2005-03-04 / Community

Addabbo Sponsors Bills On Paper Ballots, FDNY Retirements

City Councilmember Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., citing the voting problems and questions that were recently experienced with the high voter turnout and the use of paper ballots during the 2004 presidential election, has introduced proposed legislation in the Council that would put to rest the question of whether a city voter’s paper ballot was counted.

The proposed law would require the New York City Board of Elections to notify in writing any person who voted in a primary, general or special election by either affidavit or paper ballot as to whether or not their vote was eventually tallied and counted. If such votes were not tallied, such notification must provide an explanation as to why the vote did not count.

“The voter deserves to know whether their vote counted or the reason why it did not count. The Board of Elections has this information and I want them to inform the voter.” Addabbo concluded.

The second piece of legislation introduced by Councilman Addabbo, at the request of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, would allow additional medical boards to be convened when needed to expedite the retirement process for active firefighters.

Since the tragic events of September 11, 2001 the New York City Fire Department has experienced a dramatic increase in the number of disability retirement applications. The Fire Department does not foresee a decline in these numbers in the near future.

Addabbo said this law is needed because in many cases a retirement application requires more than one year to process, a delay that burdens both the retiring employee, their family and the New York City Fire Department. “Having only one medical board available to review each application for a disability retirement pension delays the process,” said Addabbo.

Councilman Addabbo added that his proposed legislation would also enable the Fire Department to quickly resolve the employment status of retiring firefighters and fill the open slots left by their retirement.

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