Bill Text: NY A03334 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Provides protections against illegal voter purging.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-08 - referred to election law [A03334 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A03334-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 29, 2019
        Introduced by M. of A. WALKER -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Election Law
        AN  ACT  to amend the election law, in relation to providing protections
          against illegal voter purging
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section  4-117 of the election law is amended by adding a
     2  new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
     3    4. Any person, other than an election officer, who mails or causes  to
     4  be  mailed, between August first and December thirty-first of any calen-
     5  dar year, any first class non-forwardable mail, where such person  knows
     6  or  reasonably  should  know  that  such  non-forwardable  mail:  (a) is
     7  intended to be delivered to a registered  voter  or  voter  registration
     8  applicant;  and  (b) may be used by a challenger, other than an election
     9  officer, on election day to challenge the  qualifications  of  a  voter,
    10  shall file within two business days of such mailing, a duplicate copy of
    11  such  non-forwardable  mail,  a duplicate copy of names and addresses to
    12  which  such  non-forwardable  mail  was  sent,  and  a  completed   form
    13  prescribed  by  the state board of elections. The failure to comply with
    14  the provisions of this subdivision shall be punishable as a misdemeanor.
    15    § 2. Section 8-502 of the election law, as amended by chapter  373  of
    16  the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
    17    §  8-502.  Challenges; generally. 1. Before his or her vote is cast at
    18  an election any person may be challenged as to his or her right to vote,
    19  in accordance with the provisions of this section, or his or  her  right
    20  to  vote  by absentee, military, special federal or special presidential
    21  ballot. Such challenge may be made by an inspector or clerk, by any duly
    22  appointed watcher, or by any registered voter properly  in  the  polling
    23  place in accordance with the provisions of this section.
    24    2. An inspector shall challenge every person offering to vote, whom he
    25  or  she  shall  know or suspect is not entitled to vote in the district,
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3334                             2
     1  and every person whose name appears on the list of persons to  be  chal-
     2  lenged on election day which is furnished by the board of elections.
     3    3.  Any  person,  other  than an inspector or clerk, may challenge the
     4  qualifications of a voter only by completing, executing  and  delivering
     5  to  the  board  of  inspectors  a challenge affidavit that satisfies the
     6  requirements of section 8-503 of this title.
     7    § 3.  The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  8-503  to
     8  read as follows:
     9    §  8-503.   Challenge affidavit. 1. The state board of elections shall
    10  prescribe the content and form of a challenge affidavit for use  at  any
    11  general,  special, town or village election and at any primary election.
    12  Such affidavit shall contain the  affiant's  full  name,  residence  and
    13  business  address,  the  name  of his or her employer, the registration,
    14  serial number of the person challenged and a recital of the reasons  and
    15  the  facts  supporting  the  affiant's belief that the person challenged
    16  lacks one or more of the qualifications for voting prescribed in section
    17  5-102 or 5-106 of this chapter and  specified  in  such  affidavit.  The
    18  affidavit  shall  state  if  the reason for challenge are based upon the
    19  affiant's personal knowledge or upon information received  from  another
    20  person.  If  the affiant's belief is based upon information furnished by
    21  another, the affidavit shall recite the name of  the  person  furnishing
    22  the  information  and  the  basis  for his or her information. After the
    23  affiant has filed such affidavit, an inspector shall read to him or  her
    24  and  request  him  or  her  to  sign  the  following oath which shall be
    25  subscribed by such affiant: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I am a
    26  qualified voter of the city or county in which this affidavit is  signed
    27  and  that  the  foregoing statement made by me on (insert day, month and
    28  year) is a truthful disclosure of the reasons for  my  belief  that  the
    29  registered  voter therein named is not qualified to vote in the election
    30  district in which he or she is now registered."  If  the  affiant  shall
    31  take  and  sign  such oath, an inspector shall sign his or her name as a
    32  witness below the affiant's subscription to such  oath.  Each  challenge
    33  affidavit may only challenge the qualifications of one voter.
    34    2. The boards of elections shall make challenge affidavit forms avail-
    35  able to all qualified voters.
    36    § 4. Subdivision 2 of section 8-504 of the election law, as renumbered
    37  by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
    38    2. (a) If the applicant shall take the preliminary oath, the inspector
    39  shall  ask  the  applicant  [such] the following questions as [may] they
    40  pertain to the reason his or her right to vote at such election in  such
    41  district was challenged[.]:
    42    Are you eighteen years of age or older?
    43    Are you a citizen of the United States?
    44    Have  you  been  a  resident of this state and of this county (and the
    45  City of New York or village, as applicable) for the past thirty days  or
    46  more?
    47    Do you still reside at the same address from which you duly registered
    48  in this election district?
    49    Do you swear that you have not already voted at this election?
    50    (b) If any applicant shall refuse to answer fully any of the questions
    51  [which  may  be  put to him] in this subdivision, he or she shall not be
    52  permitted to vote.
    53    § 5. Section 8-504 of the election law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    54  subdivision 9 to read as follows:
    55    9.  Information concerning the citizenship status of individuals, when
    56  collected and  transmitted  pursuant  to  this  section,  shall  not  be

        A. 3334                             3
     1  retained, used or shared for any other purpose except as may be required
     2  by law.
     3    §  6.  Paragraphs (b) and (e) of subdivision 2 of section 8-508 of the
     4  election law, as amended by chapter 200 of the laws of 1996, are amended
     5  to read as follows:
     6    (b) The second section of such report shall be reserved for the  board
     7  of  inspectors to enter the name, address and registration serial number
     8  of each person who is challenged on the day of election,  together  with
     9  the  reason  for the challenge, the name and address of the person chal-
    10  lenging the qualifications of such voter, if such person challenging the
    11  qualifications is not an inspector or clerk, and the words "Permitted to
    12  Vote" or "Refused to take oath".  If no voters are challenged, the board
    13  of inspectors shall enter the words "No  Challenges"  across  the  space
    14  reserved  for  such names. In lieu of preparing section two of the chal-
    15  lenge report, the board of elections may provide, next to  the  name  of
    16  each  voter on the computer generated registration list, a place for the
    17  inspectors of election to record the information required to be  entered
    18  in  such  section  two, or provide at the end of such computer generated
    19  registration list, a place for the inspectors of election to enter  such
    20  information.
    21    (e)  At  the  foot  of such report and at the end of any such computer
    22  generated registration list shall be printed  a  certificate  that  such
    23  report  contains the names of all persons who were challenged on the day
    24  of election, [and] the reason for  such  challenge  and  the  names  and
    25  addresses  of all challengers who are not inspectors of clerks that each
    26  voter so reported as having been challenged took the oaths as  required,
    27  that  such  report  contains  the names of all voters to whom such board
    28  gave or allowed assistance and lists the nature of the disability  which
    29  required  such assistance to be given and the names and family relation-
    30  ship, if any, to the voter of the persons by whom  such  assistance  was
    31  rendered;  that  each such assisted voter informed such board under oath
    32  that he or she required such assistance and that each  person  rendering
    33  such  assistance  took  the required oath; that such report contains the
    34  names of all voters who were permitted to vote although their  registra-
    35  tion  poll records were missing; that the entries made by such board are
    36  a true and accurate record  of  its  proceedings  with  respect  to  the
    37  persons named in such report.
    38    § 7. Subdivision 3 of section 8-510 of the election law, as amended by
    39  chapter 43 of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
    40    3.  The  inspectors  shall place such completed report, each challenge
    41  affidavit and each court order, if  any,  directing  that  a  person  be
    42  permitted  to  vote, inside a ledger of registration records or computer
    43  generated registration lists between the  front  cover,  and  the  first
    44  registration  record and then shall close and seal each ledger of regis-
    45  tration records or computer generated registration  lists,  affix  their
    46  signature  to  the seal, lock such ledger in the carrying case furnished
    47  for that purpose and enclose the keys in a sealed package or  seal  such
    48  list in the envelope provided for that purpose.
    49    §  8.  Subdivisions  1 and 2 of section 17-108 of the election law, as
    50  amended by chapter 373 of the laws of  1978,  are  amended  to  read  as
    51  follows:
    52    1.  Any  person  who wilfully loses, alters, destroys or mutilates the
    53  list of voters or registration poll ledgers, a challenge affidavit, or a
    54  challenge report in any election district, or a certified copy  thereof,
    55  is guilty of a misdemeanor.

        A. 3334                             4
     1    2.  An applicant for registration who shall make, incorporate or cause
     2  to be incorporated a material false  statement  in  an  application  for
     3  registration,  or  in  any  challenge or other affidavit required for or
     4  made or filed in connection with registration or voting, and any  person
     5  who  knowingly  takes  a  false  oath  before  a  board of inspectors of
     6  election, and any person who makes  a  material  false  statement  in  a
     7  medical  certificate,  a  challenge  affidavit  or an affidavit filed in
     8  connection with an application for registration, is guilty of  a  misde-
     9  meanor.
    10    § 9. This act shall take effect immediately.