  PAMPHLET  TO COMPLY WITH SUBDIVISIONS TWO AND THREE OF THIS SECTION, THE
   42  STATE BOARD SHALL CAUSE TO BE PRINTED AT LEAST FIFTY THOUSAND ADDITIONAL
   43  COPIES AND PROVIDE THEM TO THOSE PERSONS, ORGANIZATIONS AND OTHER  ENTI-
   44  TIES  THAT REQUEST THEM, AT NO CHARGE, PROVIDED THAT THE STATE BOARD MAY
   45  IMPOSE A CHARGE FOR BULK ORDERS OF GREATER THAN FIVE COPIES AND MAY  SET
   46  LIMITS  ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF COPIES THAT ANY SINGLE INDIVIDUAL, ORGAN-
   47  IZATION OR OTHER ENTITY MAY OBTAIN UPON REQUEST.
   48    S 7-314. AUTHORIZATION TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES. THE LEGISLATIVE BODIES OF
   49  ALL CITIES, TOWNS AND COUNTIES ARE HEREBY  AUTHORIZED  TO  ENACT  LEGIS-
   50  LATION  CONSISTENT  WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE WHICH WOULD ENABLE
   51  QUESTIONS, PROPOSITIONS, AND ISSUES ON THE BALLOT IN SUCH CITIES,  TOWNS
   52  AND  COUNTIES  TO  BE PRESENTED TO VOTERS BY MEANS OF A BALLOT PAMPHLET.
   53  ANY SUCH PAMPHLET MAY, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE STATE BOARD,  BE  MAILED
   54  TOGETHER  WITH  THE STATEWIDE BALLOT PAMPHLET. THE ADDITIONAL EXPENSE OF
   55  PREPARING, PRINTING AND DISTRIBUTING SUCH A PAMPHLET SHALL  BE  PAID  BY
   56  SUCH CITY, TOWN OR COUNTY.
       A. 234                              6

    1    S 8. Subdivision 2 of section 16-100 of the election law is amended to
    2  read as follows:
    3    2.    The county court is vested with jurisdiction to summarily deter-
    4  mine any question of law or fact except proceedings as to  a  nomination
    5  or  election at a primary election or a nomination at a judicial conven-
    6  tion, proceedings as to  the  casting  and  canvass  of  ballots  [and],
    7  proceedings  for  examination or preservation of ballots AND PROCEEDINGS
    8  AS TO THE CONTENTS OF STATEMENTS ON CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, QUESTIONS
    9  AND PROPOSITIONS.
   10    S 9. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  16-105  to
   11  read as follows:
   12    S  16-105.  PROCEEDINGS AS TO THE CONTENT OF BALLOT PAMPHLETS. 1.  ANY
   13  PERSON ELIGIBLE TO VOTE ON ANY BALLOT PROPOSAL CONTAINED IN  ANY  BALLOT
   14  PAMPHLET PREPARED PURSUANT TO TITLE THREE OF ARTICLE SEVEN OF THIS CHAP-
   15  TER  MAY INSTITUTE A PROCEEDING AS TO THE FACTUAL ACCURACY OF STATEMENTS
   16  ON CONSTITUTIONAL  AMENDMENTS,  QUESTIONS  AND  PROPOSITIONS.  ANY  SUCH
   17  PROCEEDING  SHALL  BE  BROUGHT  IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW
   18  YORK, ALBANY COUNTY.
   19    2. A PROCEEDING PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS  SECTION  MUST  BE
   20  INSTITUTED  NO  LATER  THAN TEN DAYS AFTER THE STATE BOARD CERTIFIES THE
   21  FINAL CONTENTS OF THE BALLOT PAMPHLET. IF THE COURT FINDS THAT THE  FORM
   22  AND  CONTENTS  DO  NOT  COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF ARTICLE SEVEN OF
   23  THIS CHAPTER, OR  FINDS  BY  CLEAR  AND  CONVINCING  EVIDENCE  THAT  THE
   24  LANGUAGE  OF  THE  PAMPHLET  IS FALSE OR MISLEADING, IT SHALL ORDER SUCH
   25  CHANGES AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY, PROVIDED THAT ANY CHANGES SO ORDERED WILL
   26  NOT SUBSTANTIALLY INTERFERE WITH THE PRINTING AND  DISTRIBUTION  OF  THE
   27  PAMPHLET AS REQUIRED BY LAW.
   28    3.  A  FINAL ORDER IN ANY PROCEEDING UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE MADE,
   29  IF POSSIBLE, AT LEAST FIFTY DAYS BEFORE THE GENERAL ELECTION  FOR  WHICH
   30  THE PAMPHLET WAS PREPARED.
   31    S  10.  On  or  before  March  1,  two thousand seventeen the board of
   32  elections shall submit a report to  the  governor  and  the  legislature
   33  evaluating  the  effectiveness of ballot pamphlets as a tool to increase
   34  voter awareness,  registration  and  participation.  Such  report  shall
   35  include  statistics  on voter participation both before and after ballot
   36  pamphlets were distributed and findings and recommendations on  continu-
   37  ing and improving title III of article 7 of the election law.
   38    S 11. This act shall take effect April 1, 2013 and shall expire May 1,
   39  2017,  when  upon  such  date the provisions of this act shall be deemed
   40  repealed.
         REPEAL NOTE.--Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 4-116  of  the  election
       law,  proposed  to  be repealed by this act, provides for publication of
       proposed constitutional amendments.
         Paragraphs c and d of subdivision 1 of section 4-108 of  the  election
       law,  proposed  to be repealed by this act, provide for a transmittal to
       county boards of an abstract of proposed constitutional  amendments  and
       for the form of the proposed constitutional amendment.
         Subdivision  4  of  section  5-204 of the election law, proposed to be
       repealed by this act, provides for distribution of  copies  of  proposed
       constitutional amendments and questions at local registration.
         Subdivision  2  of  section  4-117 of the election law, proposed to be
       repealed by this act, provides for mailing copies of proposed  constitu-
       tional amendments and questions to registered voters.
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