Bill Text: NY A03339 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
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 32-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-02 - print number 3339a [A03339 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A03339-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 29, 2019
        Introduced   by   M.   of  A.  CARROLL,  NIOU,  D'URSO,  ORTIZ,  COLTON,
          PEOPLES-STOKES, TAYLOR, JAFFEE, EPSTEIN -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of
          A.  BUCHWALD,  LENTOL  --  read  once and referred to the Committee on
          Election Law
        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] seventeen years
     6  of 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] seventeen 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    § 3. Subdivision 3 of section 8-504 of the election law, as renumbered
    16  by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
    17    3. After receiving the answers as above specified, of  any  applicant,
    18  the  board  shall,  if  it believes the applicant to be qualified or the
    19  challenge is withdrawn, permit him or her to vote. Otherwise, the  board
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 3339                             2
     1  shall  point out to him or her the qualifications, if any, in respect of
     2  which he or she shall appear deficient. If, after such deficiencies have
     3  been so indicated, the applicant shall persist in his or  her  claim  to
     4  vote,  an  inspector  shall administer to him or her the following oath,
     5  which shall be known as "The Qualification  Oath":  "You  do  swear  (or
     6  affirm)  that  you are [eighteen] seventeen years of age, that you are a
     7  citizen of the United States and that you have been a resident  of  this
     8  state, and of this county (of the city of New York) (village) for thirty
     9  days  next  preceding  this  election, that you still reside at the same
    10  address from which you  have  been  duly  registered  in  this  election
    11  district,  that you have not voted at this election, and that you do not
    12  know of any reason why you are not qualified to vote at  this  election.
    13  You do further declare that you are aware that it is a crime to make any
    14  false statement. That all the statements you have made to the board have
    15  been  true and that you understand that a false statement is perjury and
    16  you will be guilty of a misdemeanor."
    17    § 4. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 801  of  the  education  law,  as
    18  amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended and a new subdi-
    19  vision 6 is added to read as follows:
    20    1.  In  order  to  promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and
    21  obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral  and  intel-
    22  lectual  qualities  which  are  essential in preparing to meet the obli-
    23  gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University
    24  of the State of New York  shall  prescribe  courses  of  instruction  in
    25  patriotism,  citizenship  and  civics,  and  human  rights  issues, with
    26  particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery
    27  (including the freedom trail and underground railroad),  the  Holocaust,
    28  and  the  mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to be maintained
    29  and followed in all the schools of the state. The  boards  of  education
    30  and  trustees  of  the  several cities and school districts of the state
    31  shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by  the  teachers
    32  employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over
    33  the  age  of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction. All pupils
    34  in the ninth and higher grades shall  receive  civic  education  for  at
    35  least eight full class periods, in accordance with the department's 9-12
    36  social studies framework.
    37    Similar  courses  of instruction shall be prescribed and maintained in
    38  private schools in the state, and all pupils in such schools  in  grades
    39  or  classes  corresponding  to  the instruction in the eighth and higher
    40  grades of the public schools shall attend upon  such  courses.  If  such
    41  courses  are  not  so  established  and  maintained in a private school,
    42  attendance upon instruction in such school shall not be deemed  substan-
    43  tially  equivalent  to instruction given to pupils in the public schools
    44  of the city or district in which such pupils reside.
    45    3. The regents shall determine the subjects to  be  included  in  such
    46  courses  of instruction in patriotism, citizenship and civics, and human
    47  rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the  inhumanity
    48  of  genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground rail-
    49  road), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland  from  1845  to
    50  1850,  and  in  the  history,  meaning,  significance  and effect of the
    51  provisions of the constitution of  the  United  States,  the  amendments
    52  thereto,  the declaration of independence, the constitution of the state
    53  of New York and the amendments thereto, and the period of instruction in
    54  each of the grades in such subjects. They shall  adopt  rules  providing
    55  for  attendance  upon such instruction and for such other matters as are
    56  required for carrying into effect  the  objects  and  purposes  of  this

        A. 3339                             3
     1  section.  The  commissioner  shall be responsible for the enforcement of
     2  such section and shall cause to be inspected and supervise the  instruc-
     3  tion  to  be  given  in  such  subjects.  The  commissioner  may, in his
     4  discretion,  cause  all  or  a  portion of the public school money to be
     5  apportioned to a district or city to be  withheld  for  failure  of  the
     6  school  authorities  of  such district or city to provide instruction in
     7  such courses and to compel attendance upon such instruction,  as  herein
     8  prescribed,  and  for  a  non-compliance  with  the rules of the regents
     9  adopted as herein provided.
    10     6.  a.  The  regents,  in  collaboration  with  the  state  board  of
    11  elections,  shall  make  available  to  each high school two forms to be
    12  distributed to all pupils who shall be seventeen  years  of  age  on  or
    13  before  December thirty-first of each year. Such forms shall be distrib-
    14  uted on one date between the second and fifth school day in the month of
    15  January of each year.
    16    b. The first form to be distributed pursuant to this subdivision shall
    17  be a standard voter registration form as prescribed by section 5-210  of
    18  the  election law. Such form shall be completed for each eligible pupil,
    19  by school administrators who shall complete each field of the  registra-
    20  tion  form  except  the  fields  pertaining to citizenship status, party
    21  affiliation, signature and date. The content of  the  registration  form
    22  shall  be  explained  to  all  pupils  to whom forms are distributed and
    23  pupils shall be directed to correct any incorrect information previously
    24  completed by school administrators.
    25    c. The second form to be  distributed  pursuant  to  this  subdivision
    26  shall  be  entitled  "Voter Registration Opt-Out Form" and shall contain
    27  the following statement: "I, the undersigned, decline to register  as  a
    28  voter  in  the  State  of  New York at this time, and defer my choice of
    29  registration in the State of New York to a future date of my  choosing."
    30  Such  form  shall  be  created  by the regents in collaboration with the
    31  state board of elections.
    32    d. Pupils shall be given classroom time to  have  the  opportunity  to
    33  complete either the standard voter registration form or the voter regis-
    34  tration opt-out form. After pupils have had time to complete both forms,
    35  school  administrators  shall collect both forms from all pupils to whom
    36  the forms were distributed.  School administrators shall be required  to
    37  dispose  of  all  voter  registration  forms for pupils who elect to not
    38  register to vote.
    39    § 5. This act shall take effect on  the  same  date  as  a  concurrent
    40  resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF
    41  THE  SENATE  AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to section 1 of article 2
    42  of the constitution, in relation to the voting age".