Prevents eligible voters from invalidating their entire ballot unnecessarily.

Governor Kathy Hochul has signed legislation to protect the voting rights of New Yorkers and improve the voting process. Legislation (S.284C/A.642C) requires counting and canvassing of affidavit ballots cast by eligible voters who show up at the wrong polling place, as long as they vote in the correct county and district. The new law strengthens protections for New Yorkers’ right to vote and to be counted in races in which they are entitled to vote, while also encouraging voter participation in the electoral process.

“Access to ballot boxes should not be hindered by complex and unclear voting procedures,” Governor Hochul said. “New York continues to lead the nation in taking critical steps forward to protect basic voting rights. My administration is committed to empowering voters and improving the state’s election process, which has long disenfranchised too many New Yorkers.”

Legislation (S.284C/A.642C) protects New Yorkers’ basic right to vote and encourages participation in the election process by requiring counting and canvassing of sworn ballots cast by eligible Counties and constituencies vote. Voters may inadvertently arrive at the wrong polling place on Election Day. This can happen when their polling place location has recently changed, or when they have received incorrect information about how and where to vote, among other reasons. Currently, if a voter casts their ballot at the wrong polling place but in the correct county and precinct, their entire ballot will be voided, including their votes in district-wide, statewide and federal elections, available to all eligible voters. The new law will allow such ballots to be counted and canvassed in races in which eligible New Yorkers are entitled to vote.

State Senator Zellnor Myrie said, “Over the past four years, New York has done more than any other state to reduce voter barriers and ensure that every voice is heard in our democracy. This new law builds on that progress , found more reasons to count valid votes and fewer reasons to disqualify them. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this legislation, Assemblyman Bobby Carroll, and the advocates who worked tirelessly to make this bill a reality. “

Assemblyman Robert C. Carroll said, “I applaud the Governor for signing A.642-B/S.284-C, my bill to ensure that all eligible voters who cast their sworn ballot in the correct counties and districts are counted in the races they are entitled to vote, whether or not Vote at the polling place designated by the voter. With our democracy under attack, New York must do everything in its power to ensure that eligible voters’ ballots are counted. With this legislation, New York will no longer invalidate otherwise valid ballots because Voters went to the wrong polling places in their home counties and districts. This important voting reform will help ensure the rights of thousands of voters are protected.

This common sense measure builds on Governor Hochul’s efforts to empower voters in New York State. In June, the Governor signed the Landmark John. R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, which expanded voter protections for members of racial, national and linguistic minorities.Governor also signed legislation Protecting absentee ballots ensures that ballots cannot be invalidated by sloppy markings or handwriting as long as the voter’s clear intent is clear.

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