Provides for the declination of a designation as a candidate or nomination for a party position where the person so nominated or designated has been arrested or charged with one or more state or federal misdemeanors or felonies, or convicted of a crime after designation.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10135
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to
providing for the declination of a designation as a candidate or nomi-
nation for a party position under special circumstances
This bill would permit a person designated as a candidate for nomination
or for party position, or nominated for an office, to decline the nomi-
nation when the person has been arrested or charged with one or more
misdemeanors or felonies, either by the filing of an accusatory instru-
ment in state court or by the filing of a criminal complaint or indict-
ment in federal court. Additionally, the bill permits declination when
the person has been convicted of one or more misdemeanors or felonies
under state or federal law. The qualifying circumstances to be eligible
for declination under this section must occur after such person's desig-
nation or nomination for office.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends section 6-146 of the Election Law by
adding a new subdivision 7. It permits a person designated as a candi-
date for nomination or for party position, or nominated for an office,
to decline the nomination under specifically enumerated circumstances.
To decline a nomination, the bill requires the candidate to sign and
file the certificate of declination with the board of elections no later
than the last day to certify ballot contests pursuant to section 4-110
and 4-112 of the Election Law.
A person is eligible to file a certificate of designation when the
person has been arrested or charged with one or more misdemeanors or
felonies, either by the filing of an accusatory instrument in a state
court or of a criminal complaint or indictment in federal court, or when
the person has been convicted of one or more misdemeanors or felonies
under state or federal law, at any time after such person's designation
or nomination for office.
This is a new bill. The bill adds a new reason and a timeframe to
decline a designation or nomination to the existing provisions of
section 6-146 of the Election Law. Following a declination that occurs
under this section of law, a vacancy can be substituted up to four days
following the declination pursuant to Election Law section 6-158.
Election Law Section 6-158(3) states that "A certificate to fill a
vacancy in a designation caused by declination shall be filed not later
than the fourth day after the last day to decline." Any vacancy filled
by declination under this new legislation provides a shorter time frame
to fill a vacancy than one that occurs through death or disqualifica-
tion, which can be filled up to ten days later, and as late as up to
four days before the primary election.
The Election Law already contains several relevant notice provisions
that make clear that a substitution to fill a vacancy can happen on or
after the certification deadline in Election Law sections 4-110 and
4-112. Election Law section 6-146(2) delineates a process for notifica-
tion to local boards of elections upon the declination of a candidate
after the ballot has been finalized. Additionally, Election Law section
6-148 (6) states that "
when a certificate of a new designation or
nomination shall be filed with the state board of elections after such
board has given official notice, pursuant to the provisions of this
chapter, to the several boards of elections, of the names to appear on
the ballot at the election to which such new designation or nomination
applies, such board shall forthwith certify to the proper board of
elections the name of the person designated."
Currently, a candidate who has been arrested, indicted or convicted of
criminal charges between their nomination for office and the deadline
for certifying the ballot on which they will appear cannot be removed
from that ballot, even if they wish to do so voluntarily. This ensures
that the candidate will remain on the ballot, with no chance to decline
the nomination before the election begins, despite the fact that their
arrest, indictment, or conviction may result in their inability or
unwillingness to hold the office for which they have been nominated.
This scenario deprives voters of a fair choice during an election and
dilutes the democratic process. Tnstead of being able to vote for a
candidate who will assume the office they were nominated for, voters may
be forced to consider candidates who are unwilling or unable to serve in
the office for which they would appear on the ballot.
Democracy demands that voters should be entitled to vote for candidates
who can properly assume office, and have not been arrested, indicted or
convicted of criminal charges that may prevent them from serving in the
office for which they are a candidate.
This bill will fix this problem by permitting candidates to decline a
nomination when the person has been arrested, charged or convicted of
one or more a misdemeanors or felonies in either state or federal court
and provide a pathway for placing a new candidate on the ballot for
voters to consider on Election Day.
This bill is effective immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
April 29, 2022
Introduced by M. of A. PAULIN, WALKER, JACKSON -- (at request of the
Governor) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law
AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to providing for the
declination of a designation as a candidate or nomination for a party
position under special circumstances
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 6-146 of the election law is amended by adding a
2 new subdivision 7 to read as follows:
3 7. A person designated as a candidate for nomination or for party
4 position, or nominated for an office, may, in a certificate signed and
5 acknowledged by such person and filed no later than the last day to
6 certify the ballot pursuant to section 4-110 or section 4-112 of this
7 chapter, decline the designation or nomination under the following
9 (a) where the person so nominated or designated has been arrested or
10 charged with one or more misdemeanors or felonies by the filing of an
11 accusatory instrument in a state court at any time after such person's
12 designation or nomination; or
13 (b) where the person so nominated or designated has been arrested or
14 charged with one or more misdemeanors or felonies by the filing of a
15 criminal complaint, information or indictment in federal court at any
16 time after such person's designation or nomination; or
17 (c) where the person so nominated or designated has been convicted of
18 one or more misdemeanors or felonies under state or federal law at any
19 time after such person's designation or nomination.
20 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.