A04495 Summary:

BILL NOA04495
 
SAME ASNo Same As
 
SPONSORO'Donnell
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Add Art 18 §§18-100 - 18-112, El L
 
Establishes a ranked choice voting method to be implemented by local governments for use in general elections, special elections and primaries within the state.
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A04495 Actions:

BILL NOA04495
 
02/04/2021referred to election law
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A04495 Committee Votes:

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A04495 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A04495 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          4495
 
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 4, 2021
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  O'DONNELL  --  read once and referred to the
          Committee on Election Law
 
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to establishing  a  ranked
          choice  voting  method  for  general  elections, special elections and
          primaries within the state

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  The election law is amended by adding a new article 18 to
     2  read as follows:
     3                                 ARTICLE 18
     4                         RANKED CHOICE VOTING METHOD
     5  Section 18-100. Definitions.
     6          18-102. Ranked choice voting method for state elections.
     7          18-104. Ranked  choice  voting  method   permitted   for   local
     8                    elections.
     9          18-106. Ranked choice voting method; ballots.
    10          18-108. Ranked choice voting method; procedures.
    11          18-110. Voter education.
    12          18-112. Construction.
    13    §  18-100.  Definitions. 1. "Ranked choice voting method" shall mean a
    14  method of casting and tabulating votes that simulates the ballot  counts
    15  that  would  occur  if  all  voters  participated  in a series of runoff
    16  elections, whereby the voters rank candidates according to the order  of
    17  their choice and, if no candidate has received a majority of votes cast,
    18  then  the candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated and
    19  the remaining candidates advance to another  counting  round.  In  every
    20  round, each ballot is counted as one vote for the highest ranked advanc-
    21  ing candidate.
    22    2.  "Local  government"  shall  mean a county, city, town, village, or
    23  school district.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08751-01-1

        A. 4495                             2
 
     1    § 18-102. Ranked choice voting method  for  state  elections.  1.  The
     2  state  board  of  elections is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and
     3  regulations mandating all county board of elections to conduct all state
     4  elections, including general elections, special elections and primaries,
     5  to  be  held  in  the  year  two thousand twenty-three and for all state
     6  elections held thereafter, utilizing the ranked choice voting method.
     7    2. The provisions of this article shall apply only when three or  more
     8  candidates  have been nominated or designated for a state elected office
     9  enumerated in subdivision one of this section.
    10    § 18-104. Ranked choice voting method permitted for  local  elections.
    11  1.  For  all local elections to be held in the year two thousand twenty-
    12  three and for all local elections held thereafter, local governments are
    13  hereby permitted to conduct elections utilizing the ranked choice voting
    14  method for all local elections in the state.
    15    2. In order to implement the ranked choice voting method  as  provided
    16  in  subdivision  one  of  this  section, the governing body of the local
    17  government shall adopt a resolution implementing the ranked choice meth-
    18  od as authorized by this article. Such resolution shall be subject to  a
    19  permissive referendum.
    20    3.  Such  resolution  shall  be  adopted by the governing board of the
    21  local government at least one  hundred  eighty  days  before  the  local
    22  election for which ranked choice voting shall be utilized.
    23    4.  The provisions of this article shall apply only when three or more
    24  candidates have been nominated or designated for an office enumerated in
    25  subdivision one of this section, and the governing  body  of  the  local
    26  government  has  enacted  a  resolution  implementing  the ranked choice
    27  voting method.
    28    § 18-106. Ranked choice voting method; ballots. 1. For offices subject
    29  to the ranked choice voting method, the ballot shall be simple and  easy
    30  to  understand  and  allow  a  voter to rank candidates for an office in
    31  order of choice. A voter may include no more than one write-in candidate
    32  among that voter's ranked choices for each office.  If feasible, ballots
    33  shall be designed so that a voter may mark that voter's first choices in
    34  the same manner as that for offices not elected  by  the  ranked  choice
    35  voting method.
    36    2.  Instructions  on  the  ballot  shall  conform substantially to the
    37  following specifications, although subject  to  modification,  based  on
    38  ballot design and voting machine:
    39    "Vote  for  candidates  by  indicating your first-choice candidates in
    40  order of preference. Indicate your first choice by  marking  the  number
    41  "1"  beside a candidate's name, your second choice by marking the number
    42  "2" beside a candidate's name, your third choice by marking  the  number
    43  "3"  beside  a  candidate's  name  and so on, for as many choices as you
    44  wish. You may choose to rank only one candidate, but ranking  additional
    45  candidates  will not hurt the chances of your first-choice candidate. Do
    46  not mark the same number beside more than one  candidate.  Do  not  skip
    47  numbers."
    48    3.  A  sample ballot for an office subject to the ranked choice voting
    49  method shall illustrate the  voting  procedure  for  the  ranked  choice
    50  voting  method.  Such a sample ballot shall be included with each absen-
    51  tee ballot.
    52    4. The appropriate election official for a local government where  the
    53  ranked choice voting method has been authorized by such local government
    54  shall  insure  that the necessary voting system, vote tabulation system,
    55  or other similar or related equipment shall be available to  accommodate
    56  the ranked choice voting method.

        A. 4495                             3
 
     1    §  18-108.  Ranked  choice  voting  method;  procedures. The following
     2  procedures shall apply in determining the winner in an election  for  an
     3  office subject to the ranked choice voting method:
     4    1.  The  first choice marked on each ballot shall be counted initially
     5  by election officials. If one candidate receives a majority of the votes
     6  cast, excluding blank and void ballots, that candidate shall be declared
     7  elected.
     8    2. If no candidate receives a majority of first-choice votes  cast  at
     9  the  end of the initial count, the candidate receiving the fewest first-
    10  choice votes shall be eliminated. Each  vote  cast  for  the  eliminated
    11  candidate shall be transferred to the candidate who was the voter's next
    12  choice on the ballot.
    13    3.  Candidates  with the fewest votes shall continue to be eliminated,
    14  with the votes for such candidates transferred to the candidate who  was
    15  each  voter's  next  choice  on  the ballot until a candidate receives a
    16  majority of the votes cast, excluding blank and  void  ballots.  When  a
    17  candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, that candidate shall be
    18  declared elected.
    19    4. If a ballot has no more available choices ranked on it, that ballot
    20  shall  be  declared exhausted. Where a ballot skips one or more numbers,
    21  that ballot shall be declared exhausted when the skipping of numbers  is
    22  reached.  A ballot with the same number for two or more candidates shall
    23  be declared exhausted when these double numbers are reached.
    24    5. In the case of a tie between candidates for last  place,  and  thus
    25  elimination,  occurring at any stage in the tabulation, the tie shall be
    26  resolved so as to eliminate the candidate who received the least  number
    27  of  votes  at  the previous stage of tabulation. In the case of a tie to
    28  which a previous stage does not apply, or such previous stage was also a
    29  tie, the tie shall be resolved by drawing  lots.  However,  if  the  tie
    30  occurs  when  there  are only two candidates remaining, the tie shall be
    31  resolved in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
    32    § 18-110. Voter education. Where  a  local  government  shall  pass  a
    33  resolution  authorizing  the  ranked choice voting method, the governing
    34  body shall conduct a voter  education  campaign  on  the  ranked  choice
    35  voting  system  to  familiarize voters with the ballot design, method of
    36  voting, and advantages of determining a  majority  winner  in  a  single
    37  election.  The governing body shall use public service announcements, as
    38  well as seek other media cooperation to the maximum extent practicable.
    39    § 18-112. Construction. All state and  local  elections  held  by  the
    40  ranked choice voting method pursuant to this article shall be subject to
    41  all  the  other provisions of this chapter and all other applicable laws
    42  relating to elections, so far as is applicable and not inconsistent with
    43  this chapter.
    44    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  apply  to  all
    45  elections held in the state on or after January 1, 2023.
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