Assemblyman Dennis H. Gabryszak (D-Cheektowaga) announced the Assembly has passed legislation he introduced to ensure that all victims of domestic violence may vote at the Board of Elections by paper ballot (A.7463).
“Domestic violence is much more than physical abuse,” Assemblyman Gabryszak said. “In fact, many battered women who live in danger and fear have never been physically assaulted. Victims of domestic violence are often under the emotional, psychological and economic control of their partners – and it may or may not lead to physical abuse.”
Chapter 702 of 1996 permits victims of domestic violence who have fled the family residence because of danger to themselves or members of their families to cast their votes at the Board of Elections by paper ballot, rather than being required to appear at the polling place where their abusers might be able to stalk them.
This new legislation clarifies that domestic violence includes such things as "harassment" and "menacing" as well as actual physical abuse. The definition of family members is clarified to include ex-spouse, the parents of a child and residents of the same household.
“Safety is the number one priority for someone in an abusive relationship. This legislation will help victims of domestic violence escape and get the help they need,” Gabryszak said.
Assemblyman Gabryszak urged victims of domestic violence to call the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906 or the Erie County Family Justice Center Hotline at 716-558-SAFE.