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

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-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    January 29, 2019

        Introduced  by  M. of A. WALKER, BARRON -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Election  Law  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

        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 pays for, mails  or
     4  causes  to  be  mailed,  any mail, where such person knows or reasonably
     5  should know that such mail: (a) is intended to be delivered to a  regis-
     6  tered  voter  or  voter registration applicant; and (b) may be used by a
     7  challenger, other than an election officer, to challenge the  qualifica-
     8  tions  of  a  voter, shall file with the state board of elections within
     9  two business days of such mailing, a duplicate  copy  of  such  mail,  a
    10  duplicate copy of names and addresses to which such mail was sent, and a
    11  completed  form  prescribed  by the state board of elections.  Such form
    12  shall contain: the full name, residence and business  address,  and  the
    13  name  of  the employer of the person who pays for, mails or causes to be
    14  mailed the mailing; the approximate number of pieces of such mail; and a
    15  statement certifying the accuracy of such duplicate copies  and  of  the
    16  information  contained  in  the  complete  form. Such statement shall be
    17  sworn or subscribed to by the person who mails or causes  to  be  mailed
    18  the  mailing,  and  shall  bear a form notice that false statements made
    19  therein are punishable as a class  A  misdemeanor  pursuant  to  section
    20  210.45 of the penal law.
    21    §  2.  Section 8-502 of the election law, as amended by chapter 373 of
    22  the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
    23    § 8-502. Challenges; generally. 1. Before his or her vote is  cast  at
    24  an election any person may be challenged as to his or her right to vote,

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

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

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     1    (b) If any applicant shall refuse to answer fully any of the questions
     2  [which  may  be  put to him] in this subdivision, he or she shall not be
     3  permitted to vote.
     4    §  5.  Section  8-504  of  the election law is amended by adding a new
     5  subdivision 9 to read as follows:
     6    9. Information concerning the citizenship status of individuals,  when
     7  collected  and  transmitted  pursuant  to  this  section,  shall  not be
     8  retained, used or shared for any other purpose except as may be required
     9  by law. A failure to certify that an individual  is  a  citizen  of  the
    10  United States shall be considered an innocent error. Such person failing
    11  to certify United States citizenship shall not be considered as attempt-
    12  ing to register to vote.
    13    §  6.  Paragraphs (b) and (e) of subdivision 2 of section 8-508 of the
    14  election law, as amended by section 11 of part XX of chapter 55  of  the
    15  laws of 2019, are amended to read as follows:
    16    (b)  The second section of such report shall be reserved for the board
    17  of inspectors to enter the name, address and registration serial  number
    18  of each person who is challenged at the time of voting together with the
    19  reason for the challenge, the name and address of the person challenging
    20  the  qualifications of such voter, if such person challenging the quali-
    21  fications is not an inspector or clerk,  and  the  words  "Permitted  to
    22  Vote"  or "Refused to take oath". If no voters are challenged, the board
    23  of inspectors shall enter the words "No  Challenges"  across  the  space
    24  reserved  for  such names. In lieu of preparing section two of the chal-
    25  lenge report, the board of elections may provide, next to  the  name  of
    26  each  voter in the computer generated registration list, a place for the
    27  inspectors of election to record the information required to be  entered
    28  in  such  section two, or provide elsewhere in such registration list, a
    29  place for the inspectors of election to enter such information.
    30    (e) At the foot of such report or at the  end  of  any  such  computer
    31  generated  registration list, if applicable, shall be a certificate that
    32  such report or list contains the names of all  persons  who  were  chal-
    33  lenged  on  the day of election, [and] the reason for such challenge and
    34  the names and addresses of all challengers who  are  not  inspectors  of
    35  clerks  that  each  voter so reported as having been challenged took the
    36  oaths as required, that such report or list contains the  names  of  all
    37  voters  to  whom  such  board  gave  or allowed assistance and lists the
    38  nature of the disability which required such assistance to be given  and
    39  the  names  and family relationship, if any, to the voter of the persons
    40  by whom such assistance was rendered;  that  each  such  assisted  voter
    41  informed such board under oath that he required such assistance and that
    42  each  person rendering such assistance took the required oath; that such
    43  report or list contains the names of all voters who  were  permitted  to
    44  vote  although  their  registration  poll records were missing; that the
    45  entries made by such board  are  a  true  and  accurate  record  of  its
    46  proceedings with respect to the persons named in such report or list.
    47    § 7. Subdivision 3 of section 8-510 of the election law, as amended by
    48  section  12  of part XX of chapter 55 of the laws of 2019, is amended to
    49  read as follows:
    50    3. The inspectors shall place such completed  report,  each  challenge
    51  affidavit  and  each  court  order,  if  any, directing that a person be
    52  permitted to vote, in the secure container provided by the county  board
    53  of  elections for such ledger of registration records or computer gener-
    54  ated registration lists and then shall close and  seal  each  ledger  of
    55  registration records or computer generated registration lists, lock such
    56  ledger  in  the carrying case furnished for that purpose and enclose the

        A. 3334--A                          4

     1  keys in a sealed package or seal such list in the envelope provided  for
     2  that purpose.
     3    §  8.  Subdivisions  1 and 2 of section 17-108 of the election law, as
     4  amended by chapter 373 of the laws of  1978,  are  amended  to  read  as
     5  follows:
     6    1.  Any  person  who wilfully loses, alters, destroys or mutilates the
     7  list of voters or registration poll ledgers, a challenge affidavit, or a
     8  challenge report in any election district, or a certified copy  thereof,
     9  is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    10    2.  An applicant for registration who shall make, incorporate or cause
    11  to be incorporated a material false  statement  in  an  application  for
    12  registration,  or  in  any  challenge or other affidavit required for or
    13  made or filed in connection with registration or voting, and any  person
    14  who  knowingly  takes  a  false  oath  before  a  board of inspectors of
    15  election, and any person who makes  a  material  false  statement  in  a
    16  medical  certificate,  a  challenge  affidavit  or an affidavit filed in
    17  connection with an application for registration, is guilty of  a  misde-
    18  meanor.
    19    § 9. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.