July 9, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
New Yorkers casting their vote for a candidate who has dropped out of the race would be prompted by voting machines to change their vote, if a new bill proposed by State Senator Joseph Addabbo is signed into law.
The bill, introduced by Addabbo on July 1, would require all voting machines to notify voters if they have chosen a candidate listed on the ballot who has officially withdrawn from the race prior to election day. It would also allow the voter a chance to switch their vote, if they choose to do so.
“I feel that all voters should be fully informed of all the active candidates in a race for political office,” Addabbo said. “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.”
The bill comes on the heels of the Queens District Attorney election where candidate Councilman Rory Lancman pulled out from the race just days before the election, leaving some voters confused and earning the null candidate 1,168 votes.
“I believe a lot of voters weren’t aware of the change and still voted for him on Election Day, when they may have wanted to vote for someone else if they knew he was no longer an active candidate,” Addabbo said. “With my bill, voters would get the opportunity to fill out a new ballot and ensure their vote is cast for an active candidate, or they can leave their vote the way it was if they please.”
The bill has been sent to the Senate Rules committee for review. If passed, Addabbo’s bill would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.