Memorandum of Support: S611/A919 Full Time Elections Commissioners

(As Chair of the Democratic Caucus of NYSECA I will from time to time issue Memorandums of Support on Election bills before the NYS Legislature. I am posting them on my website for lawmakers and the public to know our positions. You can see my caucus’ legislative priorities here as well as the Bi-Partisan Legislative agenda for NYSECA here. If you agree with this bill consider contacting your local representative and asking them to support the bill.)

Memorandum of Support

Bill:  S611/A0919

Sponsor:  Mayer/Jacobson

Summary: Makes commissioners full time employees of the board.

The NYS Election Commissioners Association Democratic Caucus supports S611/A10919 which would mandate that NYS Election Commissioners be full time employees of their Board of Elections.  In 2019 the New York state legislature drastically changed the political calendar in New York by moving the September primary in June.  This move created a full calendar’s worth of work for Boards of Elections.  We now hold election events in March (Village), May (School Boards), June (Village & Primaries) and November (General election.  Each event will have 6 months of preparation work along with year-round voter database management.

Full time commissioners are a must even in the smallest of our counties.  Decisions need to be made year-round and often daily by the appointed officers of the Board.  Often Elections Commissioners who are now part-time end up working full time hours without pay to carry out the reforms the NYS legislature has enacted.  It will also help us recruit better candidates for open commissioner positions by offering full time employment in their county of appointment.

The Democratic Caucus supports this bill in our 2023 Legislative Priorities and we note it is also supported by the NYS Election Commissioners Association Bi-Partisan Legislative Agenda.  Passing this bill will strengthen the backbone of our bi-partisan election system in New York and we urge the legislature to pass this bill and the Governor to sign it as soon as possible.

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