S01447 Summary:

Amd 6-162, El L; rpld 3-705 sub 5, 3-709 sub 6, NYC Ad Cd
Enacts the "NYC instant run-off voting act"; requires an instant run-off in any municipal election in New York City; provides that if one candidate for any municipal office receives a majority of first preferences, such candidate is elected; provides, however, if no candidate is the first choice of at least half the voters, the instant run-off re-tabulation shall be performed and then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated; makes related changes.
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S01447 Actions:

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S01447 Committee Votes:

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S01447 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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S01447 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 14, 2019
        Introduced  by  Sen. SANDERS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections
        AN ACT to amend the election law,  in  relation  to  enacting  the  "NYC
          instant  run-off  voting  act"; and to repeal subdivision 5 of section
          3-705 and subdivision 6 of section 3-709 of the administrative code of
          the city of New York relating to certain run-off elections in the city
          of New York
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Short title.  This act shall be known and may be cited as
     2  the "NYC instant run-off voting act".
     3    § 2. Legislative findings. The legislature hereby finds  and  declares
     4  that  the  run-off system of voting in primary elections for the offices
     5  of mayor, comptroller and public advocate in New  York  city  is  unduly
     6  expensive  and  generates  an unacceptably low turnout of voters.  Addi-
     7  tionally, the absence of any run-off system at all for  the  offices  of
     8  borough  president  and  council member has resulted in candidates being
     9  elected with much less than a majority of the votes  cast,  and  signif-
    10  icantly  dilutes minority voting power when multiple minority candidates
    11  compete for the same office. In an "instant run-off" system, voters rank
    12  candidates by order of preference, and if no candidate receives a major-
    13  ity of first-place votes, the top two candidates have the votes of elim-
    14  inated candidates redistributed to them in order of each voter's prefer-
    15  ence. The candidate with the most votes after this "second round" is the
    16  winner. An instant run-off voting system eliminates the need for a cost-
    17  ly and sparsely attended second election, rewards candidates who broaden
    18  their appeal as widely as possible, and promotes minority representation
    19  by limiting the dilution of minority voting power when multiple minority
    20  candidates are on the ballot for the same office.
    21    § 3. Section 6-162 of the election law, as amended by chapter  424  of
    22  the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 1447                             2
     1    § 6-162. [Primary; New York City, run-off. 1. In the city of New York,
     2  when  no  candidate  for  the  office of mayor, public advocate or comp-
     3  troller receives forty percent or more of the votes cast by the  members
     4  of  a  political  party for such office in a city-wide primary election,
     5  the  board  of  elections  of  such city shall conduct a run-off primary
     6  election between the two candidates receiving  the  greatest  number  of
     7  votes for the same office.
     8    2.  In  any  jurisdiction  that  authorizes a run-off election after a
     9  primary election, if one of the two candidates  receiving  the  greatest
    10  number  of  votes  for  the  same  office  files with the local board of
    11  elections a certificate of withdrawal within three days  following  such
    12  primary  election, the board shall accept and certify the withdrawal and
    13  declare the remaining candidate the winner and no such  run-off  primary
    14  election shall be held. Such certificate of withdrawal shall be in affi-
    15  davit   or  affirmation  form  as  determined  by  the  state  board  of
    16  elections.] Instant run-off voting in New York city.  1.  Elections  for
    17  municipal  office  in the city of New York shall use an "instant run-off
    18  voting" system.
    19    2. On every ballot using instant run-off voting, the voters  shall  be
    20  given  the  opportunity to rank candidates in the order of their prefer-
    21  ence.
    22    3. The following procedures shall be  used  to  determine  winners  in
    23  instant run-off voting:
    24    (a)  The  ballots  shall  be  counted initially according to the first
    25  choice marked on each ballot. If one candidate receives forty percent of
    26  the votes cast, the board of elections shall certify that  candidate  as
    27  the winner.
    28    (b)  If  at  the  end  of  the initial round of counting, no candidate
    29  received forty percent of first choices, all candidates shall be  elimi-
    30  nated except the two candidates with the greatest number of first choic-
    31  es.  The  board of elections shall then conduct a second, final round of
    32  counting in which ballots that rank eliminated  candidates  as  a  first
    33  choice and that indicate one of the uneliminated candidates as an alter-
    34  native  choice  shall  be counted as votes for whichever of the unelimi-
    35  nated candidates is ranked higher on each ballot. In the  second  round,
    36  each  ballot  is counted as one vote for the highest ranked candidate on
    37  that ballot who has not been eliminated. The candidate with the  greater
    38  number of votes in the second round shall be certified as the winner.
    39    (c)  In  case of a tie between candidates such that two or more candi-
    40  dates have an equal number of first choices and more than two candidates
    41  qualify for the second round, instant run-off voting shall  be  used  to
    42  determine which two candidates shall advance to the second round.
    43    §  4. Subdivision 5 of section 3-705 of the administrative code of the
    44  city of New York is REPEALED.
    45    § 5. Subdivision 6 of section 3-709 of the administrative code of  the
    46  city of New York is REPEALED.
    47    § 6. This act shall take effect immediately.
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