New York City Council Committee on Governmental Operations
Joan L. Millman
Member of Assembly, 52nd Assembly District
My name is Assemblywoman Joan Millman and I represent the 52nd Assembly District in Brooklyn. I wish to thank Chairwoman Gale Brewer and my colleagues in the City Council for hosting today’s hearing.
As former Chair of the Assembly Standing Committee on Election Law, I would like to discuss two bills that came before my committee and were later passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. If these two pieces of legislation were put into practice I know the New York City Board of Elections would have a larger pool of potential election inspectors and poll clerks.
The first bill is Assembly Bill A4467-A/Senate Bill S5172 which was signed into law in 2010. This bill permits certain students enrolled in school, with parental consent, to serve as election inspectors or poll clerks. Each student who is in school while serving is to be recorded as in attendance. Recruitment of election inspectors and poll clerks to work our elections is a difficult task. This legislation helps reduce widespread shortages while providing a hands-on learning experience, encouraging these students to become voters in the future.
The second bill, Assembly Bill A1308/Senate Bill S1836 was also signed into law in 2010. This legislation authorizes boards of elections to employ election inspectors to work half-day shifts with adjusted compensation. The federal Help America Vote Act required that local boards of elections have flexibility when employing election inspectors. This bill provides that flexibility. Many of the election inspectors and poll clerks in my district are senior citizens who find working from 5am to 10pm exhausting. The law allows individuals to split their day with friends or family members. This would also make working the polls more appealing to individuals as they would not have to commit as many hours on Election Day.
In closing, I would like to strongly urge the New York City Board of Elections to start utilizing these two pieces of legislation as soon as possible.