Bill Text: NY S04299 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Relates to voting rights expansion, voter registration on election day, expansion of the use of and requirements for absentee voting, creation of a real-time statewide voter registration database, special ballots for election employees, and voter affidavits.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-03-06 - REFERRED TO ELECTIONS [S04299 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S04299-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          4299
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                      March 6, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced by Sens. PARKER, SEPULVEDA -- read twice and ordered printed,
          and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections
        AN  ACT  to  amend the election law, in relation to voting rights expan-
          sion, voter registration on election day, expansion of the use of  and
          requirements  for  absentee voting, creation of a real-time state-wide
          voter registration database, special ballots for  election  employees,
          voter  affidavits; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relat-
          ing thereto
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The  election  law  is amended by adding two new sections
     2  5-217 and 5-217-a to read as follows:
     3    § 5-217. Registering at the polling place; election day  registration.
     4  1.  The  provisions  of  this  section and section 5-217-a of this title
     5  shall be used as an additional procedure for voter  registration.    For
     6  the purposes of this section and section 5-217-a of this title, the term
     7  "election  day"  shall  refer  to  state  primary  and  to state general
     8  elections, to all town, city,  school  district,  and  village  district
     9  elections,  and  to  all  elections  where  persons may vote by absentee
    10  ballot. A person registering to vote on election  day  shall  do  so  in
    11  accordance  with the provisions of this section and all other applicable
    12  law including, but not limited to completion  of  a  voter  registration
    13  form  as  provided for in section 5-210 of this title. The provisions of
    14  this section and those of 5-217-a of this  title  shall  apply  notwith-
    15  standing any provisions of law to the contrary.
    16    2.  Any person whose name is not on the checklist but who is otherwise
    17  a qualified voter shall be entitled to vote by requesting to  be  regis-
    18  tered  to vote at the polling place on election date. The voter may then
    19  vote in such election. The applicant shall be required to produce appro-
    20  priate proof of qualifications as provided in this chapter.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD08782-02-9

        S. 4299                             2
     1    3. Any person who is waiting to register to vote at the polling  place
     2  on election day at the time scheduled for the closing of the polls shall
     3  be allowed to vote if determined to be qualified to register.
     4    §  5-217-a.  Effect  of  registration  on election day. Any person who
     5  registers to vote on election day according to the provisions of section
     6  5-217 of this title shall be registered to vote at all subsequent  town,
     7  state, and federal elections.
     8    §  2.  Section 8-400 of the election law is REPEALED and a new section
     9  8-400 is added to read as follows:
    10    § 8-400. Absentee voting. 1. A qualified voter may vote as an absentee
    11  voter under this chapter if, on the occurrence of any  village  election
    12  conducted by the board of elections, primary election, special election,
    13  general  election  or  New  York city community school board district or
    14  city of Buffalo school district election, if he  or  she  elects  to  do
    15  such.  Any reference to "board of elections" in the remaining provisions
    16  of this section means only the board of elections of the county or  city
    17  in which the absentee voter is a qualified voter.
    18    2.  The  board  of  elections for all counties or cities shall mail an
    19  absentee ballot to every registered and qualified voter residing in such
    20  county or city. Such absentee ballot shall be mailed to every registered
    21  and qualified voter at the address given  on  his  or  her  registration
    22  records no later than thirty days before the scheduled election is to be
    23  held.
    24    3. In the case of a primary election, the board shall deliver only the
    25  ballot  of the party in which the records of the board of elections show
    26  the absentee voter to be enrolled. In the event a  primary  election  is
    27  uncontested  in the absentee voters election district for all offices or
    28  positions except the party position of member of the ward, town, city or
    29  county committee, no ballot shall be delivered to  such  absentee  voter
    30  for such election; and the absentee voter shall be advised why he or she
    31  is not being sent a ballot.
    32    4.  If a person voting by absentee ballot is unable to sign his or her
    33  signature because of illness, physical disability or inability to  read,
    34  he  or  she  shall  be  excused from signing upon making a statement, in
    35  substantially the following  form,  which  shall  be  witnessed  by  one
    36  person:
    37    "I  hereby  state  that I am unable to sign my absentee ballot without
    38  assistance because I am unable to write by reason of my illness or phys-
    39  ical disability or because I am unable to read. I  have  made,  or  have
    40  received assistance in making, my mark in lieu of my signature."
    41  (Date)..................
    42                                 ..................(Mark)
    43                                                   (Name of Voter)
    44    "I, the undersigned, hereby certify that the above named voter affixed
    45  his or her mark to this application in my presence and I know him or her
    46  to  be  the  person  who affixed his or her mark to said application and
    47  understand that this statement will be accepted for all purposes as  the
    48  equivalent  of  an  affidavit and if it contains a material false state-
    49  ment, shall subject me to the same penalties  as  if  I  had  been  duly
    50  sworn."
    51                      ....................
    52                    (Signature of Witness)

        S. 4299                             3
     1                      ....................
     2                      (Address of Witness)
     3    Such  statement  shall be included in the absentee ballot furnished by
     4  the board of elections. The provisions of this  subdivision  shall  also
     5  apply  to  any  application  for  an absentee ballot pursuant to section
     6  8-402 of this title.
     7    5. The board shall keep a record of  all  absentee  ballots  that  are
     8  mailed,  showing  the  names  and residences of the absentee voters, and
     9  their party enrollment in the case of primary elections, and, as soon as
    10  practicable shall, when requested, give to the chairman  of  each  poli-
    11  tical  party or independent body in the county, and shall make available
    12  for inspection to any other qualified voter  upon  request,  a  complete
    13  list  of  all  absentee  voters  to  whom ballots have been delivered or
    14  mailed, containing their names and places of residence as they appear on
    15  the registration record, including the election district  and  ward,  if
    16  any,  and in the city of New York and the county of Nassau, the assembly
    17  district, and their party enrollment in the case of primary elections.
    18    § 3. Section 8-402 of the election law is REPEALED and a  new  section
    19  8-402 is added to read as follows:
    20    §  8-402. Applications for absentee ballots. 1. Any voter, upon appli-
    21  cation, may request that their absentee ballot be mailed to them  at  an
    22  address  other  than their permanent address, if he or she expects to be
    23  absent from the county or city of residence and unable to  obtain  their
    24  absentee ballot.
    25    (a)  Application  forms shall be furnished by and may be obtained from
    26  any board of elections at any time until the day before  such  election.
    27  Application  forms  shall also be supplied by the board of inspectors of
    28  the election district in which applicant is a qualified voter on all  of
    29  the days provided for local registration. In addition, application forms
    30  shall  be  supplied  upon  the  request of the person authorized to vote
    31  pursuant to this section, any such person's spouse, parent or  child,  a
    32  person  residing with the applicant as a member of his household, or the
    33  applicant's duly authorized agent. Application forms sent outside of the
    34  United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico,  shall  be  sent
    35  air mail.
    36    (b)  The application for an absentee ballot when filed must contain in
    37  each instance the following information:
    38    (i) Applicant's full name,  date  of  birth,  and  residence  address,
    39  including  the  street and number, if any, rural delivery route, if any,
    40  mailing address if different from the residence address and his  or  her
    41  town or city and an address to which the ballot shall be mailed.
    42    (ii)  A  statement  that  the  applicant is a qualified and registered
    43  voter.
    44    (iii) A statement that the applicant  expects  in  good  faith  to  be
    45  absent  from the county or city of his or her residence provided, howev-
    46  er, if the applicant expects to be absent from such county or city for a
    47  duration covering more than one election and seeks  an  absentee  ballot
    48  for  each  election,  he  or  she  shall  state the dates when he or she
    49  expects to begin and end such absence.
    50    2. The application for an absentee ballot shall contain the  following
    51  language  printed  in  bold  face  directly above the signature line: "I
    52  CERTIFY THAT THE INFORMATION IN THIS APPLICATION IS TRUE AND CORRECT AND
    53  UNDERSTAND THAT THIS APPLICATION WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR  ALL  PURPOSES  AS
    54  THE  EQUIVALENT  OF  AN  AFFIDAVIT  AND, IF IT CONTAINS A MATERIAL FALSE
    55  STATEMENT, SHALL SUBJECT ME TO THE SAME PENALTIES AS IF I HAD BEEN  DULY

        S. 4299                             4
     1  SWORN."  Such  application  shall  be  accepted  for all proposes as the
     2  equivalent of an affidavit and if it contains a material false statement
     3  shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as  if  he  or
     4  she had been duly sworn.
     5    3.  For  purposes  of  this  section,  the  use of titles, initials or
     6  customary abbreviations of given names by the signers of,  or  witnesses
     7  to,  an  absentee  ballot request letter, an absentee ballot application
     8  form or an absentee ballot envelope, or the use  of  customary  abbrevi-
     9  ations  of  addresses of such signers or witnesses, shall not invalidate
    10  such voter's signature or witness's signature on an application  for  an
    11  absentee  ballot  or upon canvass or recanvass of the ballot pursuant to
    12  this chapter.
    13    4. Printed forms of applications for absentee  ballots  in  accordance
    14  with  the requirements of this section shall be provided by the board of
    15  elections. An appropriate number shall  be  retained  by  the  board  of
    16  elections  for  the  purpose  of  furnishing an application form to each
    17  qualified voter who applies therefor  before  the  board  of  elections,
    18  either  in  person or by mail, and an appropriate number shall be deliv-
    19  ered to each board of inspectors on registration days with the  election
    20  supplies,  and  the  board  of inspectors shall retain the completed and
    21  unused applications and return them to the board of elections with their
    22  election supplies and an  appropriate  number  shall  be  available  for
    23  distribution to officers of political parties, county clerks, city, town
    24  and  village  clerks,  colleges,  libraries,  hospitals,  nursing homes,
    25  senior citizens centers and any  other  convenient  distribution  source
    26  which  is  approved  by  the local or state board of elections and which
    27  requests such forms.
    28    5. The state board of elections shall prescribe a standard application
    29  form for use under this section. The use of any application  form  which
    30  substantially  complies  with  the  provisions  of this section shall be
    31  acceptable and any application filed on such a form  shall  be  accepted
    32  for filing.
    33    6.  If the board shall find that the applicant is a qualified voter of
    34  the election district containing his or her residence as stated  in  his
    35  or  her statement and that his or her statement is sufficient, it shall,
    36  as soon as practicable after it shall have determined his or  her  right
    37  thereto,  mail  to him or her at an address designated by him or her, or
    38  deliver to him or her, or to any person designated for such  purpose  in
    39  writing  by  him  or  her,  at the office of the board, such an absentee
    40  voter's ballot or set of ballots and an envelope therefor. If the ballot
    41  or ballots are to be sent outside of the  United  States  to  a  country
    42  other than Canada or Mexico, such ballot or ballots shall be sent by air
    43  mail. However, if an applicant who is eligible for an absentee ballot is
    44  a resident of a facility operated or licensed by, or under the jurisdic-
    45  tion  of,  the department of mental hygiene, or a resident of a facility
    46  defined as a nursing home or residential health care  facility  pursuant
    47  to  subdivisions two and three of section two thousand eight hundred one
    48  of the public health law, or a resident of a hospital or other  facility
    49  operated  by  the  Veteran's  Administration  of the United States, such
    50  absentee ballot need not be so mailed or delivered to any such applicant
    51  but, may be delivered to the voter in the manner prescribed  by  section
    52  8-407 of this title if such facility is located in the county or city in
    53  which such voter is eligible to vote.
    54    §  4.  Section  8-404 of the election law, subdivision 1 as amended by
    55  chapter 375 of the laws of 2015, is amended to read as follows:
    56    § 8-404. Absentee voting; hospitalized veterans, special provisions.

        S. 4299                             5
     1    1. After entering upon the registration records, the  application  for
     2  registration  of  a  resident  or  patient of a veterans health adminis-
     3  tration hospital as to whom the medical superintendent or  medical  head
     4  of  such  hospital  has attested that he or she expects that [he or she]
     5  such  veteran will not be discharged prior to the day following the next
     6  general or special village, primary, special, general or New  York  city
     7  community  school  board  district  or  city  of Buffalo school district
     8  election, and the application for registration by the spouse, parent  or
     9  child  of  such  resident  or patient, accompanying or being with him or
    10  her, if a qualified voter and a resident of the same election  district,
    11  the  board  of  elections,  without  further  investigation  and without
    12  further application by the applicant, shall send to him or her  at  such
    13  hospital  an absentee ballot and shall record in the signature column on
    14  the back of his or her permanent personal registration poll record  that
    15  such ballot has been sent.
    16    (a)  Any  voter  who is duly registered and whose registration records
    17  are marked "Hospitalized Veteran" or "Hospitalized  Veteran's  Relative"
    18  need  not thereafter make application for an absentee ballot. Sixty days
    19  before each election, the board of elections shall compile  and  send  a
    20  list  to  each  veterans health administration hospital of all residents
    21  and patients of veterans health administration hospitals who  appear  by
    22  the  records  of  such  board  to be "hospitalized veterans" entitled to
    23  receive  absentee  ballots  at  each  such  hospital  pursuant  to   the
    24  provisions of this section. Each veterans health administration hospital
    25  shall  no  later  than  fifteen days following the receipt of such list,
    26  return it with notations made thereon showing whether  the  resident  or
    27  patient  continues  to be confined therein or has been discharged there-
    28  from. Upon the receipt of such returned list from each  veterans  health
    29  administration hospital with the proper notations showing that a "hospi-
    30  talized veteran" continues to be confined in such hospital, the board of
    31  elections,  by  mail  addressed to such "hospitalized veteran" at his or
    32  her last known hospital address and by mail addressed to such "hospital-
    33  ized veteran's relative" at his or her last known address shall send  an
    34  absentee  ballot for the ensuing election to such "hospitalized veteran"
    35  and such "hospitalized veteran's relative" [an absentee  ballot  in  the
    36  same  manner  as provided in this section for a qualified voter entitled
    37  to an absentee ballot because of permanent disability]. The board  shall
    38  record  on  the back of his or her registration poll record in the space
    39  reserved for his or her signature at such election, the fact  that  such
    40  ballot has been sent.
    41    (b)  If  the  returned  list  from a veterans' administration hospital
    42  contains a notation showing that a "hospitalized veteran" is no longer a
    43  resident or patient at the veterans health administration hospital where
    44  he or she is recorded as staying, or if such letter containing an absen-
    45  tee voter's ballot for  a  "hospitalized  veteran"  or  a  "hospitalized
    46  veteran's relative" is returned by the post office as undeliverable, the
    47  board of elections shall ascertain whether the "hospitalized veteran" or
    48  "hospitalized  veteran's  relative"  is residing at the address given on
    49  his or her registration records as his or her permanent address.  If  he
    50  or  she  is  residing  there, the board shall [not] send him or her [any
    51  further absentee ballots unless he or she applies therefor in the  regu-
    52  lar way] an absentee ballot at such address.  If he or she is not resid-
    53  ing  at  the place of residence given on his or her registration records
    54  but the board ascertains that he or she has been transferred to  another
    55  veterans health administration hospital, the board shall cause a central
    56  board of registration to make the necessary changes of temporary address

        S. 4299                             6
     1  on his or her registration records and shall continue sending him or her
     2  absentee ballots at the veterans health administration hospital where he
     3  or  she  is  staying. If he or she is not residing at the place of resi-
     4  dence  given  on  his  or  her registration records and the board cannot
     5  ascertain that he or she has been transferred to another veterans health
     6  administration hospital, the board shall cancel his or her registration.
     7  Whenever a registration is cancelled pursuant to this  paragraph  notice
     8  shall  be  mailed  to  the  veteran or his or her relative at his or her
     9  permanent residence address and last temporary address.
    10    2. The board of elections shall furnish to each party county  chairman
    11  in such county a list of the names and residence addresses of the hospi-
    12  talized  veterans  and hospitalized veterans' relatives to whom absentee
    13  ballots have been sent.
    14    3. Such  ballots  shall  be  mailed,  voted,  returned,  counted,  and
    15  canvassed  as  provided  in  this  chapter  for  other  absentee voters'
    16  ballots.
    17    § 5. Section 8-406 of the election law, as amended by chapter  296  of
    18  the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
    19    § 8-406. Absentee ballots, delivery of. [If the] The board shall [find
    20  that  the  applicant  is  a  qualified  voter  of  the election district
    21  containing his residence as stated in his statement and that his  state-
    22  ment is sufficient, it shall, as soon as practicable after it shall have
    23  determined  his  right  thereto,]  mail  to [him] all voters an absentee
    24  ballot and an envelope at [an] the permanent address designated [by him,
    25  or deliver to him, or to any person designated for such purpose in writ-
    26  ing by him, at the office of the board, such an absentee voter's  ballot
    27  or set of ballots and an envelope therefor] on such voter's registration
    28  records.  If  the ballot or ballots are to be sent outside of the United
    29  States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, such ballot or  ballots
    30  shall be sent by air mail. However, if [an applicant who is eligible for
    31  an  absentee  ballot]  a  voter  is a resident of a facility operated or
    32  licensed by, or under the jurisdiction  of,  the  department  of  mental
    33  hygiene,  or a resident of a facility defined as a nursing home or resi-
    34  dential health care facility pursuant to subdivisions two and  three  of
    35  section  two  thousand  eight hundred one of the public health law, or a
    36  resident of a hospital or  other  facility  operated  by  the  Veteran's
    37  Administration of the United States, such absentee ballot need not be so
    38  mailed  or  delivered to any such applicant but, may be delivered to the
    39  voter in the manner prescribed by section 8-407 of this [chapter]  title
    40  if such facility is located in the county or city in which such voter is
    41  eligible to vote.
    42    § 6. Section 8-407 of the election law, as added by chapter 296 of the
    43  laws  of 1988, subdivisions 1, 3 and 15 as amended by chapter 195 of the
    44  laws of 2001, and subdivision 6 as amended by chapter 326 of the laws of
    45  1989, is amended to read as follows:
    46    § 8-407. Voting by residents of nursing homes, residential health care
    47  facilities, facilities operated or licensed, or under  the  jurisdiction
    48  of, the department of mental hygiene or hospitals or facilities operated
    49  by  the  Veteran's  Administration of the United States. 1. The board of
    50  elections of a county or city in which there is  located  at  least  one
    51  facility operated or licensed, or under the jurisdiction of, the depart-
    52  ment of mental hygiene, or a facility defined as a nursing home or resi-
    53  dential  health  care facility pursuant to subdivisions two and three of
    54  section two thousand eight hundred one of the public health  law  or  an
    55  adult  care  facility  subject to the provisions of title two of article
    56  seven of the social services law, or a hospital or other facility  oper-

        S. 4299                             7
     1  ated  by the Veteran's Administration of the United States shall provide
     2  [that] residents of  each  such  facility  [for  which  such  board  has
     3  received  twenty-five  or  more applications for] absentee ballots [from
     4  voters who are eligible to vote by absentee ballot in such city or coun-
     5  ty  at  such  election,  may vote by absentee ballot only] in the manner
     6  provided for in this  section.  [Such  board  may,  in  its  discretion,
     7  provide that the procedure described in this subdivision shall be appli-
     8  cable  to  all  such facilities in such county or city without regard to
     9  the number of absentee ballot applications received from  the  residents
    10  of any such facility.]
    11    2.  Such  a  board  of  elections shall appoint, in the same manner as
    12  other inspectors, one or more bi-partisan  boards  of  inspectors,  each
    13  composed  of two such inspectors. Such inspectors may be regular employ-
    14  ees of such board of elections.
    15    3. Not earlier than thirteen days before or later than the day  before
    16  such  an election such a board of inspectors shall, between the hours of
    17  nine o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the evening,  attend  at
    18  each  such  facility  for the residents [of which the board of elections
    19  has custody of twenty-five or more absentee ballots or, if the board  of
    20  elections  has  so  provided, each such facility for which the board has
    21  custody of one or more such absentee ballots, pursuant to the provisions
    22  of this chapter].
    23    4. Each such board of inspectors may attend at more than one facility,
    24  provided, however, that no such board of inspectors shall be assigned to
    25  attend at more facilities than it reasonably can be expected to complete
    26  within the time specified by this section.
    27    5. The board of elections shall deliver to each  board  of  inspectors
    28  all  [the]  absentee  ballots [in the custody of such board of elections
    29  which are addressed to] for residents of the facilities which such board
    30  of inspectors is assigned to attend, together with one or more  portable
    31  voting  booths  of  a  type approved by the state board of elections and
    32  such other  supplies  as  such  board  of  inspectors  will  require  to
    33  discharge its duties properly.
    34    6.  The  board  of  elections,  at  least twenty days before each such
    35  election, [or on the day after it  shall  have  received  the  requisite
    36  number  of  applications  for absentee ballots from the residents of any
    37  such facility, whichever is later,] shall communicate  with  the  super-
    38  intendent,  administrator  or  director of each such facility to arrange
    39  the day and time when the board of inspectors will attend at such facil-
    40  ity. The board of elections shall keep a list of the  day  and  time  at
    41  which  the  board  of  inspectors will attend at each such facility as a
    42  public record at its office.
    43    7. It shall be the duty of each such superintendent, administrator  or
    44  director  to  assist  the board of inspectors attending such facility in
    45  the discharge of its duties, including, but not limited to making avail-
    46  able to such board of inspectors space within such facility suitable for
    47  the discharge of its duties.
    48    8. The  board  of  inspectors  shall  deliver  [each  absentee  ballot
    49  addressed to a resident of each such facility to such resident] absentee
    50  ballots for residents to all facilities. If [such] any resident is phys-
    51  ically  disabled  the inspectors shall, if necessary, deliver the ballot
    52  to such voter at his or her bedside.
    53    9. The board of inspectors shall arrange the portable voting booth  or
    54  booths  provided  and  effect  such  safeguards  as  may be necessary to
    55  provide secrecy for the votes cast by such residents.

        S. 4299                             8
     1    10. If such a resident is unable to mark his or her ballot, he or  she
     2  may  be  assisted in marking such ballot by the two members of the board
     3  of inspectors or such other person as he  may  select.  If  a  voter  is
     4  unable to mark the ballot and unable to communicate how he or she wishes
     5  such ballot marked, such ballot shall not be cast. No person who assists
     6  a  voter  to mark his ballot pursuant to the provisions of this section,
     7  shall disclose to any other person how any such ballot was marked.
     8    11. [Except as otherwise provided in this section,  all  ballots  cast
     9  pursuant  to  this  section shall be cast in the manner provided by this
    10  chapter for the casting of absentee ballots.
    11    12.] After such ballots have been cast and sealed in  the  appropriate
    12  envelopes, they shall be returned to such inspectors.
    13    [13.] 12. Upon completion of its duties, the board of inspectors shall
    14  forthwith return all such ballots to the board of elections.
    15    [14.] 13. Any person, political committee or independent body entitled
    16  to appoint watchers for the election district in which any such facility
    17  is  located  [at the election for which such absentee ballots are cast,]
    18  shall be entitled to appoint a watcher to attend such board  of  inspec-
    19  tors at such facility.
    20    [15.]  14. All ballots cast pursuant to the provisions of this section
    21  which are received before the close of the polls on election day by  the
    22  board  of elections charged with the duty of casting and canvassing such
    23  ballots, may be delivered to the inspectors of election  in  the  manner
    24  prescribed  by  this  chapter  or retained at the board of elections and
    25  cast and canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209  of  this
    26  chapter  as  such  board shall, in its discretion, determine pursuant to
    27  the provisions of subdivision one of this section.
    28    § 7. Section 8-410 of the election law, as amended by chapter  352  of
    29  the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
    30    §  8-410. Absentee voting; method of. The absentee voter shall mark an
    31  absentee ballot as provided for paper ballots or  ballots  prepared  for
    32  counting  by  ballot  counting machines. He or she shall make no mark or
    33  writing whatsoever upon the ballot,  except  as  above  prescribed,  and
    34  shall see that it bears no such mark or writing. He or she shall make no
    35  mark  or  writing whatsoever on the outside of the ballot. After marking
    36  the ballot or ballots he or she shall fold each such ballot and  enclose
    37  them  in  the envelope and seal the envelope.  He or she shall then take
    38  and subscribe the oath on the envelope, with blanks properly filled  in.
    39  The  envelope, containing the ballot or ballots, shall then be mailed or
    40  delivered to the board of elections of the county or city of his or  her
    41  residence.
    42    § 8. Subdivision 1 of section 8-412 of the election law, as amended by
    43  chapter 155 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows:
    44    1. The board of elections shall cause all absentee ballots received by
    45  it  before  the  close  of  the  polls  on  election day and all ballots
    46  contained in envelopes showing a cancellation mark of the United  States
    47  postal service or a foreign country's postal service, or showing a dated
    48  endorsement  of  receipt  by another agency of the United States govern-
    49  ment, with a date which is ascertained to be  not  later  than  the  day
    50  before  election  and received by such board of elections not later than
    51  seven days following the day of election to be cast and counted  [except
    52  that the absentee ballot of a voter who requested such ballot by letter,
    53  rather than application, shall not be counted unless a valid application
    54  form,  signed  by such voter, is received by the board of elections with
    55  such ballot].

        S. 4299                             9
     1    § 9. The election law is amended by adding a new section 5-714 to read
     2  as follows:
     3    §  5-714.  Computerized  statewide voter registration list. 1. The New
     4  York state board of elections shall, within one year  of  the  effective
     5  date  of  this  section  implement,  in  a uniform and nondiscriminatory
     6  manner, a single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive, computer-
     7  ized statewide voter registration database system.  Such database system
     8  shall be defined, maintained, and administered at the  state  level  and
     9  shall  contain  the  voter  registration lists maintained by each county
    10  board of elections. Further, such database system shall contain the name
    11  and registration information of every legally registered  voter  in  the
    12  state  and  shall  assign a unique identifier to each legally registered
    13  voter. The single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive,  comput-
    14  erized  statewide  voter  registration  database system required by this
    15  section shall be referred to as the "centralized statewide  registration
    16  system".
    17    2.  The centralized statewide registration system and the computerized
    18  statewide voter registration list shall  be  fully  compliant  with  all
    19  applicable  requirements  specified  in section 303 of the federal "Help
    20  America Vote Act of 2002", Pub.L. 107-252, codified at  42  U.S.C.  sec.
    21  15301  et  seq  and shall meet all applicable privacy requirements under
    22  this chapter.
    23    3. Within two years of the effective date of this section each  county
    24  board  of  elections  shall  maintain  voter registration information by
    25  utilizing the centralized statewide  registration  system  developed  or
    26  acquired  by  the state board of elections under subdivision one of this
    27  section. Prior to the implementation of the computerized statewide voter
    28  registration list required by subdivision one of this  section,  if  the
    29  county  chooses  to  maintain  voter registration information on its own
    30  computer system, the information required by law to  be  transmitted  to
    31  the  New  York  state board of elections shall be transmitted in a media
    32  format acceptable to the New York state board of  elections  and  within
    33  the time prescribed by the New York state board of elections.
    34    4.  (a) The centralized statewide registration system shall enable the
    35  state board of elections to maintain voter registration information  and
    36  shall include such additional capabilities as may be necessary or desir-
    37  able  to  enable  the  county boards of elections and the state board of
    38  elections to carry out their responsibilities related to the conduct  of
    39  elections.  Such  additional  capabilities  may  include but need not be
    40  limited to the preparation of  ballots,  the  identification  of  voting
    41  districts  for each address, access by county boards of elections to the
    42  master list of registered electors.
    43    (b) Within two years of the effective date of this section the comput-
    44  erized statewide voter registration list  maintained  pursuant  to  this
    45  section shall allow for:
    46    (i)  the  management  of absentee ballots, the preparation of official
    47  abstracts of votes cast, the transmission of  voting  data  from  county
    48  boards  of  election  to  the state board of elections, and reporting of
    49  voting results on election night; and
    50    (ii) access to the digitized signatures of electors in the centralized
    51  statewide registration system for the purpose of comparing an  elector's
    52  signature  in the system with the signature on the return envelope of an
    53  absentee ballot, including by using a signature verification.
    54    5. (a)  Subject  to  available  appropriations,  the  state  board  of
    55  elections is responsible for the cost of acquiring computer hardware and
    56  providing  necessary training for the centralized statewide registration

        S. 4299                            10
     1  system. The state board of elections shall promulgate  rules  specifying
     2  whether  such  hardware is owned by the state or the counties or whether
     3  and to what extent ownership may be shared between  the  state  and  the
     4  counties.  If  the  state provides system hardware to any county, it may
     5  transfer ownership of the hardware to that county. The  state  board  of
     6  elections may promulgate rules providing that the county shall be solely
     7  responsible  for the support and maintenance of the hardware provided to
     8  the counties.
     9    (b) Within four years of the effective date of this section the  state
    10  board  of  elections  shall  make the centralized statewide registration
    11  system  software  available  at  no  charge  to  each  county  board  of
    12  elections.
    13    (c)  As  soon  as  practicable, the department of state shall make the
    14  master list of registered electors available at no charge on the  inter-
    15  net to county boards of election. This section shall not be construed to
    16  require the state to provide or pay for internet connection services for
    17  any county.
    18    § 10. Section 11-302 of the election law, as amended by chapter 163 of
    19  the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
    20    §  11-302.  Special  ballots for board of election employees. A person
    21  who is an employee of the board of elections or who has  been  appointed
    22  to  serve as an inspector of elections, poll clerk or election coordina-
    23  tor at a polling place other than the one at which he or she  is  regis-
    24  tered to vote, may deliver to the inspectors of election of the election
    25  district in which he or she is registered, or to the board of elections,
    26  at  any  time  during the period in which an application for an absentee
    27  ballot may be so delivered pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, a
    28  written statement that he or she will be unable to appear at the polling
    29  place for such election district on the day of an election  because  his
    30  or  her  duties  as  an  employee of such board or as an inspector, poll
    31  clerk or election coordinator require him or her to  be  elsewhere.  The
    32  board of elections shall provide such voter a special ballot [not earli-
    33  er  than  two weeks before the election and] not later than the close of
    34  the polls on election  day.  Absent  affirmative  proof  of  fraud  such
    35  ballots  shall  be  presumed  valid  and  cast. Such cast ballots may be
    36  delivered to an office of such board of elections or  to  any  board  of
    37  inspectors  not  later than the close of the polls on election day. Such
    38  ballots shall be retained  at  the  board  of  elections  and  cast  and
    39  canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this chapter.
    40    §  11.  Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (e) of subdivision 3 of section
    41  8-302 of the election law, as separately amended by chapters 3 and 6  of
    42  the laws of 2019, is amended to read as follows:
    43    (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he
    44  or  she  has  duly  registered  to  vote,  the  address in such election
    45  district from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a  duly
    46  qualified  voter in such election district, that his or her registration
    47  poll record appears to be lost or misplaced or  that  his  or  her  name
    48  and/or  his  or  her  signature  was omitted from the computer generated
    49  registration list or such record indicates the voter already voted  when
    50  he  or  she  did  not  do so or that he or she has moved within New York
    51  state since he or she last registered, [the address from which he or she
    52  was previously registered and] the address at which he or she  currently
    53  resides,  and  at  a  primary  election, the party in which he or she is
    54  enrolled. The inspectors of election shall offer such  an  affidavit  to
    55  each  such  voter  whose residence address is in such election district.
    56  Each such affidavit shall substantially comply with and  be  in  a  form

        S. 4299                            11
     1  prescribed  by  the  state  board  of  elections, shall be printed on an
     2  envelope of the size and quality used for an absentee  ballot  envelope,
     3  and  shall  contain  an acknowledgment that the affiant understands that
     4  any false statement made therein is perjury punishable according to law.
     5  Such  form  prescribed  by  the  state  board of elections shall request
     6  information required to register such  voter  should  the  county  board
     7  determine  that  such  voter  is  not registered and shall constitute an
     8  application to register to  vote.  The  voter's  name  and  the  entries
     9  required shall then be entered without delay and without further inquiry
    10  in  the  fourth section of the challenge report or in the place provided
    11  at the end of the computer generated registration list, with  the  nota-
    12  tion  that  the voter has executed the affidavit hereinabove prescribed,
    13  or, if such person's name appears on the computer generated registration
    14  list, the board of elections may provide a place to make such entry next
    15  to his or her name on such list.  The voter shall then, without  further
    16  inquiry,  be  permitted to vote an affidavit ballot provided for by this
    17  chapter. Such ballot shall thereupon be placed in the envelope  contain-
    18  ing  his  or  her affidavit, and the envelope sealed and returned to the
    19  board of elections in the manner provided by this chapter for  protested
    20  official ballots, including a statement of the number of such ballots.
    21    §  12. This act shall take effect immediately; provided, however, that
    22  if chapter 3 of the laws of 2019 shall  not  have  taken  effect  on  or
    23  before  such  date  then section eleven of this act shall take effect on
    24  the same date and in the same manner as such  chapter  of  the  laws  of
    25  2019, takes effect.
feedback