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Legislation requires counting & canvassing of affidavit ballots cast by an eligible voter who appears at wrong polling place, provided voter is in correct county and assembly district
√ Prevents eligible voters from having their entire ballots unnecessarily invalidated
Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation to protect New Yorkers' right to vote and improve the voting process. Legislation (S.284C/A.642C) requires the counting and canvassing of affidavit ballots cast by eligible voters who appear at the wrong polling place, as long as they are voting in the correct county and assembly district.
Hochul’s team said, “The new law strengthens protections for New Yorkers' right to vote and have their ballots counted in races that they are entitled to vote in while also encouraging voter participation in the electoral process.”
She said, "Access to the ballot box shouldn't be held up by complicated and unclear voting processes. New York continues to lead the nation in taking critical steps forward to protect the fundamental right to vote. My administration is committed to empowering voters and improving the state's electoral process, which has disenfranchised too many New Yorkers for too long."
A press release said, “Legislation S.284C/A.642C protects New Yorkers' fundamental right to vote, and encourages participation in the electoral process by requiring the counting and canvassing of affidavit ballots when cast by an eligible voter who appears at the wrong polling place – as long as the individual is voting in the correct county and assembly district. Voters may inadvertently arrive at the wrong polling place on Election Day. This may happen when recent changes have been made to their polling place location or when they have been provided incorrect information about how and where to vote, among other reasons. Currently, a voter who casts a ballot in the wrong polling place but in the correct county and assembly district will have their entire ballot invalidated, including their votes in districtwide, statewide and federal contests that all eligible voters are allowed to participate in. This new law will allow such ballots to be counted and canvassed in races that eligible New Yorkers are entitled to vote in.”
New York State Sen. Zellnor Myrie said, "Over the past four years, New York has done more than any other state to reduce barriers for voters and ensure everyone's voice can be heard in our democracy. This new law builds on that progress by finding more reasons to count valid votes and fewer reasons to disqualify them.”
In June, the governor signed the John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, which expands voter protections for members of racial, ethnic and language-minority groups. Hochul also signed legislation to safeguard absentee ballots, ensuring they are not voided due to stray marks or writing as long as the express intent of the voter is unambiguous.