Bill Text: NY A07348 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enacts the "New York automatic voter registration act of 2019" to streamline the process for registering to vote.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 23-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-25 - referred to election law [A07348 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A07348-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          7348
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     April 25, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by M. of A. CARROLL -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Election Law
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to enacting the "New  York
          automatic voter registration act of 2019"
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the "New York automatic voter registration act of 2019".
     3    § 2. The election law is amended by adding a new section 5-200 to read
     4  as follows:
     5    §  5-200.  Automated  voter registration. 1. Notwithstanding any other
     6  manner of registration required by this  article,  each  person  in  the
     7  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of this article, shall
     8  be  automatically  registered  to  vote  as  provided  in  this section,
     9  provided that the person does not elect to decline to register to vote.
    10    2. The state board of elections or county  board  of  elections  shall
    11  register  to vote or update the registration record of any person in the
    12  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of  this  article  who
    13  does  not  elect to decline to register to vote or to update the voter's
    14  registration 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;
    20    (b)  completes an application for services, renewal or recertification
    21  for services, or change of address relating to such services from  agen-
    22  cies designated in section 5-211 of this title;
    23    (c)  completes an application for services, renewal or recertification
    24  for services, or change of address relating to such  services  from  any
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD07587-01-9

        A. 7348                             2
     1  municipal  housing  authority  as  set  forth in article thirteen of the
     2  public housing law;
     3    (d)  registers  for classes at institutions of the state university of
     4  New York and the city university of New York;
     5    (e) completes a maximum sentence of imprisonment or is discharged from
     6  parole;
     7    (f) completes an application for unemployment insurance;
     8    (g) becomes a member or employee of the New York division of  military
     9  and naval affairs; or
    10    (h)  completes  an  application  with any state agency designated as a
    11  source agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of  subdivision  three  of  this
    12  section.
    13    3. (a) The term "source agency" includes the department of motor vehi-
    14  cles, any government agency designated pursuant to section 5-211 of this
    15  title,  the  state university of New York and the city university of New
    16  York, all public housing authorities listed in article thirteen  of  the
    17  public  housing  law, the department of corrections and community super-
    18  vision, the department of labor, the New York division of  military  and
    19  naval  affairs and any agency designated by the state board of elections
    20  pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision.
    21    (b) The state board of elections may designate additional state  agen-
    22  cies to serve as sources for voter registration. In designating an agen-
    23  cy under this paragraph, the state board of elections shall consider:
    24    (i)  the  likelihood  that  source  records  reflect a large number of
    25  eligible citizens;
    26    (ii) the extent to which source records reflect eligible citizens  who
    27  would  not  otherwise  be  registered  under  the act to modernize voter
    28  registration;
    29    (iii) the accuracy of personal identification data in source  records;
    30  and
    31    (iv)  any additional factors designated by the chief election official
    32  as reasonably related to  accomplishing  the  purposes  of  the  act  to
    33  modernize voter registration.
    34    4.  The  state  board of elections and the source agencies shall enter
    35  into agreements to ensure that for each person described in  subdivision
    36  two  of this section, each source agency electronically transmits to the
    37  state or local boards of elections the  following  information,  to  the
    38  extent  it  has  such  information,  in a format that can be read by the
    39  computerized statewide voter registration list:
    40    (a) given name or names and surname or surnames;
    41    (b) mailing address and residential address;
    42    (c) date of birth;
    43    (d) citizenship or attestation of eligibility;
    44    (e) driver's license or non-driver identification  card  number,  last
    45  four  digits  of the person's social security number, or a space for the
    46  person to indicate that he or she does not have any such number;
    47    (f) political party enrollment, if any;
    48    (g) an indication that the person intends to  apply  for  an  absentee
    49  ballot, if any; and
    50    (h) an image of the person's signature.
    51    In  the  event  that any transmission of data pursuant to this section
    52  fails to include an image of an individual's signature, the absence of a
    53  signature shall not preclude the registration of  an  eligible  citizen.
    54  The  board  of  elections shall develop procedures to enable an eligible
    55  citizen, whose information is transmitted pursuant to this  section  and
    56  whose  information lacks an electronic signature, to provide a signature

        A. 7348                             3
     1  at the polling place or with  an  application  for  an  absentee  ballot
     2  before  voting.  The board may require an elector who has not provided a
     3  signature before arriving at the polling place or submitting an absentee
     4  ballot  to present a current and valid photo identification or a copy of
     5  a current utility bill, bank statement, government check,  paycheck,  or
     6  other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
     7    5.  If  a source agency does not routinely request information from an
     8  individual that would demonstrate proof of eligibility  to  register  to
     9  vote  including age, citizenship and residency, the agency shall provide
    10  a voter registration form on which such individual may either decline to
    11  register to vote or consent to register to vote and inform the  individ-
    12  ual:
    13    (a)  that  the individual shall be registered to vote unless the indi-
    14  vidual declines to register to vote or if the individual is not eligible
    15  to vote;
    16    (b) of the qualifications to register to vote;
    17    (c) that the individual should not register to vote if the  individual
    18  does not meet all the qualifications;
    19    (d) of the penalties for submission of a false application;
    20    (e)  that voter registration is voluntary and that neither registering
    21  nor declining to register to vote will in any way affect the availabili-
    22  ty of services or benefits; and
    23    (f) that by failing to affirmatively decline to register to  vote  the
    24  individual  is  attesting  that  they  meet all of the qualifications to
    25  register to vote.
    26    6. (a) The board of elections shall:
    27    (i) identify all individuals whose information  is  transmitted  by  a
    28  source  agency  pursuant to this section and who are eligible to be, but
    29  are not currently, registered to vote in the state;
    30    (ii) promptly send each such individual written notice which shall not
    31  identify the source agency that transmitted the  information  but  shall
    32  include:
    33    (1)  an  explanation  that voter registration is voluntary, but if the
    34  individual does not decline registration, the individual will be  regis-
    35  tered to vote;
    36    (2)  a  statement  offering  the opportunity to decline to register to
    37  vote;
    38    (3) a statement offering the individual the opportunity to enroll with
    39  a political party or to decline to enroll with a political party;
    40    (4) the voter eligibility requirements and a statement that the  indi-
    41  vidual must decline registration if they do not meet these requirements;
    42    (5)  penalties for submission of false information for registration to
    43  vote;
    44    (6) a statement that if the  individual  declines  to  register,  that
    45  declination  shall  remain confidential and shall be used only for voter
    46  registration purposes; and
    47    (7) instructions for correcting erroneous information.
    48    (b) The notice required by subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (a) of  this
    49  subdivision shall include a form that offers the individual the opportu-
    50  nity to elect to decline to register to vote and, in a separate section,
    51  the opportunity to enroll with a political party or to decline to enroll
    52  with  a  political  party  and a postage pre-paid envelope to return the
    53  form.
    54    (c) If a person notified under this section does  not  decline  to  be
    55  registered  to  vote within twenty-one days after the board of elections
    56  sends the notice, the individual shall be registered to vote.

        A. 7348                             4
     1    7. The state board  of  elections  shall  prepare  and  distribute  to
     2  participating  agencies written instructions as to the implementation of
     3  the program and shall be responsible for establishing training  programs
     4  for employees of source agencies listed in this section.
     5    8.  The agreements between the state board of elections and the source
     6  agencies shall include the format in which information will be transmit-
     7  ted, whether and how each entity will collect, in addition to the manda-
     8  tory information listed in subdivision four of this section,  additional
     9  information on a voluntary basis from persons for the purpose of facili-
    10  tating  voter  registration,  the  frequency  of data transmissions, the
    11  procedures, and other measures that will be used to ensure the  security
    12  and  privacy of the information transmitted, and any other matter neces-
    13  sary or helpful to implement the requirements of this section.
    14    9. Each  source  agency  shall  cooperate  with  the  state  board  of
    15  elections  and  county board of elections to facilitate the voter regis-
    16  tration of each person described in subdivision two of this section, and
    17  to electronically transmit the information needed to register each  such
    18  person  to  vote  or  to  update  each  such person's voter registration
    19  record.
    20    10. Each source agency shall enter into an agreement  with  the  state
    21  board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic tran-
    22  smissions  required  by  this section no later than September first, two
    23  thousand twenty; provided, that each source  agency  shall  be  able  to
    24  comply  fully  with  all  requirements  of  this  section, including the
    25  collection and transmission of all data required to register individuals
    26  to vote, by January first, two thousand twenty-one.
    27    § 3. Subdivision 3 of section 5-304 of the election law, as amended by
    28  chapter 90 of the laws of 1991, is amended to read as follows:
    29    3. A change of enrollment received by the board of elections,  showing
    30  a  dated  cancellation  mark  of  the  United  States  Postal Service or
    31  contained in an envelope showing such cancellation mark which is  dated,
    32  not  later  than the twenty-fifth day before the [general election shall
    33  be deposited in a sealed enrollment box, which shall not be opened until
    34  the first Tuesday  following  such  general  election.  Such  change  of
    35  enrollment  shall  be then removed and entered as provided in this arti-
    36  cle] next ensuing primary, general or special election, and received  no
    37  later  than the fifth day before such election or delivered in person to
    38  such county board of elections not later than the  tenth  day  before  a
    39  primary,  general  or  special  election,  shall  be  effective for such
    40  election. Enrollment changes shall be entered as provided in this  arti-
    41  cle  and  shall  be  deemed  to  take effect on the tenth day after such
    42  change of enrollment is received by the board of  elections  or  if  the
    43  change  of  enrollment,  or  the  envelope  containing it, bears a dated
    44  cancellation mark of the United States Postal Service, such change shall
    45  be entered and shall be deemed to take effect on the tenth day after the
    46  date of such mark, whichever is earlier; except that no change will take
    47  effect sooner than the fifth day after the receipt  of  such  change  of
    48  enrollment by the board of elections.
    49    §  4.  The  election  law is amended by adding a new section 17-138 to
    50  read as follows:
    51    § 17-138. Discrimination and harassment. No person acting under  color
    52  of  any  provision  of  law may harass or discriminate against or assist
    53  others in harassing or discriminating against any person on the basis of
    54  the information supplied by the person for voter registration  purposes,
    55  a  person's declination to register to vote or to supply information for
    56  voter registration purposes, or a person's absence  from  the  statewide

        A. 7348                             5
     1  voter  registration  list  except as required to administer elections or
     2  enforce election laws.
     3    § 5. Subdivision 1 of section 3-220 of the election law, as amended by
     4  chapter 104 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
     5    1.  All  registration  records,  certificates,  lists, and inventories
     6  referred to in, or required by, this chapter shall be public records and
     7  open to public inspection under the immediate supervision of  the  board
     8  of elections or its employees and subject to such reasonable regulations
     9  as  such  board  may impose, provided, however, that no data transmitted
    10  pursuant to section 5-200 of this chapter shall be considered  a  public
    11  record  open  to  public inspection solely by reason of its transmission
    12  and that the following information shall  not  be  released  for  public
    13  inspection:
    14    (a) any voter's signature;
    15    (b)  the  personal  residence and contact information of any voter for
    16  whom any provision of law requires confidentiality;
    17    (c) any portion of a voter's driver's license number,  [department  of
    18  motor  vehicle] non-driver [photo ID] identification card number, social
    19  security number and facsimile number [shall not be released  for  public
    20  inspection];
    21    (d) any voter's telephone number; and
    22    (e)  any  voter's email address.   No such records shall be handled at
    23  any time by any person other than a member of a  registration  board  or
    24  board  of  inspectors  of  elections  or  board  of  elections except as
    25  provided by rules imposed by the board of elections.
    26    § 6. Subdivision 4 of section 3-212 of the election law is amended  by
    27  adding two new paragraphs (c) and (d) to read as follows:
    28    (c)  Said annual report, as required by paragraph (a) of this subdivi-
    29  sion, shall also include:
    30    (1) the number of records that have been received, transmitted, trans-
    31  ferred, updated, or corrected pursuant to section 5-200 of this chapter,
    32  by source;
    33    (2) the number of records received under section 5-200 of  this  chap-
    34  ter,  by source, that do not relate to persons identified as eligible to
    35  vote;
    36    (3) the number of persons who have contacted the board to opt  out  of
    37  voter registration;
    38    (4)  the  number  of voters who submit voter registration forms and/or
    39  requests to update or correct voter registration information  using  the
    40  system described in section 5-614 of this chapter; and
    41    (5)  the  number  of voters who correct voter registration information
    42  using the election-day procedure described  in  section  8-302  of  this
    43  chapter.
    44    (d)  Said annual report, as required by paragraph (a) of this subdivi-
    45  sion, shall exclude  any  information  that  personally  identifies  any
    46  person other than an election official or other government official.
    47    § 7. Section 17-104 of the election law is amended to read as follows:
    48    § 17-104. False registration. 1. Any person who:
    49    [1.]  (a) Registers or attempts to register as an elector in more than
    50  one election district for the same election, or more than  once  in  the
    51  same election district; or,
    52    [2.] (b) Registers or attempts to register as an elector, knowing that
    53  he  will  not  be  a qualified voter in the district at the election for
    54  which such registration is made; or
    55    [3.] (c) Registers or attempts to register as  an  elector  under  any
    56  name but his or her own; or

        A. 7348                             6
     1    [4.]  (d)  Knowingly  gives  a  false  residence  within  the election
     2  district when registering as an elector; or
     3    [5.]  (e)  Knowingly permits, aids, assists, abets, procures, commands
     4  or advises another to commit any such act, is guilty of a felony.
     5    2. Notwithstanding any other provision  of  this  chapter,  no  person
     6  shall  be  liable  for an error in the statewide voter registration list
     7  unless such person knowingly and willfully makes a  false  statement  in
     8  order  to  effectuate  or perpetuate voter registration. An error in the
     9  statewide voter registration list shall not constitute a  fraudulent  or
    10  false claim to citizenship.
    11    §  8.  Subdivisions  16-a and 17 of section 3-102 of the election law,
    12  subdivision 16-a as amended by section 91 of subpart  B  of  part  C  of
    13  chapter  62 of the laws of 2011 is amended, subdivision 17 as renumbered
    14  by chapter 23 of the laws of 2005, is renumbered subdivision 21 and four
    15  new subdivisions 17, 18, 19 and 20 are added to read as follows:
    16    16-a. provide the department of corrections and community  supervision
    17  with  a  sufficient  number  of  voter  registration  forms to allow the
    18  department of corrections and community supervision to comply  with  the
    19  duty  to provide such voter registration forms to persons upon the expi-
    20  ration of their maximum sentence of imprisonment. Such  voter  registra-
    21  tion forms shall be addressed to the state board of elections[.];
    22    17.  ensure  that, upon receipt and verification of a person's express
    23  request to opt out of voter registration, the person's name  and  regis-
    24  tration record will not be added to the county or statewide voter regis-
    25  tration lists;
    26    18. ensure that election officials shall not provide the record of any
    27  person  who has opted out of voter registration, in whole or in part, to
    28  any third party for any purpose other than the  compilation  of  a  jury
    29  list;
    30    19.  publish and enforce a privacy and security policy specifying each
    31  class of users who shall have authorized access to the  statewide  voter
    32  registration list, preventing unauthorized access to the statewide voter
    33  registration  list  and  to any list provided by a source agency or list
    34  maintenance source, and setting forth other safeguards  to  protect  the
    35  privacy and security of the information on the statewide voter registra-
    36  tion list;
    37    20.  promulgate rules regarding the notification of voters of transfer
    38  of address by electronic mail; and
    39    § 9. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.  Effective immediate-
    40  ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal  of  any  rule  or  regulation
    41  necessary  for  the implementation of this act on its effective date are
    42  authorized to be made and completed on or before such effective date.
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