Raia: Assembly Passes Bill Giving Special Ballots to Victims of Domestic Violence

March 27, 2008

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,I,C,WF-East Northport) today announced the state Assembly has passed legislation that he co-sponsored, which permits victims of domestic violence, who have fled their family residence due to an abusive and dangerous relationship, to cast their votes with 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.

Under current state law, if you are going to be present in the county where you live and you are not disabled, you cannot vote by absentee ballot, you must vote in person. This legislation, if it becomes law, will waive that requirement for victims of abuse.

“Physical abuse can have many definitions,” said Raia. “It includes things such as harassment and menacing, as well as physical abuse. I am proud to be a sponsor of such legislation that protects these individuals from harm. No one should have to go through life living in fear or feel like someone has the power to control them. This legislation is a positive step toward giving people the peace of mind they deserve.”

Although the legislation needs to be passed by the state Senate, Raia expects the bill to meet little resistance and should pass shortly. For further information on this or any state matter, you may call Assemblyman Andrew Raia’s district office at (631) 261-4151.