Bill Text: NY S05215 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enacts the "Modernized voter registration act of New York."

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2019-04-16 - REFERRED TO ELECTIONS [S05215 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-S05215-Introduced.html


                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
                                          5215
                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     April 16, 2019
                                       ___________
        Introduced  by  Sens.  PARKER,  CARLUCCI, KRUEGER, SEPULVEDA, SERRANO --
          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 enacting the "Modern-
          ized Voter Registration Act of New York"
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Modernized
     2  Voter Registration Act of New York".
     3    §  2.  The  election law is amended by adding four new sections 5-200,
     4  5-201, 5-205 and 5-207 to read 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 consents to voter registration.
    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  consents to the registration or update and does any of the following:
    14    (a) completes an application for a new or  renewed  driver's  license,
    15  non-driver   identification   card,  pre-licensing  course  certificate,
    16  learner's permit or certification of supervised driving with the depart-
    17  ment of motor vehicles, or notifies such  department  in  writing  of  a
    18  change of his or her name or address;
    19    (b)  completes an application for services, renewal or recertification
    20  for services, or change of address relating to such services from  agen-
    21  cies designated in section 5-211 of this title;
    22    (c)  completes an application for services, renewal or recertification
    23  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.
                                                                   LBD05911-02-9

        S. 5215                             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 division of military and naval
     9  affairs; or
    10    (h) completes an application with any other state  or  federal  agency
    11  designated  as  a source agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision
    12  three of this 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 division of military and naval
    19  affairs and any agency designated by the state board of elections pursu-
    20  ant 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 in a format
    38  that can be read by the computerized statewide voter registration list:
    39    (a) given name or names and surname of surnames;
    40    (b) mailing address and residential address;
    41    (c) date of birth;
    42    (d) citizenship;
    43    (e) driver's license or non-driver identification  card  number,  last
    44  four  digits  of the person's social security number, or a space for the
    45  person to indicate that her or she doesn't not have any such number;
    46    (f) political party enrollment, if any;
    47    (g) an indication that the person intends to  apply  for  an  absentee
    48  ballot, if any; and
    49    (h) an image of the person's signature.
    50    In  the  event  that any transmission of data pursuant to this section
    51  fails to include an image of an individual's signature, the absence of a
    52  signature shall not preclude the registration of  an  eligible  citizen.
    53  The  board  of  elections shall develop procedures to enable an eligible
    54  citizen, whose information is transmitted pursuant to this  section  and
    55  whose  information lacks an electronic signature, to provide a signature
    56  at the polling place or with  an  application  for  an  absentee  ballot

        S. 5215                             3
     1  before  voting.  The board may require an elector who has not provided a
     2  signature before arriving at the polling place or submitting an absentee
     3  ballot to present a current and valid photo identification or a copy  of
     4  a  current  utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or
     5  other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
     6    5. If an agency does not  routinely request information concerning the
     7  citizenship status of individuals, it shall maintain records  sufficient
     8  to  transmit  to  the board indications of United States citizenship for
     9  each person described in subdivision two of this section, but shall  not
    10  retain,  use,  or share any such information relating to an individual's
    11  citizenship for any other purpose.
    12    6. The state board  of  elections  shall  prepare  and  distribute  to
    13  participating  agencies written instructions as to the implementation of
    14  the program and shall be responsible for establishing training  programs
    15  for  employees of source agencies listed in this section. Training shall
    16  include requirements that employees of any source agency communicate  to
    17  each  individual  identified in subdivision two of this section that the
    18  source agency maintains strict neutrality with  respect  to  a  person's
    19  party  enrollment  and  all persons seeking voter registration forms and
    20  information shall be advised that government  services  are  not  condi-
    21  tioned  on being registered to vote, or eligibility to register to vote.
    22  No statement shall be made nor any action taken to discourage the appli-
    23  cant from registering to vote.
    24    7. The agreements between the state board of elections and the  source
    25  agencies shall include the format in which information will be transmit-
    26  ted, whether and how each entity will collect, in addition to the manda-
    27  tory  information listed in subdivision four of this section, additional
    28  information on a voluntary basis from persons for the purpose of facili-
    29  tating voter registration, the  frequency  of  data  transmissions,  the
    30  procedures,  and other measures that will be used to ensure the security
    31  and privacy of the information transmitted, and any other matter  neces-
    32  sary or helpful to implement the requirements of this section.
    33    8.  Each  source  agency  shall  cooperate  with  the  state  board of
    34  elections and county board of elections to facilitate the  voter  regis-
    35  tration of each person described in subdivision two of this section, and
    36  to  electronically transmit the information needed to register each such
    37  person to vote or  to  update  each  such  person's  voter  registration
    38  record.
    39    9.  Each  source  agency  shall enter into an agreement with the state
    40  board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic tran-
    41  smissions required by this section no later than  September  first,  two
    42  thousand  twenty-one; provided, that each source agency shall be able to
    43  comply fully with  all  requirements  of  this  section,  including  the
    44  collection and transmission of all data required to register individuals
    45  to vote, by January first, two thousand twenty-two.
    46    §  5-201.  Same day registration. Each county shall allow any eligible
    47  individual on the day of an election and on any day when voting, includ-
    48  ing early voting, to register to vote in such election  at  the  polling
    49  place and to cast a vote in such election.
    50    §  5-205.  Internet  registration.  1. The board shall ensure that the
    51  following services are available to the public at any time on the  offi-
    52  cial  public  websites of the appropriate county or municipality, in the
    53  same manner and subject to the same terms and conditions as the services
    54  provided by voter registration regulations: (a) online  application  for
    55  voter  registration;  (b) online assistance to applicants in applying to
    56  register to vote; (c) online completion and submission by applicants  of

        S. 5215                             4
     1  the  mail  voter  registration  application  including  assistance  with
     2  providing a signature in electronic form;  and  (d)  online  receipt  of
     3  completed voter registration applications.
     4    2.  Any  county or municipality shall accept an online voter registra-
     5  tion application provided by  an  individual  under  this  section,  and
     6  ensure  that  the  individual is registered to vote in the state, if (a)
     7  the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable
     8  to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with  the  law
     9  using  the mail voter registration application form and (b) the individ-
    10  ual provides a signature in electronic form.
    11    3. For purposes of this section, an individual provides a signature in
    12  electronic form by (a) executing a computerized mark  in  the  signature
    13  field on an online voter registration application; or
    14    (b) submitting with the application an electronic copy of the individ-
    15  ual's handwritten signature through electronic means.
    16    4.  (a)  Upon  the online submission of a completed voter registration
    17  application by an individual under this section, the  appropriate  state
    18  or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming
    19  the state's receipt of the application and providing instructions on how
    20  the  individual may check the status of the application, and (b) as soon
    21  as the appropriate election official has approved or rejected an  appli-
    22  cation submitted by an individual under this section, the official shall
    23  send the individual a notice of the disposition of the application.
    24    5.  Any  county or municipality shall make the services made available
    25  online under subdivision one of this section available through  the  use
    26  of  an  automated  telephone-based system, subject to the same terms and
    27  conditions applicable under this section to the services made  available
    28  online,  in  addition to making the services available online in accord-
    29  ance with the requirements of this section.
    30    § 5-207. Updating registration information through  the  internet.  1.
    31  The  board  shall  ensure  that any registered voter on the computerized
    32  list may at  any  time  update  the  voter's  registration  information,
    33  including  the  voter's  address  and  electronic  mail  address, online
    34  through the official public website of the election official responsible
    35  for the maintenance of the list, so long as the  voter  attests  to  the
    36  contents  of  the  update by providing a signature in electronic form in
    37  the same manner required under the law.
    38    2. Applications for voter registration shall  provide  an  option  for
    39  voters  to receive voter information and future registration information
    40  and correspondence by email.
    41    3. The board of elections shall notify every registered voter  of  the
    42  option to register and make changes to their voter information electron-
    43  ically.
    44    §  3.  Paragraph (k) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the election
    45  law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2005,  subparagraph  (xii)
    46  as  added by chapter 362 of the laws of 2008, is amended and a new para-
    47  graph (n) is added to read as follows:
    48    (k) The form shall also include space for the  following  information,
    49  which must be contained on the inside of the form after it is folded for
    50  mailing:
    51    (i) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she has
    52  ever voted or registered to vote before and, if so, the approximate year
    53  in which such applicant last voted or registered and his or her name and
    54  address at the time.
    55    (ii) The name and residence address of the applicant including the zip
    56  code and apartment number, if any.

        S. 5215                             5
     1    (iii) The date of birth of the applicant.
     2    (iv) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her driver's license
     3  or  department  of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID number or the last
     4  four digits of his or her social security number or,  if  the  applicant
     5  does  not have either such number, a space for the applicant to indicate
     6  he or she does not have either.
     7    (v) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she  is
     8  a citizen of the United States and the statement "If you checked "no" in
     9  response to this question, do not complete this form."
    10    (vi) [A space for the applicant to answer the question "Will you be 18
    11  years  of  age  on  or  before  election day?" and the statement "If you
    12  checked "no" in response to this question, do  not  complete  this  form
    13  unless you will be 18 by the end of the year."
    14    (vii)] A statement informing the applicant that if the form is submit-
    15  ted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time, certain
    16  information or documents must be submitted with the mail-in registration
    17  form  in  order  to  avoid  additional  identification requirements upon
    18  voting for the first time. Such information and documents are:
    19    (A) a driver's license or  department  of  motor  vehicles  non-driver
    20  photo ID number; or
    21    (B)  the  last four digits of the individual's social security number;
    22  or
    23    (C) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
    24    (D) a copy of a  current  utility  bill,  bank  statement,  government
    25  check,  paycheck  or  other  government document that shows the name and
    26  address of the voter.
    27    [(viii)] (vii) The gender of the applicant (optional).
    28    [(ix)] (viii) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her  choice
    29  of party enrollment, with a clear alternative provided for the applicant
    30  to decline to affiliate with any party.
    31    [(x)] (ix) The telephone number of the applicant (optional).
    32    [(xi)]  (x)  A  place  for the applicant to execute the form on a line
    33  which is clearly  labeled  "signature  of  applicant"  preceded  by  the
    34  following specific form of affirmation:
    35    AFFIDAVIT: I swear or affirm that:
    36       * I am a citizen of the United States.
    37       * I will have lived in the county, city, or village for at least 30
    38         days before the election.
    39       * I  meet  all  the  requirements  to  register to vote in New York
    40         State.
    41       * This is my signature or mark on the line below.
    42       * All the information contained on  this  application  is  true.  I
    43         understand that if it is not true I can be convicted and fined up
    44         to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to four years.
    45  which  form of affirmation shall be followed by a space for the date and
    46  the aforementioned line for the applicant's signature.
    47    [(xii)] (xi) A space for the applicant to register  in  the  New  York
    48  state  donate  life  registry for organ and tissue donations established
    49  pursuant to section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law.
    50    (xii) The email address of the applicant (optional).
    51    (n) Agreements adopted pursuant to section 5-200 of this title between
    52  source agencies and the state or county  boards  of  elections  are  not
    53  required  to  include  the collection or transmission of the information
    54  requested in paragraph (j) or subparagraph (i), (vii), (ix) or  (xi)  of
    55  paragraph  (k)  of  this  subdivision,  and  no board of elections shall
    56  refuse to register to vote or update  the  registration  record  of  any

        S. 5215                             6
     1  person in the state whose information is transmitted pursuant to section
     2  5-200  of  this  title  for  the  reason  that such information does not
     3  include the information requested by paragraph (j) or subparagraph  (i),
     4  (vii), (viii), (ix) or (xi) of paragraph (k) of this subdivision.
     5    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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