Bill Text: NY A05261 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Repeals the current system for run-off primary elections in the city of New York and replaces it with an instant run-off voting system by having voters rank candidates in order of preference.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-02-08 - referred to election law [A05261 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A05261-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 8, 2019
        Introduced by M. of A. MOSLEY -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Election Law
        AN  ACT to amend the election law, in relation to instant run-off voting
          in the city of New York; and to repeal certain provisions of such  law
          relating thereto
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 6-162 of the election law is  REPEALED  and  a  new
     2  section 6-162 is added to read as follows:
     3    §  6-162.  Primary;  New  York City, instant run-off voting. 1. In the
     4  city of New York, any city-wide primary  elections  for  the  office  of
     5  mayor, public advocate or comptroller, in which more than two candidates
     6  appear  on the ballot for the same office, shall be conducted by instant
     7  run-off voting.
     8    2. For the purposes of this section, the term "instant run-off voting"
     9  means an election in which voters may rank  up  to  five  candidates  in
    10  order  of  preference,  first, second and so on, and in which tabulation
    11  proceeds in up to two rounds as follows: If the candidate with the  most
    12  votes  receives  a vote total less than fifty percent plus one vote, the
    13  two candidates with the most votes proceed to a second round of  ballot-
    14  counting.  In  such  second  round, each ballot is counted as a vote for
    15  whichever of the two advancing  candidates  is  ranked  higher  by  that
    16  voter.  Any ballot that does not rank either of the two advancing candi-
    17  dates  shall  not be counted in the second round. The candidate with the
    18  most votes in the second round shall be declared the winner.
    19    3. That portion of the ballot pertaining  to  elections  conducted  by
    20  instant  run-off  voting shall allow a voter to rank candidates in order
    21  of choice in a way that is  clear  and  easy  to  understand  and  shall
    22  include  the opportunity to rank no more than one write-in candidate. To
    23  the extent possible, ballots shall be designed so that a voter may  mark
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5261                             2
     1  that  voter's first choice in the same manner as for offices not elected
     2  by instant run-off voting.
     3    4.  Instructions on the ballot for elections conducted by instant run-
     4  off voting must conform substantially to the  following  specifications,
     5  subject  to  modification  based on ballot design, usability testing and
     6  voting machines: "Vote for candidates by  indicating  your  first-choice
     7  candidate  and  ranking  additional  candidates  in order of preference.
     8  Indicate your first choice by indicating a number "1"  beside  a  candi-
     9  date's  name,  your  second  choice  by indicating a number "2" beside a
    10  candidate's name, your third choice by marking the number "3"  beside  a
    11  candidate's  name  and so on. You may choose to rank only one candidate,
    12  but ranking another candidate as a lower choice will not hurt your first
    13  choice. You may rank the same candidate more than once,  but  the  addi-
    14  tional ranking does not help that candidate. Do not mark the same number
    15  beside more than one candidate. Do not skip numbers."
    16    5.  The  board  of  elections, with the approval of the state board of
    17  elections, may provide for the use of mechanical,  electronic  or  other
    18  devices  for sorting and counting ballots and tabulating results and may
    19  modify the form of the ballots, and the method of sorting, counting, and
    20  invalidating ballots and the tabulating and  recounting  of  votes  with
    21  respect  to offices elected by instant run-off voting, provided that any
    22  change made substantially conforms to this chapter.
    23    § 2. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 7-114 of  the  election
    24  law,  as  amended by chapter 234 of the laws of 1976, is amended to read
    25  as follows:
    26    (c) On the front of the stub, above the perforated line at the top  of
    27  the paper ballot shall be printed the same instructions as on the gener-
    28  al  election ballot, and additional instructions, if any, required under
    29  section 6-162 of this chapter.
    30    § 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.