Memorandum of Support: S1014/A1259 Altering the Manual Handcount Threshhold

(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:  S1014/A1259

Sponsor:  Cooney/Lunsford

Summary: Relates to recounts of ballots conducted by the board of elections or a bipartisan committee appointed by the board


The NYS Election Commissioners Association Democratic Caucus supports A1014/A1259 which would alter the statewide manual hand count threshold put into effect in 2021.  It is the experience of our county boards that only the closest of races where voter intent on the ballot comes into play can result in a lead change.  We believe allowing for an alternative scan on races under ,5% but over .25% is sufficient to determine the machine counts are correct.  This will allow Boards of Elections to expend their limited resources on the races that are truly deserving of the hand count, those races that are .25% or less separating the vote leader and those trailing.  The same logic applies to the minimum vote count of 20 being reduced to 10.  This keeps races that are not likely to flip away from the hand count at the end of the election.

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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