Bill Text: NY S02301 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended


Bill Title: Provides protections against illegal voter purging.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-06-20 - COMMITTED TO RULES [S02301 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S02301-Amended.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                         2301--B
            Cal. No. 371

                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    January 23, 2019
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by Sen. KAVANAGH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the  Committee  on  Elections  --  reported
          favorably  from  said  committee,  ordered to first and second report,
          ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered  reprinted,  retaining
          its  place  in the order of third reading -- again amended and ordered
          reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading

        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to  providing  protections
          against illegal voter purging

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. Section 4-117 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a
     2  new subdivision 4 to read as follows:
     3    4.  Any person, other than an election officer, who pays for, mails or
     4  causes to be mailed, any mail, where such  person  knows  or  reasonably
     5  should  know that such mail: (a) is intended to be delivered to a regis-
     6  tered voter or voter registration applicant; and (b) may be  used  by  a
     7  challenger,  other than an election officer, to challenge the qualifica-
     8  tions of a voter, shall file with the state board  of  elections  within
     9  two  business  days  of  such  mailing, a duplicate copy of such mail, a
    10  duplicate copy of names and addresses to which such mail was sent, and a
    11  completed form prescribed by the state board of elections.    Such  form
    12  shall  contain:  the  full name, residence and business address, and the
    13  name of the employer of the person who pays for, mails or causes  to  be
    14  mailed the mailing; the approximate number of pieces of such mail; and a
    15  statement  certifying  the  accuracy of such duplicate copies and of the
    16  information contained in the complete form.  The failure to comply  with
    17  the  provisions of this subdivision shall create a presumption that such
    18  mail shall not be used to challenge the qualifications of a voter.
    19    § 2. Section 8-502 of the election law, as amended by chapter  373  of
    20  the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD02460-08-9

        S. 2301--B                          2

     1    §  8-502.  Challenges; generally. 1. Before his or her vote is cast at
     2  an election any person may be challenged as to his or her right to vote,
     3  in accordance with the provisions of this section, or his or  her  right
     4  to  vote  by absentee, military, special federal or special presidential
     5  ballot. Such challenge may be made by an inspector or clerk, by any duly
     6  appointed  watcher,  or  by any registered voter properly in the polling
     7  place in accordance with the provisions of this section.
     8    2. An inspector shall challenge every person offering to vote, whom he
     9  or she shall know or suspect is not entitled to vote  in  the  district,
    10  and  every  person whose name appears on the list of persons to be chal-
    11  lenged on election day which is furnished by the board of elections.
    12    3. Any person, other than an inspector or  clerk,  may  challenge  the
    13  qualifications  of  a voter only by completing, executing and delivering
    14  to the board of inspectors a  challenge  affidavit  that  satisfies  the
    15  requirements of section 8-503 of this title.
    16    §  3.    The  election law is amended by adding a new section 8-503 to
    17  read as follows:
    18    § 8-503.  Challenge affidavit. 1. The state board of  elections  shall
    19  prescribe  the  content and form of a challenge affidavit for use at any
    20  general, special, town or village election and at any primary  election.
    21  Such  affidavit  shall  contain  the  affiant's full name, residence and
    22  business address, the name of his  or  her  employer,  the  registration
    23  serial  number of the person challenged and a recital of the reasons and
    24  the facts supporting the affiant's belief  that  the  person  challenged
    25  lacks one or more of the qualifications for voting prescribed in section
    26  5-102  or  5-106  of  this  chapter and specified in such affidavit. The
    27  affidavit shall state if the reason for challenge  are  based  upon  the
    28  affiant's  personal  knowledge or upon information received from another
    29  person. If the affiant's belief is based upon information  furnished  by
    30  another,  the  affidavit  shall recite the name of the person furnishing
    31  the information and the basis for his  or  her  information.  After  the
    32  affiant  has  filed  such  affidavit, an inspector from each major party
    33  shall read to him or her and request him or her to  sign  the  following
    34  oath which shall be subscribed by such affiant: "I do solemnly swear (or
    35  affirm)  that I am a qualified voter of the city or county in which this
    36  affidavit is signed and that the  foregoing  statement  made  by  me  on
    37  (insert day, month and year) is a truthful disclosure of the reasons for
    38  my  belief  that  the registered voter therein named is not qualified to
    39  vote in the election district in which he or she is now registered."  If
    40  the  affiant  shall take and sign such oath, an inspector shall sign his
    41  or her name as a witness below the affiant's subscription to such  oath.
    42  An inspector may request state-issued identification to affirm the iden-
    43  tity  of  the challenger.  Each challenge affidavit shall only challenge
    44  the qualifications of one voter.
    45    2. The boards of elections shall make challenge affidavit forms avail-
    46  able to all qualified voters.
    47    § 4. Subdivision 2 of section 8-504 of the election law, as renumbered
    48  by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows:
    49    2. (a) If the applicant shall take the preliminary oath, the inspector
    50  shall ask the applicant [such] the following  questions  as  [may]  they
    51  pertain  to the reason his or her right to vote at such election in such
    52  district was challenged[.]:
    53    Are you eighteen years of age or older?
    54    Are you a citizen of the United States?

        S. 2301--B                          3

     1    Have you been a resident of this state and of  this  county  (and  the
     2  City  of New York or village, as applicable) for the past thirty days or
     3  more?
     4    Do you swear that you have not already voted at this election?
     5    (b) If any applicant shall refuse to answer fully any of the questions
     6  [which  may  be  put to him] in this subdivision, he or she shall not be
     7  permitted to vote.
     8    § 5. Section 8-504 of the election law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     9  subdivision 9 to read as follows:
    10    9.  Information concerning the citizenship status of individuals, when
    11  collected and  transmitted  pursuant  to  this  section,  shall  not  be
    12  retained, used or shared for any other purpose except as may be required
    13  by  law.  A  failure  to  certify that an individual is a citizen of the
    14  United States shall be considered an innocent error. Such person failing
    15  to certify United States citizenship shall not be considered as attempt-
    16  ing to register to vote.
    17    § 6. Paragraphs (b) and (e) of subdivision 2 of section 8-508  of  the
    18  election  law,  as amended by section 11 of part XX of chapter 55 of the
    19  laws of 2019, are amended to read as follows:
    20    (b) The second section of such report shall be reserved for the  board
    21  of  inspectors to enter the name, address and registration serial number
    22  of each person who is challenged at the time of voting together with the
    23  reason for the challenge, the name and address of the person challenging
    24  the qualifications of such voter, if such person challenging the  quali-
    25  fications  is  not  an  inspector  or clerk, and the words "Permitted to
    26  Vote" or "Refused to take oath". If no voters are challenged, the  board
    27  of  inspectors  shall  enter  the words "No Challenges" across the space
    28  reserved for such names. In lieu of preparing section two of  the  chal-
    29  lenge  report,  the  board of elections may provide, next to the name of
    30  each voter in the computer generated registration list, a place for  the
    31  inspectors  of election to record the information required to be entered
    32  in such section two, or provide elsewhere in such registration  list,  a
    33  place for the inspectors of election to enter such information.
    34    (e)  At  the  foot  of  such report or at the end of any such computer
    35  generated registration list, if applicable, shall be a certificate  that
    36  such  report  or  list  contains the names of all persons who were chal-
    37  lenged on the day of election, [and] the reason for such  challenge  and
    38  the  names  and  addresses  of all challengers who are not inspectors or
    39  clerks that each voter so reported as having been  challenged  took  the
    40  oaths  as  required,  that such report or list contains the names of all
    41  voters to whom such board gave  or  allowed  assistance  and  lists  the
    42  nature  of the disability which required such assistance to be given and
    43  the names and family relationship, if any, to the voter of  the  persons
    44  by  whom  such  assistance  was  rendered; that each such assisted voter
    45  informed such board under oath that he required such assistance and that
    46  each person rendering such assistance took the required oath; that  such
    47  report  or  list  contains the names of all voters who were permitted to
    48  vote although their registration poll records  were  missing;  that  the
    49  entries  made  by  such  board  are  a  true  and accurate record of its
    50  proceedings with respect to the persons named in such report or list.
    51    § 7. Subdivision 3 of section 8-510 of the election law, as amended by
    52  section 12 of part XX of chapter 55 of the laws of 2019, is  amended  to
    53  read as follows:
    54    3.  The  inspectors  shall place such completed report, each challenge
    55  affidavit and each court order, if  any,  directing  that  a  person  be
    56  permitted  to vote, in the secure container provided by the county board

        S. 2301--B                          4

     1  of elections for such ledger of registration records or computer  gener-
     2  ated  registration  lists  and  then shall close and seal each ledger of
     3  registration records or computer generated registration lists, lock such
     4  ledger  in  the carrying case furnished for that purpose and enclose the
     5  keys in a sealed package or seal such list in the envelope provided  for
     6  that purpose.
     7    §  8.  Subdivisions  1 and 2 of section 17-108 of the election law, as
     8  amended by chapter 373 of the laws of  1978,  are  amended  to  read  as
     9  follows:
    10    1.  Any  person  who wilfully loses, alters, destroys or mutilates the
    11  list of voters or registration poll ledgers, a challenge affidavit, or a
    12  challenge report in any election district, or a certified copy  thereof,
    13  is guilty of a misdemeanor.
    14    2.  An applicant for registration who shall make, incorporate or cause
    15  to be incorporated a material false  statement  in  an  application  for
    16  registration,  or  in  any  challenge or other affidavit required for or
    17  made or filed in connection with registration or voting, and any  person
    18  who  knowingly  takes  a  false  oath  before  a  board of inspectors of
    19  election, and any person who makes  a  material  false  statement  in  a
    20  medical  certificate,  a  challenge  affidavit  or an affidavit filed in
    21  connection with an application for registration, is guilty of  a  misde-
    22  meanor.
    23    § 9. This act shall take effect January 1, 2020.
feedback