Bill Text: NY A05627 | 2017-2018 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to creating the "modernized voter registration act of New York"; modernizes voter registration; promotes access to voting for individuals with disabilities; protects the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for local and state office and makes an appropriation therefor.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 22-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-03 - referred to election law [A05627 Detail]

Download: New_York-2017-A05627-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          5627
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 14, 2017
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. WALKER, BARRON, BLAKE, JEAN-PIERRE, BICHOTTE,
          HYNDMAN, MOSLEY, GANTT, CUSICK, KAVANAGH,  RICHARDSON,  LIFTON,  COOK,
          SEPULVEDA,  HOOPER,  RAMOS, PEOPLES-STOKES, PERRY, HARRIS -- read once
          and referred to the Committee on Election Law
        AN ACT to amend the election  law,  in  relation  to  modernizing  voter
          registration, promoting access to voting for individuals with disabil-
          ities,  protecting the ability of individuals to exercise the right to
          vote in elections for local and state office; and making an  appropri-
          ation therefor
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "modernized
     2  voter registration act of New York".
     3    § 2. The election law is amended by adding  ten  new  sections  5-200,
     4  5-232, 5-234, 5-236, 5-238, 5-240, 5-242, 5-244, 5-246 and 5-248 to read
     5  as follows:
     6    §  5-200.  Automated  voter registration. 1. Notwithstanding any other
     7  manner of registration required by this  article,  each  person  in  the
     8  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of this article, shall
     9  be  automatically  registered  to  vote  as  provided  in  this section,
    10  provided that the person consents to voter registration.
    11    2. The state board of elections or county  board  of  elections  shall
    12  register  to vote or update the registration record of any person in the
    13  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of  this  article  who
    14  consents to the registration or update and does any of the following:
    15    (a)  completes  an  application for a new or renewed driver's license,
    16  non-driver  identification  card,  pre-licensing   course   certificate,
    17  learner's permit or certification of supervised driving with the depart-
    18  ment  of  motor  vehicles,  or  notifies such department in writing of a
    19  change of his or her name or address;
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00758-01-7

        A. 5627                             2
     1    (b) completes an application for services, renewal or  recertification
     2  for  services, or change of address relating to such services from agen-
     3  cies designated in section 5-211 of this title;
     4    (c)  completes an application for services, renewal or recertification
     5  for services, or change of address relating to such  services  from  any
     6  municipal  housing  authority  as  set  forth in article thirteen of the
     7  public housing law;
     8    (d) registers for classes at institutions of the state  university  of
     9  New York or the city university of New York;
    10    (e) completes a maximum sentence of imprisonment or is discharged from
    11  parole;
    12    (f) completes an application for unemployment insurance;
    13    (g)  becomes a member or employee of the New York division of military
    14  and naval affairs; or
    15    (h) completes an application with any other state  or  federal  agency
    16  designated  as  a source agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision
    17  three of this section.
    18    3. (a) The term "source agency" includes the department of motor vehi-
    19  cles, any government agency designated pursuant to section 5-211 of this
    20  title, the state university of New York and the city university  of  New
    21  York,  all  public housing authorities listed in article thirteen of the
    22  public housing law, the department of corrections and  community  super-
    23  vision,  the  department of labor, the New York division of military and
    24  naval affairs and any agency designated by the state board of  elections
    25  pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision.
    26    (b)  The state board of elections may designate additional state agen-
    27  cies to serve as sources for voter registration. In designating an agen-
    28  cy under this paragraph, the state board of elections shall consider:
    29    (i) the likelihood that source  records  reflect  a  large  number  of
    30  eligible citizens;
    31    (ii)  the extent to which source records reflect eligible citizens who
    32  would not otherwise be registered  under  the  act  to  modernize  voter
    33  registration;
    34    (iii)  the accuracy of personal identification data in source records;
    35  and
    36    (iv) any additional factors designated by the chief election  official
    37  as  reasonably  related  to  accomplishing  the  purposes  of the act to
    38  modernize voter registration.
    39    4. The state board of elections and the source  agencies  shall  enter
    40  into  agreements to ensure that for each person described in subdivision
    41  two of this section, each source agency electronically transmits to  the
    42  state or local boards of elections the following information in a format
    43  that can be read by the computerized statewide voter registration list:
    44    (a) given name or names and surname or surnames;
    45    (b) mailing address and residential address;
    46    (c) date of birth;
    47    (d) citizenship;
    48    (e)  driver's  license  or non-driver identification card number, last
    49  four digits of the person's social security number, or a space  for  the
    50  person to indicate that he or she does not have any such number;
    51    (f) political party enrollment, if any;
    52    (g)  an  indication  that  the person intends to apply for an absentee
    53  ballot, if any; and
    54    (h) an image of the person's signature.
    55    In the event that any transmission of data pursuant  to  this  section
    56  fails to include an image of an individual's signature, the absence of a

        A. 5627                             3
     1  signature  shall  not  preclude the registration of an eligible citizen.
     2  The board of elections shall develop procedures to  enable  an  eligible
     3  citizen,  whose  information is transmitted pursuant to this section and
     4  whose  information lacks an electronic signature, to provide a signature
     5  at the polling place or with  an  application  for  an  absentee  ballot
     6  before  voting.  The board may require an elector who has not provided a
     7  signature before arriving at the polling place or submitting an absentee
     8  ballot to present a current and valid photo identification or a copy  of
     9  a  current  utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or
    10  other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
    11    5. If an agency does not routinely request information concerning  the
    12  citizenship  status of individuals, it shall maintain records sufficient
    13  to transmit to the board of elections indications of United States citi-
    14  zenship for each person described in subdivision two  of  this  section,
    15  but  shall not retain, use, or share any such information relating to an
    16  individual's citizenship for any other purpose.
    17    6. The state board  of  elections  shall  prepare  and  distribute  to
    18  participating  agencies written instructions as to the implementation of
    19  the program and shall be responsible for establishing training  programs
    20  for  employees of source agencies listed in this section. Training shall
    21  include requirements that employees of any source agency communicate  to
    22  each  individual  identified in subdivision two of this section that the
    23  source agency maintains strict neutrality with  respect  to  a  person's
    24  party  enrollment  and  all persons seeking voter registration forms and
    25  information shall be advised that government  services  are  not  condi-
    26  tioned  on being registered to vote, or eligibility to register to vote.
    27  No statement shall be made nor any action taken to discourage the appli-
    28  cant from registering to vote.
    29    7. The agreements between the state board of elections and the  source
    30  agencies shall include the format in which information will be transmit-
    31  ted, whether and how each entity will collect, in addition to the manda-
    32  tory  information listed in subdivision four of this section, additional
    33  information on a voluntary basis from persons for the purpose of facili-
    34  tating voter registration, the  frequency  of  data  transmissions,  the
    35  procedures  and  other measures that will be used to ensure the security
    36  and privacy of the information transmitted, and any other matter  neces-
    37  sary or helpful to implement the requirements of this section.
    38    8.  Each  source  agency  shall  cooperate  with  the  state  board of
    39  elections and county board of elections to facilitate the  voter  regis-
    40  tration of each person described in subdivision two of this section, and
    41  to  electronically transmit the information needed to register each such
    42  person to vote or  to  update  each  such  person's  voter  registration
    43  record.
    44    9.  Each  source  agency  shall enter into an agreement with the state
    45  board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic tran-
    46  smissions required by this section no later than  September  first,  two
    47  thousand  nineteen;  provided,  that each source agency shall be able to
    48  comply fully with  all  requirements  of  this  section,  including  the
    49  collection and transmission of all data required to register individuals
    50  to vote, by January first, two thousand twenty.
    51    10. Upon receiving information from a source agency with respect to an
    52  individual,  the  state  board  of elections shall determine whether the
    53  individual is included in the computerized statewide voter  registration
    54  list.
    55    (a)  If  an  individual for whom information is received from a source
    56  agency is eligible to vote in elections for federal office in the  state

        A. 5627                             4
     1  and  is  not  on the computerized statewide voter registration list, the
     2  state board of elections shall: (i) ensure that the individual is regis-
     3  tered to vote in such elections not later than five days after receiving
     4  the  information,  without  regard  to  whether  or  not the information
     5  provided by the source agency includes the individual's signature;  (ii)
     6  update the statewide computerized voter registration list to include the
     7  individual;  and  (iii)  notify  the  individual  that the individual is
     8  registered to vote in elections for federal office in the state.
     9    (b) If a source agency provides the  state  board  of  elections  with
    10  information  with  respect  to  an  individual who did not consent to be
    11  registered to vote, the state board of  elections  shall  not  take  any
    12  action  to register the individual to vote, except that no such individ-
    13  ual who is already included on the computerized statewide  voter  regis-
    14  tration  list shall be removed from the list solely because the informa-
    15  tion was incorrectly provided.
    16    11. If an individual who is  not  eligible  to  register  to  vote  in
    17  elections  for federal office is registered to vote in such elections by
    18  the state board of elections, the individual shall not be subject to any
    19  penalty, including the imposition of a fine  or  term  of  imprisonment,
    20  adverse  treatment  in  any immigration or naturalization proceeding, or
    21  the denial of any status under immigration laws, under any law prohibit-
    22  ing an individual who is not eligible to register to vote  in  elections
    23  for  federal  office from registering to vote in such elections. Nothing
    24  in this subdivision shall be construed to waive  the  liability  of  any
    25  individual  who  knowingly  provides  false  information  to  any person
    26  regarding the individual's eligibility to register to vote in  elections
    27  for federal office.
    28    12.  No  person may use the information received by the state board of
    29  elections to determine the citizenship  status  of  any  individual  for
    30  immigration  enforcement,  criminal law enforcement (other than enforce-
    31  ment of this chapter), or any other purpose other than  voter  registra-
    32  tion  or election administration. No information relating to an individ-
    33  ual's  absence  from  the  statewide  voter  registration  list  or   an
    34  individual's  declination  to  supply information for voter registration
    35  purposes to a source agency may be disclosed to  the  public  for  immi-
    36  gration  enforcement, criminal law enforcement other than enforcement of
    37  laws against election crimes, or used for any purpose other  than  voter
    38  registration,  election  administration,  or the enforcement of election
    39  laws.
    40    13. Voter registration information collected under this section  shall
    41  not  be  used  for commercial purposes including for comparison with any
    42  existing commercial list or database.
    43    § 5-232.  Availability  of  online  registration.  1.  Every  election
    44  district  shall  ensure that the following services are available to the
    45  public at any time on the official public websites  of  the  appropriate
    46  local  election  officials  in  the  state: online application for voter
    47  registration, online assistance to applications in applying to  register
    48  to  vote,  online  completion and submission by applications of the mail
    49  voter registration application form pursuant to section 5-210, including
    50  assistance with providing a signature in  electronic  form  as  required
    51  under section 5-234 of this title, and online receipt of completed voter
    52  registration applications.
    53    2.  Any  county or municipality shall accept an online voter registra-
    54  tion application provided by  an  individual  under  this  section,  and
    55  ensure  that  the  individual is registered to vote in the state, if (a)
    56  the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable

        A. 5627                             5
     1  to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with law using
     2  the mail voter registration application form,  and  (b)  the  individual
     3  provides  a  signature  in  electronic form pursuant to section 5-234 of
     4  this title.
     5    3.  (a)  Upon  the online submission of a completed voter registration
     6  application by an individual under this section, the  appropriate  state
     7  or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming
     8  the state's receipt of the application and providing instructions on how
     9  the individual may check the status of the application, and
    10    (b)  as  soon  as  the  appropriate  election official has approved or
    11  rejected an application submitted by an individual under  this  section,
    12  the  official  shall  send the individual a notice of the disposition of
    13  the application.
    14    § 5-234. Signatures in  electronic  form.  An  individual  provides  a
    15  signature  in  electronic  form  by executing a computerized mark in the
    16  signature field on an online voter registration application; or  submit-
    17  ting  with  the application an electronic copy of the individual's hand-
    18  written signature through electronic means.
    19    § 5-236. Nonpartisan manner. The services made  available  under  this
    20  title  shall be provided in a manner that ensures that the online appli-
    21  cation does not seek to influence an applicant's political preference or
    22  party registration and there is no display on the website promoting  any
    23  political  preference  or  party allegiance, except that nothing in this
    24  section may be construed to prohibit an applicant  from  registering  to
    25  vote as a member of a political party.
    26    §  5-238.  Protection  of  security  information.  The  state board of
    27  elections shall establish appropriate technological security measures to
    28  prevent to the greatest extent practicable any  unauthorized  access  to
    29  information  provided  by  individuals using the services made available
    30  under section 5-232 of this title.
    31    § 5-240. Use  of  additional  telephone-based  system.  The  board  of
    32  elections  shall  make  the services made available online under section
    33  5-232 of this title available through the  use  of  an  automated  tele-
    34  phone-based  system, subject to the same terms and conditions applicable
    35  under this section to the services made available online, in addition to
    36  making the services available online in accordance with the requirements
    37  of this section.
    38    § 5-242. Use of internet to update registration  information.  1.  The
    39  appropriate  state  or  local  election  official  shall ensure that any
    40  registered voter on the computerized list may at  any  time  update  the
    41  voter's  registration  information,  including  the  voter's address and
    42  electronic mail address, online through the official public  website  of
    43  the  election  official  responsible for the maintenance of the list, so
    44  long as the voter attests to the contents of the update by  providing  a
    45  signature in electronic form.
    46    2.  If a registered voter updates registration information, the appro-
    47  priate state or local election official shall revise any information  on
    48  the  computerized  list  to reflect the update made by the voter; and if
    49  the updated registration information affects the voter's eligibility  to
    50  vote  in  an  election,  ensure  that  the information is processed with
    51  respect to the election if the voter updates the information  not  later
    52  than seven days before the election.
    53    3.  Upon  the online submission of updated registration information by
    54  an individual  under  this  section,  the  appropriate  state  or  local
    55  election  official shall send the individual a notice confirming receipt

        A. 5627                             6
     1  of the updated information and providing instructions on how  the  indi-
     2  vidual may check the status of the update.
     3    4.  As  soon  as  the appropriate state or local election official has
     4  accepted or rejected updated  information  submitted  by  an  individual
     5  under  this  section, the official shall send the individual a notice of
     6  the disposition of the update.
     7    5. The appropriate state or local election  official  shall  send  the
     8  notices required under this section by regular mail, and, in the case of
     9  an  individual  who has requested that the state provide voter registra-
    10  tion and voting information through electronic mail, by both  electronic
    11  mail and regular mail.
    12    § 5-244. List maintenance, privacy and security. 1. The state board of
    13  elections shall publish on their website all standards established under
    14  this  section.  The  state  board of elections shall establish standards
    15  governing the comparison of data on  the  statewide  computerized  voter
    16  registration  list,  the  data provided by various source agencies under
    17  section 5-200 of this title, including the specific  data  elements  and
    18  data  matching rules to be used for purposes of determining: (a) whether
    19  a data record from any source agency represents the same individual as a
    20  record in another source agency or on the statewide list; (b) whether  a
    21  data  record  from  any  source  agency represents an individual already
    22  registered to vote in the state; (c) whether two  data  records  in  the
    23  statewide  computerized  voter  registration  list  represent  duplicate
    24  records for the same individual; (d) whether a data record  supplied  by
    25  any  list maintenance source represents an individual already registered
    26  to vote in the state; and (e) which information will be treated as  more
    27  current  and  reliable  when  data records from multiple sources present
    28  information for the same individual.
    29    2. The state board of elections shall establish uniform  and  non-dis-
    30  criminatory  standards describing the specific conditions under which an
    31  individual will be determined for list maintenance purposes to be ineli-
    32  gible to vote in an election.
    33    3. The state board of elections shall publish and  enforce  a  privacy
    34  and  security  policy  specifying  each  class  of  users who shall have
    35  authorized access to the computerized statewide voter registration list,
    36  specifying for each such class the permission and levels of access to be
    37  granted, and setting forth other safeguards to protect the  privacy  and
    38  security of the information on the list. Such policy shall include secu-
    39  rity  safeguards  to  protect  personal information in the data transfer
    40  process, the online or telephone interface, the maintenance of the voter
    41  registration database, and audit procedures to track  individual  access
    42  to the system.
    43    4.  The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce-
    44  ment procedures to prevent unauthorized access to or use of the  comput-
    45  erized  statewide voter registration list, any list or other information
    46  provided by a source agency, or any maintenance  source  for  the  list.
    47  Nothing  in  this  subdivision  shall be construed to prohibit access to
    48  information required for official purposes for purposes of voter  regis-
    49  tration, election administration, and the enforcement of election laws.
    50    5.  The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce-
    51  ment procedures to maintain security during  inter-agency  transfers  of
    52  information  required or permitted under this chapter. Each state agency
    53  and third party participating in such inter-agency transfers of informa-
    54  tion shall facilitate and comply with such  policies.  Nothing  in  this
    55  subdivision  shall prevent a source agency from establishing and enforc-
    56  ing additional security measures  to  protect  the  confidentiality  and

        A. 5627                             7
     1  integrity  of  inter-agency  data  transfers. No state or local election
     2  official shall transfer or facilitate the transfer of  information  from
     3  the computerized statewide voter registration list to any source agency.
     4    6.  Nothing  in  this  section  shall be construed to prevent a source
     5  agency from contracting with a third party to assist in the transmission
     6  of data to the state board of elections, so  long  as  the  data  trans-
     7  mission complies with the applicable requirements of this chapter.
     8    7.  The  state board of elections shall establish standards and proce-
     9  dures to maintain all election records required  for  purposes  of  this
    10  section. Records for individuals who have been retained on the computer-
    11  ized statewide registration list but identified as ineligible to vote in
    12  an  election  or  removed  from  the list due to ineligibility, shall be
    13  maintained and kept available until at least  the  date  of  the  second
    14  general  election for federal office that occurs after the date that the
    15  individual was identified as ineligible.
    16    8. The identity of the specific source agency through which  an  indi-
    17  vidual  consented  to  register  to  vote  shall not be disclosed to the
    18  public and shall not be retained after the individual is  added  to  the
    19  computerized statewide voter registration list.
    20    9.  The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce-
    21  ment procedures to ensure that personal information provided  by  source
    22  agencies  or  otherwise transmitted under this section is kept confiden-
    23  tial and is available only to authorized users. For  purposes  of  these
    24  policies  and  procedures,  the term "personal information" means any of
    25  the following:
    26    (a) any portion of an individual's social security number;
    27    (b) any portion of an  individual's  motor  vehicle  driver's  license
    28  number or state identification card number;
    29    (c) an individual's signature;
    30    (d) an individual's personal residence and contact information;
    31    (e) sensitive information relating to persons in categories designated
    32  confidential  by  federal  or  state  law, including victims of domestic
    33  violence or stalking, prosecutors and  law  enforcement  personnel,  and
    34  participants in a witness protection program;
    35    (f) an individual's phone number;
    36    (g) an individual's email address;
    37    (h)  any indication of an individual's status as a citizen or nonciti-
    38  zen of the United States; and
    39    (i) such other information as the state board  of  the  elections  may
    40  designate  as confidential to the extent reasonably necessary to prevent
    41  identity theft or impersonation, except that such board may  not  desig-
    42  nate  as  confidential under this subdivision the name, address, or date
    43  of registration of an individual, or where applicable, the  self-identi-
    44  fied racial or ethnic category of the individual.
    45    10.  The  state  board of elections shall ensure that, with respect to
    46  any individual who declines the opportunity to  register  to  vote,  the
    47  individual's  information  is not included on the computerized statewide
    48  voter registration list and is not provided to a third party (except  to
    49  the  extent required under other law). Nothing in this subdivision shall
    50  be construed to preclude an individual who has previously  declined  the
    51  opportunity to register to vote from subsequently registering to vote.
    52    §  5-246. Accuracy of statewide voter registration lists. 1. Not later
    53  than twenty-four hours after receiving a change of address form  or  any
    54  other  information  indicating that identifying information with respect
    55  to an individual which is included in the records of the  department  of

        A. 5627                             8
     1  motor  vehicles  has  been  changed, such department shall transmit such
     2  form or other information to the state board of elections, unless:
     3    (a)  the records of the department include information indicating that
     4  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
     5    (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that  the
     6  change  of  address  or  other information is not for voter registration
     7  purposes.
     8    2. Not later than twenty-four after receiving a change of address form
     9  or any other information indicating that  identifying  information  with
    10  respect  to  an  individual  which is included in the records of a voter
    11  registration agency has been changed, the appropriate official  of  such
    12  agency  shall transmit such form or other information to the state board
    13  of elections, unless:
    14    (a) the records of the department include information indicating  that
    15  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
    16    (b)  the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the
    17  change of address or other information is  not  for  voter  registration
    18  purposes.
    19    3.  Not  later  than  twenty-four  hours  after  receiving a change of
    20  address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor-
    21  mation with respect to an individual which is included in the records of
    22  a source agency has been changed, the appropriate official of such agen-
    23  cy shall transmit such form or other information to the state  board  of
    24  elections, unless:
    25    (a)  the records of the department include information indicating that
    26  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
    27    (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that  the
    28  change  of  address  or  other information is not for voter registration
    29  purposes.
    30    4. If the department of motor vehicles, a voter  registration  agency,
    31  or a source agency transmits to the state board of elections a change of
    32  address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor-
    33  mation  with  respect  to an individual has been changed the appropriate
    34  state or local election official shall:
    35    (a) determine whether the individual appears on the computerized list;
    36  and
    37    (b) if the individual appears on  the  list,  revise  the  information
    38  relating  to  the individual on the list to reflect the individual's new
    39  address or other changed identifying information.
    40    5. If an election official revises any voter registration  information
    41  on  the  computerized list with respect to any voter (including removing
    42  the voter from the list), immediately after  revising  the  information,
    43  the  official shall send the individual a written notice of the revision
    44  which includes the following information:
    45    (a) the voter's name, date of birth, and address, as reflected in  the
    46  revised information on the computerized list;
    47    (b)  a  statement  that  the voter's registration information has been
    48  updated;
    49    (c) information on how to  correct  information  on  the  computerized
    50  list;
    51    (d) a statement of the eligibility requirements for registered voters;
    52    (e)  a statement (in larger font size than the other statements on the
    53  notice) that it is illegal for an  individual  who  does  not  meet  the
    54  eligibility  requirements  for registered voters in the state to vote in
    55  such state; and

        A. 5627                             9
     1    (f) a statement that the voter may terminate  the  voter's  status  as
     2  registered in the state, or request a change in the voter's voter regis-
     3  tration  information  at any time by contacting the appropriate state or
     4  local election official, together  with  contact  information  for  such
     5  official  (including any website through which the voter may contact the
     6  official or obtain information on voter registration in the state).
     7    6. If an election official has an  electronic  mail  address  for  any
     8  voter  to  whom  the  official  is  required  to  send notice under this
     9  section, the official may meet the requirements of this section by send-
    10  ing the notice to the voter in electronic form at that address, but only
    11  if prior to sending the notice, the official  sends  a  test  electronic
    12  mail  to  the  voter  at that address and receives confirmation that the
    13  address is current and valid.
    14    § 5-248. Same day registration. Each county shall allow  any  eligible
    15  individual on the day of an election and on any day when voting, includ-
    16  ing  early  voting,  to register to vote in such election at the polling
    17  place and to cast a vote in such election.
    18    § 3. Section 5-210 of the election law is amended by adding three  new
    19  subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 to read as follows:
    20    16.  The  board of elections shall accept an online voter registration
    21  application provided by an individual  and  ensure  that  individual  is
    22  registered  to  vote  in  the state if (a) the individual meets the same
    23  voter registration requirements applicable to individuals  who  register
    24  to  vote by mail in accordance with this section; and (b) the individual
    25  provided a signature in electronic form in accordance with section 5-234
    26  of this title.
    27    17. Upon the online  submission  of  a  completed  voter  registration
    28  application  by  an  individual, an appropriate election personnel shall
    29  send the individual a notice confirming the board of  elections  receipt
    30  of  the application and providing instructions on how the individual may
    31  check on the status of the  application.  As  soon  as  the  appropriate
    32  election  personnel has approved or rejected an application submitted by
    33  an individual, the personnel shall send the individual a notice  of  the
    34  disposition of the application by regular mail unless the individual has
    35  requested voter information to be sent through electronic mail, in which
    36  case a copy should be sent through both regular and electronic mail.
    37    18.  If an individual who is a registered voter had provided the state
    38  or local election official with an electronic mail address for  purposes
    39  of  receiving voting information, the county board of elections, through
    40  electronic mail transmitted not later than seven days before the date of
    41  the election involved, shall provide the individual with information  on
    42  how  to  obtain  the  following information by electronic means: (a) the
    43  name and address of  the  polling  place  at  which  the  individual  is
    44  assigned  to  vote  in  the election; (b) the hours of operation for the
    45  polling place; and (c) a description  of  any  identification  or  other
    46  information  the  individual  may  be required to present at the polling
    47  place.
    48    § 4. The election law is amended by adding two new sections 5-108  and
    49  5-110 to read as follows:
    50    §  5-108.  Nondiscrimination.  1.  The  state shall treat a registered
    51  voter who is registered to vote online in accordance with  this  chapter
    52  in the same manner as the state treats a registered voter who registered
    53  to vote by mail.
    54    2.  No  person may discriminate against any individual on the basis of
    55  the individual's absence from the statewide voter registration list, the
    56  information supplied by the individual for voter registration purpose to

        A. 5627                            10
     1  a source agency, or the individual's declination to supply such informa-
     2  tion, except as required for purposes of  voter  registration,  election
     3  administration, and the enforcement of election laws.
     4    §  5-110.  Prohibiting use of electronic mail addresses for other than
     5  official purposes. The state board of elections shall  ensure  that  any
     6  electronic  mail  addresses  provided by an applicant under this chapter
     7  are used only for purposes of carrying out official duties  of  election
     8  officials  and  are not transmitted by any state or local election offi-
     9  cial (or any agent of such an official, including a contractor)  to  any
    10  person  who  does  not  require  the  address to carry out such official
    11  duties and who is not under the direct  supervision  and  control  of  a
    12  state or local election official.
    13    §  5.  Subdivisions  1  and 2 of section 5-210 of the election law, as
    14  amended by chapter 179 of the laws of  2005,  are  amended  to  read  as
    15  follows:
    16    1.  In addition to local registration and veterans' absentee registra-
    17  tion as provided  in  this  chapter,  any  qualified  person  may  apply
    18  personally for registration and enrollment, change of enrollment by mail
    19  [or], by appearing at the board of elections on any day, except a day of
    20  election,  during  the  hours  that  such board of elections is open for
    21  business or by registering online.
    22    2. (a) Application forms for use pursuant to  this  section  shall  be
    23  furnished  by  a county board of elections to any person requesting such
    24  form or shall be available on the  county  board  of  elections  website
    25  pursuant  to section 5-232 of this title. Application forms sent outside
    26  of the United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, shall  be
    27  sent  airmail.  Each  county  board  of  elections shall also cause such
    28  application forms to be as widely and freely distributed as possible.
    29    (b) The board of elections shall mail an application for  registration
    30  by mail and information on how the person may re-register to each person
    31  for  whom  it  receives notice pursuant to the provisions of subdivision
    32  four of section 5-402 of this article that such person  has  moved  into
    33  such  city  or  county unless such person is already registered from the
    34  address listed in such notice.
    35    § 6. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  17-172  to
    36  read as follows:
    37    §  17-172.  Penalties  against list maintenance, privacy and security.
    38  Any person who knowingly uses information or permits information  to  be
    39  used  in  violation  of sections 5-244 or 5-108 of this chapter shall be
    40  imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not less than  one  hundred
    41  dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both such fine and impri-
    42  sonment.
    43    §  7.  Paragraphs (g) and (k) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the
    44  election law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws  of  2005,  subpara-
    45  graph  (xii)  of  paragraph  (k)  as added by chapter 362 of the laws of
    46  2008, are amended and two new paragraphs (n) and (o) are added  to  read
    47  as follows:
    48    (g)  Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States,
    49  is [or will be at least eighteen years old not later than December thir-
    50  ty-first of the calendar year in which he or  she  registers]  at  least
    51  sixteen  years  old when he or she submits an application to register to
    52  vote and a resident of the county or city to which application is made.
    53    (k) The form shall also include space for the  following  information,
    54  which must be contained on the inside of the form after it is folded for
    55  mailing:

        A. 5627                            11
     1    (i) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she has
     2  ever voted or registered to vote before and, if so, the approximate year
     3  in which such applicant last voted or registered and his or her name and
     4  address at the time.
     5    (ii) The name and residence address of the applicant including the zip
     6  code and apartment number, if any.
     7    (iii) The date of birth of the applicant.
     8    (iv) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her driver's license
     9  or  department  of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID number or the last
    10  four digits of his or her social security number or,  if  the  applicant
    11  does  not have either such number, a space for the applicant to indicate
    12  he or she does not have either.
    13    (v) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she  is
    14  a citizen of the United States and the statement "If you checked "no" in
    15  response to this question, do not complete this form."
    16    (vi) [A space for the applicant to answer the question "Will you be 18
    17  years  of  age  on  or  before  election day?" and the statement "If you
    18  checked "no" in response to this question, do  not  complete  this  form
    19  unless you will be 18 by the end of the year."
    20    (vii)] A statement informing the applicant that if the form is submit-
    21  ted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time, certain
    22  information or documents must be submitted with the mail-in registration
    23  form  in  order  to  avoid  additional  identification requirements upon
    24  voting for the first time. Such information and documents are:
    25    (A) a driver's license or  department  of  motor  vehicles  non-driver
    26  photo ID number; or
    27    (B)  the  last four digits of the individual's social security number;
    28  or
    29    (C) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
    30    (D) a copy of a  current  utility  bill,  bank  statement,  government
    31  check,  paycheck  or  other  government document that shows the name and
    32  address of the voter.
    33    [(viii)] (vii) The gender of the applicant (optional).
    34    [(ix)] (viii) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her  choice
    35  of party enrollment, with a clear alternative provided for the applicant
    36  to decline to affiliate with any party.
    37    [(x)] (ix) The telephone number of the applicant (optional).
    38    [(xi)]  (x)  A  place  for the applicant to execute the form on a line
    39  which is clearly  labeled  "signature  of  applicant"  preceded  by  the
    40  following specific form of affirmation:
    41    AFFIDAVIT: I swear or affirm that:
    42       * I am a citizen of the United States.
    43       * I will have lived in the county, city, or village for at least 30
    44         days before the election.
    45       * I  meet  all  the  requirements  to  register to vote in New York
    46         State.
    47       * This is my signature or mark on the line below.
    48       * All the information contained on  this  application  is  true.  I
    49         understand that if it is not true I can be convicted and fined up
    50         to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to four years.
    51  which  form of affirmation shall be followed by a space for the date and
    52  the aforementioned line for the applicant's signature.
    53    [(xii)] (xi) A space for the applicant to register  in  the  New  York
    54  state  donate  life  registry for organ and tissue donations established
    55  pursuant to section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law.
    56    (xii) The email address of the applicant (optional).

        A. 5627                            12
     1    (n) Agreements adopted pursuant to section 5-200 of this title between
     2  source agencies and the state or county  boards  of  elections  are  not
     3  required  to  include  the collection or transmission of the information
     4  requested in paragraph (j) or subparagraph (i), (vii), (viii),  (ix)  or
     5  (xi)  of  paragraph  (k)  of  this subdivision, and no board of election
     6  shall refuse to register to vote or update the  registration  record  of
     7  any  person  in  the  state whose information is transmitted pursuant to
     8  section 5-200 of this title for the reason that  such  information  does
     9  not  include  the information requested by paragraph (j) or subparagraph
    10  (i), (vii), (viii), (ix) or (xi) of paragraph (k) of this subdivision.
    11    (o) The voter registration application shall include a space  for  the
    12  applicant  to  provide  (at  the  applicant's option) an electronic mail
    13  address, together with a statement that, if the applicant  so  requests,
    14  instead  of  using regular mail the appropriate state and local election
    15  officials shall provide to the applicant, through electronic  mail  sent
    16  to  that  address,  any  voting information that would otherwise be sent
    17  through the regular mail.
    18    § 8. The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-228 to read
    19  as follows:
    20    § 3-228. Board of elections, reports. 1. Not later  than  ninety  days
    21  after  the  end  of each year, the board shall submit to the legislature
    22  and the governor a report containing the following categories of  infor-
    23  mation for the year:
    24    (a) the number of individuals who registered;
    25    (b)  the  number  of voter registration application forms completed by
    26  individuals that were transmitted by the department  of  motor  vehicles
    27  and  voter  registration agencies in the state to the board, broken down
    28  by each such agency;
    29    (c) the number of such individuals whose voter  registration  applica-
    30  tion  forms  were  accepted and who were registered to vote in the state
    31  and the number of such individuals whose forms  were  rejected  and  who
    32  were not registered to vote in the state, broken down by each such agen-
    33  cy;
    34    (d)  the number of change of address forms and other forms of informa-
    35  tion indicating that an individual's identifying  information  has  been
    36  changed  that  were  transmitted by the department of motor vehicles and
    37  voter registration agencies to the board, broken down by such agency and
    38  type of form submitted;
    39    (e) the number of individuals  on  the  statewide  computerized  voter
    40  registration  list  whose  voter registration information was revised by
    41  the board as a result of the forms  transmitted  to  the  board  by  the
    42  department  of  motor  vehicles  and  voter  registration  agencies  (as
    43  described in subdivision three of this section),  broken  down  by  each
    44  agency and the type of form submitted;
    45    (f)  the number of individuals who requested the board to revise voter
    46  registration information on such list, and  the  number  of  individuals
    47  whose information was revised as a result of such request.
    48    2.  In  preparing  the report under this section, the state shall, for
    49  each category of  information  described  in  subdivision  one  of  this
    50  section,  include  a breakdown by race of the individuals whose informa-
    51  tion is included in the category, to the extent that information on  the
    52  race of such individuals is available to the state.
    53    3.  In preparing and submitting a report under this section, the board
    54  shall ensure that no information regarding  the  identification  of  any
    55  individual is revealed.

        A. 5627                            13
     1    §  9.  Section  5-202  of  the election law is amended by adding a new
     2  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
     3    7.  The  board  of elections in each county shall establish procedures
     4  providing for absentee registration, for all elections held pursuant  to
     5  the provisions of this chapter, through mail and/or electronic means for
     6  persons  with a disability. Such procedures shall be subject to approval
     7  by the state board of elections. Such boards of elections shall  further
     8  be responsible for providing information regarding absentee registration
     9  for  persons  with  a  disability  to  such persons with respect to such
    10  elections.
    11    § 10. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-109  to
    12  read as follows:
    13    §  3-109.  Prohibition  against  voter caging. 1. Definitions. For the
    14  purposes of this section, the following terms shall have  the  following
    15  meanings:
    16    (a) Voter caging document means
    17    (i)  a  nonforwardable  document  that  is returned to the sender of a
    18  third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliv-
    19  er such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or
    20    (ii) any document with instructions to an addressee that the  document
    21  be  returned  to  the  sender  or  a third party but is not so returned,
    22  despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of  a  regis-
    23  tered  voter  or  applicant,  unless  at  least two election cycles have
    24  passed since the date of the attempted delivery;
    25    (b) Voter caging list means a list of individuals compiled from  voter
    26  caging documents; and
    27    (c) Unverified match list means a list produced by matching the infor-
    28  mation  of  registered  voters or applicants for voter registration to a
    29  list of individuals who are ineligible to vote in the registrar's juris-
    30  diction, by virtue of death, conviction, change of  address,  or  other-
    31  wise;  unless one of the pieces of information matched includes a signa-
    32  ture,  photograph,  or  unique  identifying  number  ensuring  that  the
    33  information from each source refers to the same individual.
    34    2. Prohibition against voter caging. Notwithstanding the provisions of
    35  sections  5-220,  8-504  or  8-506 of this chapter, no election official
    36  shall prevent an individual from registering or voting in  any  election
    37  or permit in connection with any election a formal challenge to an indi-
    38  vidual's  registration  status  or eligibility to vote, if the basis for
    39  such decision is evidence consisting of:
    40    (a) a voter caging document or voter caging list;
    41    (b) an unverified match list;
    42    (c) an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any appli-
    43  cation, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or
    44  omission is  not  material  to  an  individual's  eligibility  to  vote;
    45  provided,  however,  that the election official may use such evidence if
    46  it is corroborated by independent evidence of the individual's  ineligi-
    47  bility to register or vote.
    48    3.  Penalties for knowing misconduct. Whoever knowingly challenges the
    49  eligibility of one or more individuals to register or vote or  knowingly
    50  causes the eligibility of such individuals to be challenged in violation
    51  of  this  chapter  with  the  intent that one or more eligible voters be
    52  disqualified, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or by
    53  both such fine and imprisonment, for each such violation. Each violation
    54  shall be a separate offense.
    55    § 11. Section 17-154 of the election law is amended by  adding  a  new
    56  subdivision 6 to read as follows:

        A. 5627                            14
     1    6.  Knowingly and willfully deprive, defraud, or attempt to deprive or
     2  defraud any other person of their free and fair exercise of the right to
     3  vote by the communication of election-related information that is  known
     4  by  the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent. "Elec-
     5  tion-related  information"  shall mean any oral or written communication
     6  regarding the time or place of an election, criminal  penalties  associ-
     7  ated with voting in such an election, an individual's voter registration
     8  status  or  eligibility  to  vote  in  such an election, or the explicit
     9  endorsement of any person or organization of  a  candidate  in  such  an
    10  election.
    11    § 12. Subdivision 1 of section 7-202 of the election law is amended by
    12  adding a new paragraph a-1 to read as follows:
    13    a-1.  use  an individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot of the
    14  voter's vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection  and
    15  verification  by  the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted,
    16  and which shall be counted by hand  or  read  by  an  optical  character
    17  recognition  device  or other counting device; such ballots shall be the
    18  true and correct record of the votes cast and shall allow a manual audit
    19  and be preserved in accordance with the provisions of section  3-222  of
    20  this  chapter.  For  purposes  of  this paragraph, the term "individual,
    21  durable, voter-verified, paper ballot" means a paper  ballot  marked  by
    22  the voter by hand or a paper ballot marked through the use of a nontabu-
    23  lating  ballot marking device or system, so long as the voter shall have
    24  the option to mark his or her ballot by hand;
    25    § 13. Paragraph j of subdivision 1 of section 7-202  of  the  election
    26  law,  as added by chapter 181 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as
    27  follows:
    28    j. retain all paper ballots cast or produce and retain a  voter  veri-
    29  fied  permanent  paper record which shall be presented to the voter from
    30  behind a window or other device before the ballot is cast, in  a  manner
    31  intended  and designed to protect the privacy of the voter; such ballots
    32  or record shall allow a manual audit and shall be preserved  in  accord-
    33  ance  with  the  provisions  of section 3-222 of this chapter; provided,
    34  however, the voting system shall not preserve the  voter-verified  paper
    35  ballots  in  any  manner  that  makes it possible, at any time after the
    36  ballot has been cast, to associate  a  voter  with  the  record  of  the
    37  voter's vote without the voter's consent.
    38    §  14.  The  election  law is amended by adding a new section 3-508 to
    39  read as follows:
    40    § 3-508. Study and report  on  accessible  paper  ballot  verification
    41  mechanisms.  1.  The  state  board of elections shall make grants to not
    42  fewer than three eligible entities to study, test, and develop  accessi-
    43  ble  paper  ballot  voting,  verification,  and  casting  mechanisms and
    44  devices and best practices to enhance the accessibility of paper  ballot
    45  voting  and  verification  mechanisms for individuals with disabilities,
    46  for voters whose primary language is not English, and  for  voters  with
    47  difficulties  in  literacy,  including best practices for the mechanisms
    48  themselves and the processes through which the mechanisms are used.
    49    2. An entity is eligible to receive a grant under this section  if  it
    50  submits  to  the  board  (at such time and in such form as the board may
    51  require) an application containing:
    52    (a) certifications that  the  entity  shall  specifically  investigate
    53  enhanced methods or devices, including non-electronic devices, that will
    54  assist  such  individuals  and  voters  in  marking voter-verified paper
    55  ballots and presenting or transmitting the information printed or marked

        A. 5627                            15
     1  on such ballots back to such individuals and voters,  and  casting  such
     2  ballots;
     3    (b)  a  certification  that  the  entity shall complete the activities
     4  carried out with the grant not later  than  December  thirty-first,  two
     5  thousand twenty; and
     6    (c)  such  other  information  and  certifications  as  the  board may
     7  require.
     8    3. Any technology developed with the grants made  under  this  section
     9  shall  be  treated as non-proprietary and shall be made available to the
    10  public, including to manufacturers of voting systems.
    11    § 15. Subdivision 1 of section 7-104 of the election law,  as  amended
    12  by chapter 165 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    13    1.  (a)  All ballots shall be printed and/or displayed in a format and
    14  arrangement, of such uniform size and  style  as  will  fit  the  ballot
    15  frame, and shall be in as plain and clear a type or display as the space
    16  will  reasonably permit. All voter-verified paper ballots required to be
    17  used under this chapter shall be marked or  printed  on  durable  paper.
    18  Such  type  or  display on the ballot shall satisfy all requirements and
    19  standards set forth pursuant to the federal Help America Vote  Act.  For
    20  purposes  of  this  subdivision,  paper is "durable" if it is capable of
    21  withstanding multiple counts and recounts by hand  without  compromising
    22  the  fundamental  integrity of the ballots, and capable of retaining the
    23  information marked or printed  on  them  for  the  full  duration  of  a
    24  retention and preservation period of twenty-two months.
    25    (b)  All  voter-verified  paper ballots completed by the voter through
    26  the use of a ballot marking device shall  be  clearly  readable  by  the
    27  voter without assistance (other than eyeglasses or other personal vision
    28  enhancing  devices)  and  by  an optical character recognition device or
    29  other device equipped for individuals with disabilities.
    30    § 16. Article 9 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 3
    31  to read as follows:
    32                                  TITLE III
    33                           MANDATORY MANUAL AUDITS
    34  Section 9-300. Requiring audits of results of elections.
    35          9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit.
    36          9-304. Process for administering audits.
    37          9-306. Selection of election districts.
    38          9-308. Publication of results.
    39    § 9-300. Requiring audits of results of elections.  1.  In  accordance
    40  with  this title, the state board of elections shall administer, without
    41  advance notice to the local boards of elections selected, audits of  the
    42  results  of  all  elections  for  state  and local offices held for each
    43  election consisting of random hand counts of  the  voter-verified  paper
    44  ballots required to be used and preserved pursuant to this chapter.
    45    2. The state board of elections shall not be required to administer an
    46  audit  of  the  results  of  an election under this title if the winning
    47  candidate in the election:
    48    (a) had no opposition on the ballot; or
    49    (b) received eighty percent or more of the total number of votes  cast
    50  in the election, as determined on the basis of the final unofficial vote
    51  count.
    52    3.  The  state  board  of elections shall administer audits under this
    53  title through an election auditing entity selected for such  purpose  by
    54  the  state  board  of  elections in accordance with such criteria as the
    55  state board of  elections  considers  appropriate  consistent  with  the

        A. 5627                            16
     1  requirements  of this title, except that such entity must meet standards
     2  to ensure its independence.
     3    §  9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit. 1. Except as provided
     4  in subdivision two of this section, the number of  voter-verified  paper
     5  ballots  which  will  be  subject  to  a  hand count administered by the
     6  election auditing entity under this title with respect  to  an  election
     7  shall be determined as follows:
     8    (a) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
     9  one  of  section  9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory
    10  between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in  the
    11  election  is  less  than  one  percent  of  the total votes cast in that
    12  election, the hand counts of  the  voter-verified  paper  ballots  shall
    13  occur  in at least ten percent of all election districts (or alternative
    14  audit units used in accordance with the method provided for under subdi-
    15  vision two of this section) in the district involved or the state.
    16    (b) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
    17  one of section 9-304 of this title reveals that the  margin  of  victory
    18  between  the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the
    19  election is greater than or equal to  one  percent  but  less  than  two
    20  percent of the total votes cast in that election, the hand counts of the
    21  voter-verified paper ballots shall occur in at least five percent of all
    22  election  districts  (or alternative audit units used in accordance with
    23  the method provided for under subdivision two of this  section)  in  the
    24  district involved or the state.
    25    (c) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
    26  one  of  section  9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory
    27  between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in  the
    28  election is equal to or greater than two percent of the total votes cast
    29  in  that  election,  the hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots
    30  shall occur in at least three percent  of  all  election  districts  (or
    31  alternative  audit units used in accordance with the method provided for
    32  under subdivision two of this section) in the district involved  or  the
    33  state.
    34    2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the state board of
    35  elections  may adopt and apply an alternative mechanism to determine the
    36  number of voter-verified paper ballots which will be subject to the hand
    37  counts required under this title with respect to an election, so long as
    38  the alternative mechanism  uses  the  voter-verified  paper  ballots  to
    39  conduct  the  audit  and the alternative mechanism is in accordance with
    40  the principles set forth in this subdivision. In approving  an  alterna-
    41  tive  mechanism  under  this  subdivision,  the state board of elections
    42  shall ensure that the audit procedure will have the  property  that  for
    43  each election:
    44    (a) the alternative mechanism will be at least as statistically effec-
    45  tive  in ensuring the accuracy of the election results as the procedures
    46  under this section; or
    47    (b) the alternative mechanism will  achieve  at  least  a  ninety-five
    48  percent  confidence  interval (as determined in accordance with criteria
    49  set forth by the National Institute of Standards  and  Technology)  with
    50  respect to the outcome of the election.
    51    § 9-304. Process for administering audits. The election auditing enti-
    52  ty  shall  administer  an  audit under this section of the results of an
    53  election in accordance with the following procedures:
    54    1. Within twenty-four hours after the final unofficial vote  count  is
    55  released, the election auditing entity shall:

        A. 5627                            17
     1    (a) determine and then announce the election districts (or alternative
     2  audit  units  used in accordance with the method provided under subdivi-
     3  sion two of section 9-302 of this title) in the state in which  it  will
     4  administer the audits; and
     5    (b)  with  respect to votes cast at the election district on or before
     6  the date of the election (other  than  affidavit  ballots  described  in
     7  subdivision  two of this section), begin to administer the hand count of
     8  the votes on the voter-verified paper ballots required to  be  used  and
     9  preserved  under  this  chapter  and  the comparison of the count of the
    10  votes on those ballots with the final unofficial count of such votes  as
    11  announced by the board of elections.
    12    2.  With  respect to votes cast other than at the election district on
    13  the date of the election (other than votes cast before the date  of  the
    14  election)  or votes cast by affidavit ballot on the date of the election
    15  which are certified and counted by the board of elections  on  or  after
    16  the  date  of  the  election,  including  votes cast by absent uniformed
    17  services voters and overseas voters under  the  Uniformed  and  Overseas
    18  Citizens  Absentee Voting Act, the election auditing entity shall admin-
    19  ister the hand count of the votes on the applicable voter-verified paper
    20  ballots required to be produced and preserved under this chapter and the
    21  comparison of the count of the votes on those  ballots  with  the  final
    22  unofficial count of such votes as announced by the board of elections.
    23    3.  In  administering  the  audits,  the  election auditing entity may
    24  utilize the services of the personnel of the state or  local  boards  of
    25  elections, including election administration personnel and poll workers,
    26  without  regard to whether or not the personnel have professional audit-
    27  ing experience.
    28    4. The election auditing  entity  shall  administer  an  audit  of  an
    29  election:
    30    (a)  at the location where the ballots cast in the election are stored
    31  and counted after the date of the election or such other appropriate and
    32  secure location agreed upon by the  election  auditing  entity  and  the
    33  state board of elections; and
    34    (b) in the presence of the personnel of the state board of elections.
    35    5.  (a)  If  the  election  auditing entity finds that any of the hand
    36  counts administered under this section do not match the final unofficial
    37  tally of the results of an election, the election auditing entity  shall
    38  administer  hand counts of such additional election districts (or alter-
    39  native audit units) as the election auditing entity considers  appropri-
    40  ate  to  resolve  any  concerns  resulting from the audit and ensure the
    41  accuracy of the election results.
    42    (b) Not later than August first, two thousand  twenty-one,  the  state
    43  board  of  elections shall establish and publish procedures for carrying
    44  out the additional audits under this subdivision, including the means by
    45  which the state board of elections shall resolve any concerns  resulting
    46  from  the  audit  with  finality and ensure the accuracy of the election
    47  results.
    48    6. Each audit conducted under this section shall  be  conducted  in  a
    49  manner that allows public observation of the entire process.
    50    §  9-306.  Selection  of  election  districts. 1. The selection of the
    51  election districts or alternative audit units in the state in which  the
    52  election  auditing  entity  shall  administer the hand counts under this
    53  title shall be made by the election auditing entity on  a  random  basis
    54  except  that  at least one election district shall be selected at random
    55  in each county, with  additional  election  districts  selected  by  the
    56  election auditing entity at the election auditing entity's discretion.

        A. 5627                            18
     1    2. The random selection of election districts under subdivision one of
     2  this section shall be conducted in public, at a time and place announced
     3  in advance.
     4    §  9-308.  Publication of results. 1. As soon as practicable after the
     5  completion of an audit under this title, the  election  auditing  entity
     6  shall  submit  to the state board of elections the results of the audit,
     7  and shall include in the submission a comparison of the results  of  the
     8  election in the election district as determined by the election auditing
     9  entity  under  the  audit  and  the  final  unofficial vote count in the
    10  election district as announced by the board of elections and all  under-
    11  votes,  overvotes,  blank  ballots,  and  spoiled,  voided, or cancelled
    12  ballots, as well as a list of any discrepancies discovered  between  the
    13  initial,  subsequent, and final hand counts administered by the election
    14  auditing entity and such final unofficial vote count and any explanation
    15  for such discrepancies, broken down by the categories of votes described
    16  in subdivisions one and two of section 9-304 of this title.
    17    2. Immediately after receiving the submission of  the  results  of  an
    18  audit  from  the  election auditing entity under subdivision one of this
    19  section, the state  board  of  elections  shall  publicly  announce  and
    20  publish the information contained in the submission.
    21    3. The results of any election which is subject to an audit under this
    22  title shall not be certified prior to:
    23    (a)  to  the completion of the audit (and, if required, any additional
    24  audit conducted under subdivision five of section 9-304 of  this  title)
    25  and the announcement and submission of the results of each such audit to
    26  the state board of elections for publication of the information required
    27  under this section; and
    28    (b)  the completion of any procedure established by the state board of
    29  elections pursuant to subdivision five of section 9-304 of this title to
    30  resolve discrepancies and ensure the accuracy of results.
    31    § 17. Subdivision 3-a of section 3-100 of the election law  is  renum-
    32  bered  subdivision  3-b  and  a  new subdivision 3-a is added to read as
    33  follows:
    34    3-a. (a) It shall be unlawful for a  member  of  the  state  board  of
    35  elections  to  take an active part in political management or in a poli-
    36  tical campaign with  respect  to  any  election  held  pursuant  to  the
    37  provisions  of  this chapter or for federal office over which such offi-
    38  cial has supervisory authority.   Provided, however, that  this  section
    39  shall  not  apply to such officials with respect to an election in which
    40  the official or an immediate family member of the official is  a  candi-
    41  date.
    42    (b)  For  the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have
    43  the following meanings:
    44    (i) "Active part" shall mean service as  a  member  of  an  authorized
    45  committee  of  a  candidate for office; the use of official authority or
    46  influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of
    47  an election; and the solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of a  contrib-
    48  ution from any person on behalf of a candidate for office.
    49    (ii)  "Immediate family member" shall mean a candidate's father, moth-
    50  er, son, daughter, brother,  sister,  husband,  wife,  father-in-law  or
    51  mother-in-law.
    52    § 18. Subdivision 11 of section 5-614 of the election law, as added by
    53  chapter 24 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
    54    11.  a. The state board of elections shall establish a statewide voter
    55  hotline [using information available through the statewide voter  regis-
    56  tration  list]  for  [voters to obtain information regarding their voter

        A. 5627                            19

     1  registration] responding to questions and  complaints  from  individuals
     2  voting or seeking to vote, or registering to vote or seeking to register
     3  to  vote,  in  elections  held  pursuant  to  this chapter or in federal
     4  elections. Such hotline shall provide same-day, and immediate assistance
     5  to  such  individuals, including information on how to register to vote,
     6  the location and hours of operation of polling places, and how to obtain
     7  absentee ballots, and assistance to such individuals encountering  prob-
     8  lems  with registering to vote or voting, including individuals encount-
     9  ering intimidation or deceptive practices.
    10    b. Such voter hotline shall operate in  a  manner  that  ensures  that
    11  individuals  with  disabilities and individuals with limited proficiency
    12  in the English language are fully able to use the service.
    13    c. The state board of elections shall furnish to the temporary  presi-
    14  dent  of  the  senate,  the speaker of the assembly, and the governor, a
    15  bi-annual report detailing the number and type of calls received by  the
    16  service,  a  compilation  and  description  of  the  reports made to the
    17  service  by  individuals  citing  instances  of  voter  intimidation  or
    18  suppression, an assessment of the effectiveness of the service in making
    19  information  available to all households with telephone service, and any
    20  recommendations to improve the service.
    21    § 19. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 6
    22  to read as follows:
    23                                  TITLE VI
    24                       EARLY VOTING AND VOTING BY MAIL
    25  Section 8-600. Early voting; general.
    26          8-601. Early voting; length of period.
    27          8-602. Polling place requirements.
    28          8-603. Early voting; state board of elections.
    29          8-604. Voting by mail.
    30    § 8-600. Early voting; general. A voter shall be permitted to vote  in
    31  any  election  held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter during an
    32  early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the  election,  in
    33  the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.
    34    §  8-601.  Early  voting; length of period. 1. The early voting period
    35  required under section 8-600 of this title, shall consist of a period of
    36  consecutive days, including weekends, which begins on the fifteenth  day
    37  before the date of the election and ends on the date of the election.
    38    2.  Such  early  voting period may commence prior to the fifteenth day
    39  before the date of the election.
    40    § 8-602. Polling place  requirements.  1.  Each  polling  place  which
    41  allows  voting during an early voting period under section 8-600 of this
    42  title shall:
    43    a. allow such voting for no less than four hours on each  day,  except
    44  such  polling  place  may allow such voting for fewer than four hours on
    45  Sundays; and
    46    b. have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs.
    47    2. To the greatest extent practicable, each polling place which allows
    48  voting during an early voting period under section 8-600 of this  title,
    49  shall be located within walking distance of a stop on a public transpor-
    50  tation route.
    51    § 8-603. Early voting; state board of elections. 1. The state board of
    52  elections  shall  issue standards for the administration of early voting
    53  for a state or local election. Such standards shall include the  nondis-
    54  criminatory  geographic placement of polling places at which such voting
    55  occurs.

        A. 5627                            20
     1    2. The standards described in subdivision one of  this  section  shall
     2  permit  the  boards of elections, upon providing adequate public notice,
     3  to deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen  circumstances
     4  such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or a change in voter turn-
     5  out.
     6    §  8-604.  Voting by mail. A voter qualified to cast a vote in a state
     7  or local election shall not be restricted by  additional  conditions  or
     8  requirements  on  the eligibility of such voter to vote in such election
     9  by mail, except to the extent the board of elections imposes a  deadline
    10  for  requesting  the ballot and related voting materials from the appro-
    11  priate election official and for returning the ballot to the appropriate
    12  official.
    13    § 20. Section 8-400 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    14  subdivision 6-a to read as follows:
    15    6-a.  An  absentee  ballot may not be accepted or processed unless the
    16  individual's identity is verified by comparing the  individual's  signa-
    17  ture on the absentee ballot with the individual's signature on the offi-
    18  cial  list  of  registered  voters,  in  accordance with such procedures
    19  adopted by the state board of elections.
    20    § 21. Section 5-104 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    21  subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
    22    1-a.  For  the  purpose of registering and voting, no spouse, domestic
    23  partner, or dependent of a person  who  is  absent  from  the  state  in
    24  compliance with military or naval orders shall, solely by reason of that
    25  person's absence and without regard to whether or not such family member
    26  is accompanying that person be deemed to have:
    27    a.  lost  a  residence  or  domicile  in this state, without regard to
    28  whether or not the person intends to return;
    29    b. acquired a residence or domicile in any other state; or
    30    c. become a resident in or a resident of any other state.
    31    § 22. Section 10-124 of the election law is amended  by  adding  three
    32  new subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 to read as follows:
    33    3.  Not  later  than  forty-five  days  before any regularly scheduled
    34  general election the state board of elections shall submit a  report  to
    35  the  governor  and attorney general and make that report publicly avail-
    36  able that same day, certifying that absentee ballots  for  the  election
    37  are  or  will be available for transmission to absent uniformed services
    38  voters and overseas voters by no later than the amount of days prior  to
    39  the  election as outlined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section
    40  10-108 of this article.  The report shall be in a form prescribed joint-
    41  ly by the governor and attorney  general  and  shall  require  certified
    42  specific  information  about ballot availability from each unit of local
    43  government which will administer the election.
    44    4. Not later than twelve days before any regularly  scheduled  general
    45  election  the  state  board  of  elections  shall submit a report to the
    46  governor and attorney general and make that  report  publicly  available
    47  that  same day, certifying whether all absentee ballots have been trans-
    48  mitted by no later than the amount of days  prior  to  the  election  as
    49  outlined  in  paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 10-108 of this
    50  article to all qualified absent uniformed services and  overseas  voters
    51  whose  requests  were  received prior to such dates before the election.
    52  The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly  by  the  governor  and
    53  attorney  general and shall require certified specific information about
    54  ballot availability from each unit of local government which will admin-
    55  ister the election.

        A. 5627                            21
     1    5. Not later than ninety days after the date of each regularly  sched-
     2  uled  general  election  the  state and county boards of elections which
     3  administered such election shall submit a report  to  the  governor  and
     4  attorney  general on the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted
     5  to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election
     6  and  the  combined  number  of  such ballots which were returned by such
     7  voters and cast in the election, and shall make such report available to
     8  the general public that same day.
     9    § 23. Section 10-108 of the election law is amended by  adding  a  new
    10  subdivision 2-a to read as follows:
    11    2-a.  (a) In the event that the board of elections in any county fails
    12  to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of  subdivision  one  of  this
    13  section  the board of elections in such county shall transmit the ballot
    14  to the voter by express delivery or in the  case  of  a  voter  who  has
    15  designated  that  absentee  ballots  be  transmitted electronically, the
    16  board of elections of such county shall transmit the ballot to the voter
    17  electronically.
    18    (b) If, in carrying out the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdi-
    19  vision, a county board of elections transmits an absentee ballot  to  an
    20  absent  uniformed services voter or overseas voter fewer than seven days
    21  before the election, the county board  of  elections  shall  enable  the
    22  ballot to be returned by the voter by express delivery.
    23    §  24.  Section  10-106 of the election law is amended by adding a new
    24  subdivision 9 to read as follows:
    25    9. (a) If an application submitted by  an  absent  uniformed  services
    26  voter  or  overseas voter has been accepted and such voter requests that
    27  the application be considered an application for an absentee ballot  for
    28  each  subsequent  election, an absentee ballot shall be provided to such
    29  voter for each subsequent election.
    30    (b) Paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall not apply with respect  to
    31  a voter registered to vote in any election held after the voter notifies
    32  the  board of elections that the voter no longer wishes to be registered
    33  to vote in this state or such county or after  the  board  of  elections
    34  determines  that  the  voter  has registered to vote in another state or
    35  county or is otherwise no longer eligible to vote.
    36    (c) A valid voter registration application or absentee ballot applica-
    37  tion submitted by an absent uniformed services voter or  overseas  voter
    38  shall  not be refused on the grounds that the voter submitted the appli-
    39  cation before the first date on which such applications are accepted  or
    40  processed  by  absentee  voters  who  are  not  members of the uniformed
    41  services or overseas citizens.
    42    § 25. Section 3-404 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    43  subdivision 8 to read as follows:
    44    8.  (a)  An  employee in or under a state agency is entitled to leave,
    45  without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise  entitled,
    46  credit  for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating, not to
    47  exceed six days in a leave year, in order to provide  election  adminis-
    48  tration  assistance  at  a polling place on the date of any election for
    49  public office or to receive any training  without  which  such  employee
    50  would be ineligible to provide such assistance.
    51    (b)  The department of civil service may prescribe regulations for the
    52  administration of this subdivision, including regulations setting  forth
    53  the  terms  and  conditions of the election administration assistance an
    54  employee may provide for purposes of paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
    55    § 26. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-422  to
    56  read as follows:

        A. 5627                            22
     1    §  3-422.  Model  poll  worker training program. 1. The state board of
     2  elections shall develop and provide to each county materials for a model
     3  poll worker training program which the counties may use to  train  indi-
     4  viduals to serve as poll workers in state and county elections.
     5    2.  The materials for the model poll worker training program developed
     6  under this section shall include  materials  to  provide  training  with
     7  respect to the following:
     8    (a)  the  relevant  provisions of the laws which apply to the adminis-
     9  tration of elections, including but not limited to the Voting Rights Act
    10  of 1965 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002;
    11    (b) the provision of access to voting to individuals with disabilities
    12  in a manner which preserves the dignity and privacy of such individuals;
    13    (c) the provision of access to  voting  to  individuals  with  limited
    14  English  language  proficiency,  and  to  individuals who are members of
    15  racial or ethnic minorities, consistent with  the  protections  provided
    16  for such individuals under relevant law, in a manner which preserves the
    17  dignity of such individuals;
    18    (d)  practical  experience in the use of voting machines which will be
    19  used in the election involved, including the accessibility  features  of
    20  such machines; and
    21    (e)  such other election administration subjects as the state board of
    22  elections considers appropriate to ensure that poll workers are able  to
    23  efficiently assist with the administration of elections.
    24    §  27.  Section  3-212  of the election law is amended by adding a new
    25  subdivision 6 to read as follows:
    26    6. Before the state board of elections or any local board of elections
    27  makes any changes in administration,  regulations,  policies,  practices
    28  and  procedures  affecting  counties  with  at least ten percent African
    29  American, Hispanic, Asian and/or Native American registered  voters  who
    30  average  fifty  percent or less voter turnout over the past five general
    31  elections and/or  have  any  minority  voter  complaints  or  government
    32  enforcement  actions within the past ten years, must submit such changes
    33  to the  civil  rights  bureau  of  the  attorney  general's  office  for
    34  approval. This shall not apply to any changes made pursuant to law.
    35    § 28. The sum of five million dollars ($5,000,000) is hereby appropri-
    36  ated  to  the  state  board  of elections out of any moneys in the state
    37  treasury in the general  fund  to  the  credit  of  the  state  purposes
    38  account, not otherwise appropriated, and made immediately available, for
    39  the  purpose  of  carrying  out  the  provisions of section 3-508 of the
    40  election law.  Such moneys shall be payable on the audit and warrant  of
    41  the  comptroller  on vouchers certified or approved by a majority of the
    42  commissioners of the state board of elections in the  manner  prescribed
    43  by law.
    44    §  29.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all
    45  elections conducted in 2020  and  thereafter.  Provided,  however,  that
    46  section twenty-six of this act shall take effect one year after this act
    47  takes effect.
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