Bill Text: NY S02273 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Lowers the voting age to 16 years and requires that students receive education in civics and be given the opportunity to register to vote in the classroom.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 7-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-10 - PRINT NUMBER 2273A [S02273 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S02273-Amended.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                         2273--A
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                    January 23, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sens.  HOYLMAN, BAILEY, BENJAMIN, COMRIE, PARKER -- read
          twice and ordered printed, and when printed to  be  committed  to  the
          Committee  on Elections -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
          reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to the  qualifications  of
          voters; and to amend the education law, in relation to civic education
          and student voter registration
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section  5-102  of  the  election  law  is
     2  amended to read as follows:
     3    1.  No  person  shall  be  qualified  to  register for and vote at any
     4  election unless [he] such person is a citizen of the United  States  and
     5  is  or will be, on the day of such election, [eighteen] sixteen years of
     6  age or over, and a resident of this state and of  the  county,  city  or
     7  village for a minimum of thirty days next preceding such election.
     8    §  2.  Paragraph (g) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the election
     9  law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2005, is amended  to  read
    10  as follows:
    11    (g)  Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States,
    12  is or will be at least [eighteen]  sixteen  years  old  not  later  than
    13  December  thirty-first of the calendar year in which he or she registers
    14  and a resident of the county or city to which application is made.
    15    § 2-a. Paragraph (g) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the election
    16  law, as amended by chapter 2 of the laws of 2019, is amended to read  as
    17  follows:
    18    (g)  Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States,
    19  is or will be at least sixteen years old [when  he  or  she  submits  an
    20  application  to  register  to vote which will be effective for elections
    21  occurring on or after the applicant turns eighteen  years  of  age]  not
    22  later than December thirty-first of the calendar year in which he or she
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02079-03-9

        S. 2273--A                          2
     1  registers  and  a resident of the county or city to which application is
     2  made.
     3    § 3. Subdivision 3 of section 8-504 of the election law, as renumbered
     4  by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
     5    3.  After  receiving the answers as above specified, of any applicant,
     6  the board shall, if it believes the applicant to  be  qualified  or  the
     7  challenge  is withdrawn, permit him or her to vote. Otherwise, the board
     8  shall point out to him or her the qualifications, if any, in respect  of
     9  which he or she shall appear deficient. If, after such deficiencies have
    10  been  so  indicated,  the applicant shall persist in his or her claim to
    11  vote, an inspector shall administer to him or her  the  following  oath,
    12  which  shall  be  known  as  "The Qualification Oath": "You do swear (or
    13  affirm) that you are [eighteen] sixteen years of age,  that  you  are  a
    14  citizen  of  the United States and that you have been a resident of this
    15  state, and of this county (of the city of New York) (village) for thirty
    16  days next preceding this election, that you still  reside  at  the  same
    17  address  from  which  you  have  been  duly  registered in this election
    18  district, that you have not voted at this election, and that you do  not
    19  know  of  any reason why you are not qualified to vote at this election.
    20  You do further declare that you are aware that it is a crime to make any
    21  false statement. That all the statements you have made to the board have
    22  been true and that you understand that a false statement is perjury  and
    23  you will be guilty of a misdemeanor."
    24    §  4.  Subdivisions  1  and  3 of section 801 of the education law, as
    25  amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended and a new subdi-
    26  vision 6 is added to read as follows:
    27    1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic  and  civic  service  and
    28  obligation  and  to foster in the children of the state moral and intel-
    29  lectual qualities which are essential in preparing  to  meet  the  obli-
    30  gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University
    31  of  the  State  of  New  York  shall prescribe courses of instruction in
    32  patriotism, citizenship  and  civics,  and  human  rights  issues,  with
    33  particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery
    34  (including  the  freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust,
    35  and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to  be  maintained
    36  and  followed  in  all the schools of the state. The boards of education
    37  and trustees of the several cities and school  districts  of  the  state
    38  shall  require  instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers
    39  employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over
    40  the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction.  All  pupils
    41  in  the  ninth  and  higher  grades shall receive civic education for at
    42  least eight full class periods, in accordance with the department's 9-12
    43  social studies framework.
    44    Similar courses of instruction shall be prescribed and  maintained  in
    45  private  schools  in the state, and all pupils in such schools in grades
    46  or classes corresponding to the instruction in  the  eighth  and  higher
    47  grades  of  the  public  schools shall attend upon such courses. If such
    48  courses are not so established  and  maintained  in  a  private  school,
    49  attendance  upon instruction in such school shall not be deemed substan-
    50  tially equivalent to instruction given to pupils in the  public  schools
    51  of the city or district in which such pupils reside.
    52    3.  The  regents  shall  determine the subjects to be included in such
    53  courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship and civics, and  human
    54  rights  issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity
    55  of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground  rail-
    56  road),  the  Holocaust,  and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to

        S. 2273--A                          3
     1  1850, and in the  history,  meaning,  significance  and  effect  of  the
     2  provisions  of  the  constitution  of  the United States, the amendments
     3  thereto, the declaration of independence, the constitution of the  state
     4  of New York and the amendments thereto, and the period of instruction in
     5  each  of  the  grades in such subjects. They shall adopt rules providing
     6  for attendance upon such instruction and for such other matters  as  are
     7  required  for  carrying  into  effect  the  objects and purposes of this
     8  section. The commissioner shall be responsible for  the  enforcement  of
     9  such  section and shall cause to be inspected and supervise the instruc-
    10  tion to be  given  in  such  subjects.  The  commissioner  may,  in  his
    11  discretion,  cause  all  or  a  portion of the public school money to be
    12  apportioned to a district or city to be  withheld  for  failure  of  the
    13  school  authorities  of  such district or city to provide instruction in
    14  such courses and to compel attendance upon such instruction,  as  herein
    15  prescribed,  and  for  a  non-compliance  with  the rules of the regents
    16  adopted as herein provided.
    17     6.  a.  The  regents,  in  collaboration  with  the  state  board  of
    18  elections,  shall  make  available  to  each high school two forms to be
    19  distributed to all pupils who shall be sixteen years of age on or before
    20  December thirty-first of each year. Such forms shall be  distributed  on
    21  one date between the second and fifth school day in the month of January
    22  of each year.
    23    b. The first form to be distributed pursuant to this subdivision shall
    24  be  a standard voter registration form as prescribed by section 5-210 of
    25  the election law. Such form shall be completed for each eligible  pupil,
    26  by  school administrators who shall complete each field of the registra-
    27  tion form except the fields  pertaining  to  citizenship  status,  party
    28  affiliation,  signature  and  date. The content of the registration form
    29  shall be explained to all pupils  to  whom  forms  are  distributed  and
    30  pupils shall be directed to correct any incorrect information previously
    31  completed by school administrators.
    32    c.  The  second  form  to  be distributed pursuant to this subdivision
    33  shall be entitled "Voter Registration Opt-Out Form"  and  shall  contain
    34  the  following  statement: "I, the undersigned, decline to register as a
    35  voter in the State of New York at this time,  and  defer  my  choice  of
    36  registration  in the State of New York to a future date of my choosing."
    37  Such form shall be created by the  regents  in  collaboration  with  the
    38  state board of elections.
    39    d.  Pupils  shall  be  given classroom time to have the opportunity to
    40  complete either the standard voter registration form or the voter regis-
    41  tration opt-out form. After pupils have had time to complete both forms,
    42  school administrators shall collect both forms from all pupils  to  whom
    43  the  forms were distributed.  School administrators shall be required to
    44  dispose of all voter registration forms for  pupils  who  elect  to  not
    45  register to vote.
    46    §  5.  This  act  shall  take  effect on the same date as a concurrent
    47  resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF
    48  THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to section 1 of  article  2
    49  of  the constitution, in relation to the voting age"; provided, however,
    50  that the amendments made to paragraph (g) of subdivision  5  of  section
    51  5-210  of the election law made by section two-a of this act, shall take
    52  effect on the same date and same manner as section 2 of chapter 2 of the
    53  laws of 2019 takes effect.
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