Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
According to Addabbo, the legislation would amend the current election law and provide the voter with a notice indicating that the individual they voted for is no longer a candidate and they could complete a new ballot.
By Forum Staff
A new bill is calling for voting machines to be programmed to reject ballots that contain a vote for a candidate who has officially withdrawn from their race prior to the election date, and allow the voter another chance to cast their vote for someone still in the race, if they wish, State Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach) announced Monday after introducing the measure.
According to Addabbo, the legislation would amend the current election law and provide the voter with a notice indicating that the individual they voted for is no longer a candidate and they could complete a new ballot. The State Board of Elections would be authorized to promulgate rules, regulations and programming necessary to implement this amendment to the election law.
The senator cited a recent example as inspiration for the bill. The amendment would have been beneficial to voters in the Democratic primary for Queens district attorney. Just a handful of days before Election Day, then-candidate Rory Lancman pulled out of the race and immediately threw his support behind Melinda Katz. This may have left voters confused, Addabbo contends, and the 1,168 people who cast their ballots for Lancman may have wanted a second chance to vote for a different, active candidate.
“I feel that all voters should be fully informed of all the active candidates in a race for political office,” Addabbo added. “Voters should know when they cast a vote for a candidate that has officially dropped out of the race and have the opportunity to fill out another ballot for a different candidate that is still running, if they so choose.”
If passed, the bill would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.