|SAME AS||SAME AS S08806|
|COSPNSR||Carroll, Ortiz, Stirpe, Rosenthal L, Jean-Pierre, Colton, Perry, Lifton, Reyes, Hyndman, Gottfried, Mosley, Simon, Weprin, Wright, Bichotte, Joyner, Frontus, Taylor, Jacobson, Seawright, Blake, Barron, Dinowitz, Vanel, Hevesi, Cook, Rodriguez, Darling, De La Rosa, Steck, Otis, Lupardo|
|Add Art 5 Title 9 5-900 - 5-906, 5-308, amd 9-209, El L|
|Establishes an electronic personal voter registration process integrated within designated agency applications; requires the state board of elections to promulgate necessary rules and regulations; makes related provisions.|
Memo not availableGo to top
Go to top
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8280--C Cal. No. 322 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY June 11, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WALKER, CARROLL, ORTIZ, STIRPE, L. ROSENTHAL, JEAN-PIERRE, COLTON, PERRY, LIFTON, REYES, HYNDMAN, GOTTFRIED, MOSLEY, SIMON, WEPRIN, WRIGHT, BICHOTTE, JOYNER, FRONTUS, TAYLOR, JACOBSON, SEAWRIGHT, BLAKE, BARRON, DINOWITZ, VANEL, HEVESI, COOK, RODRIGUEZ, DARLING, DE LA ROSA, STECK -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BUCHWALD, ENGLEBRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading -- ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to establishing an auto- matic voter registration process integrated within designated agency applications The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as 2 the "New York automatic voter registration act of 2020". 3 § 2. Article 5 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 9 4 to read as follows: 5 TITLE IX 6 AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION 7 Section 5-900. Integrated personal voter registration application 8 required. 9 5-902. Failure to receive exemplar signature not to prevent 10 registration. 11 5-904. Presumption of innocent authorized error. 12 5-906. Forms. 13 § 5-900. Integrated personal voter registration application required. 14 1. In addition to any other method of voter registration provided for by 15 this chapter, state and local agencies designated in subdivisions thir- 16 teen and fourteen of this section shall provide to the state board of 17 elections voter registration qualification information associated with 18 each person who submits an application for services or assistance at EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05948-25-0A. 8280--C 2 1 such agency, including a renewal, recertification, or reexamination 2 transaction at such agency, and each person who notifies the agency of a 3 change of address or name. For the purposes of the department of motor 4 vehicles, "application for services or assistance at such agency" refers 5 only to an application for a motor vehicle driver's license, a driver's 6 license renewal or an identification card if such card is issued by the 7 department of motor vehicles in its normal course of business. For 8 purposes of the New York city housing authority "application for 9 services or assistance at such agency" refers only to applications that 10 reach an eligibility interview and reexamination transactions. Such 11 designated agencies shall ensure agency applications substantially 12 include all of the elements required by section 5-210 of this article, 13 including the appropriate attestation, so that persons completing such 14 applications shall be able to also submit an application to register to 15 vote through the electronic voter registration transmittal system. For 16 purposes of this section, "agency" shall mean any state or local agency, 17 department, division, office, institution or other entity designated in 18 subdivision thirteen of this section or designated by the governor 19 pursuant to subdivision fourteen of this section. For purposes of this 20 section, registration shall also include pre-registration pursuant to 21 section 5-507 of this article. 22 2. For each application submitted to the agency, whether electron- 23 ically or on paper, the agency shall transmit to the state board of 24 elections through an interface with the electronic voter registration 25 transmittal system established and maintained by the state board of 26 elections that portion of the application that includes voter registra- 27 tion information. The state board of elections shall electronically 28 forward such application to the applicable board of elections of each 29 county or the city of New York for filing, processing and verification 30 consistent with this chapter. 31 3. An integrated voter registration form submitted to an agency in 32 paper format shall be transmitted to the state board of elections 33 through an electronic voter registration transmittal system by convert- 34 ing the paper form to an image file or a portable document format file 35 which shall thereafter be deemed the original form for voter registra- 36 tion and enrollment purposes. The agency shall retain the complete 37 original paper application for no less than two years. The transmittal 38 of the converted paper application may include or be accompanied by data 39 elements and transmittal information as required by the rules and regu- 40 lations of the state board of elections. 41 4. An integrated voter registration application submitted to an agency 42 in an electronic format shall be transmitted to the state board of 43 elections through the electronic voter registration transmittal system 44 and shall include all of the voter registration data elements, including 45 electronic signature, as applicable, and record of attestation of the 46 accuracy of the voter registration information and any relevant document 47 images. 48 5. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no agency designated 49 under this section shall transmit to the state board of elections any 50 application for registration for a person that indicates on the inte- 51 grated personal voter registration application that they do not meet one 52 of the eligibility requirements. 53 6. The voter registration related portion of each agency's integrated 54 application for services or assistance shall: 55 (a) include a statement of the eligibility requirements for voter 56 registration and shall require the applicant to attest by his or herA. 8280--C 3 1 signature that he or she meets those requirements under penalty of 2 perjury unless such applicant declines such registration; 3 (b) inform the applicant, in print identical to that used in the 4 attestation section of the following: 5 (i) voter eligibility requirements; 6 (ii) penalties for submission of a false registration application; 7 (iii) that the office where the applicant applies for registration 8 shall remain confidential and the voter registration information shall 9 be used only for voter registration purposes; 10 (iv) that if the applicant applies to register to vote electronically, 11 such applicant thereby consents to the use of an electronic copy of the 12 individual's manual signature that is in the custody of the department 13 of motor vehicles, the state board of elections, or other agency desig- 14 nated by this section, as the individual's voter registration exemplar 15 signature if the individual voter's exemplar signature is not provided 16 with the voter registration application; 17 (v) if the applicant declines to register, such applicant's declina- 18 tion shall remain confidential and be used only for voter registration 19 purposes; and 20 (vi) that applying to register or declining to register to vote will 21 not affect the amount of assistance that the applicant will be provided 22 by this agency; 23 (c) include a box for the applicant to check to indicate whether the 24 applicant would like to decline to register to vote along with the 25 following statement in prominent type, "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK THIS BOX, 26 AND YOU PROVIDE YOUR SIGNATURE ON THE SPACE BELOW, YOU WILL HAVE 27 ATTESTED TO YOUR ELIGIBILITY TO REGISTER OR PRE-REGISTER TO VOTE AND YOU 28 WILL HAVE APPLIED TO REGISTER OR PRE-REGISTER TO VOTE."; 29 (d) include the following warning statement in prominent type, "IF YOU 30 ARE NOT A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, YOU MUST CHECK THE BOX BELOW. 31 NON-CITIZENS WHO REGISTER OR PRE-REGISTER TO VOTE MAY BE SUBJECT TO 32 CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND SUCH VOTER REGISTRATION OR PRE-REGISTRATION MAY 33 RESULT IN DEPORTATION OR REMOVAL, EXCLUSION FROM ADMISSION TO THE UNITED 34 STATES, OR DENIAL OF NATURALIZATION."; 35 (e) include a space for the applicant to indicate his or her choice of 36 party enrollment, with a clear alternative provided for the applicant to 37 decline to affiliate with any party and the following statement in prom- 38 inent type "IF YOU DO NOT CHOOSE A PARTY YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTIC- 39 IPATE IN PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR THAT PARTY". 40 (f) include a statement that if an applicant is a victim of domestic 41 violence or stalking, he or she may contact the state board of elections 42 in order to receive information regarding the address confidentiality 43 program for victims of domestic violence under section 5-508 of this 44 article. 45 7. Information from the voter relevant to both voter registration and 46 the agency application shall be entered by the voter only once upon an 47 application. 48 8. The agency shall redact or remove from the completed integrated 49 application to be transmitted to the state board of elections any infor- 50 mation solely applicable to the agency application. 51 9. Information concerning the citizenship status of individuals, when 52 collected and transmitted pursuant to subdivision one of this section, 53 shall not be retained, used or shared for any other purpose except as 54 may be required by law. 55 10. A voter shall be able to decline to register to vote using an 56 integrated application by selecting a single check box, or equivalent,A. 8280--C 4 1 which shall include the following statement: "I DECLINE USE OF THIS FORM 2 FOR VOTER REGISTRATION AND PRE-REGISTRATION PURPOSES. DO NOT FORWARD MY 3 INFORMATION TO THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS." 4 11. The voter shall be able to sign the voter registration application 5 and the agency application by means of a single manual or electronic 6 signature unless the agency requires more than one signature for other 7 agency purposes. 8 12. No application for voter registration shall be submitted if the 9 applicant declines registration or fails to sign the integrated applica- 10 tion, whether on paper or online. 11 13. Designated agencies for purposes of this section shall include the 12 department of motor vehicles, the department of health, the office of 13 temporary and disability assistance, the department of labor, the office 14 of vocational and educational services for individuals with disabili- 15 ties, county and city departments of social services, and the New York 16 city housing authority, as well as any other agency designated by the 17 governor. Each designated agency shall enter into an agreement with the 18 state board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic 19 transmissions required by this section. The state board of elections 20 shall prepare and distribute to designated agencies written instructions 21 as to the implementation of the program and shall be responsible for 22 establishing training programs for employees of designated agencies 23 listed in this section. Such instructions and such training shall 24 ensure usability of the integrated application for low English profi- 25 ciency voters. Any such designated agency shall take all actions that 26 are necessary and proper for the implementation of this section, includ- 27 ing facilitating technological capabilities to allow transmission of 28 data through an interface with the electronic voter registration trans- 29 mittal system in a secure manner. 30 14. Each year, the governor shall conduct a review of each participat- 31 ing agency under section 5-211 of this article not already designated as 32 an automatic voter registration agency pursuant to this subdivision in 33 order to determine whether designation is appropriate. The governor 34 shall designate each participating agency that collects information or 35 documents that would provide proof of eligibility to vote unless the 36 governor determines that there are compelling reasons why automatic 37 voter registration is not feasible at the agency. If the governor should 38 determine that there are compelling reasons why automatic voter regis- 39 tration is not feasible at an agency, the governor shall prepare a 40 report explaining those reasons to the legislature by the end of the 41 calendar year in which that determination is made. Any agency designated 42 by the governor pursuant to this subdivision shall provide automatic 43 voter registration upon the earlier occurrence of: (a) two years after 44 designation by the governor, or (b) five days after the date of certif- 45 ication by the state board of elections that the information technology 46 infrastructure to substantially implement the provisions of this section 47 at the agency is functional. 48 15. The state board of elections shall promulgate rules and regu- 49 lations for the creation and administration of an integrated electronic 50 voter registration process as provided for by this section. 51 16. Each participating agency shall provide an opportunity through 52 rulemaking for public notice and comment regarding the plans for imple- 53 mentation in the agency. Such opportunity must be provided sufficiently 54 in advance of implementation to allow for adjustment of agency plans to 55 take public comment into account. Agency plans for implementation shall 56 provide for sufficient testing of the process in the agency prior toA. 8280--C 5 1 implementation in order to ensure the technology is functioning proper- 2 ly, the process is usable and understandable for applicants and agency 3 employees, and reasonable precautions have been put in place to minimize 4 error or the possibility of discouraging applications for services, 5 assistance, or registration. 6 § 5-902. Failure to receive exemplar signature not to prevent regis- 7 tration. If a voter registration exemplar signature is not received from 8 an applicant who submits a voter registration or pre-registration appli- 9 cation pursuant to this title and such signature exemplar is not other- 10 wise available from the statewide voter registration database or a state 11 or local agency, the local board of elections shall, absent another 12 reason to reject the application, proceed to register or pre-register 13 and, as applicable, enroll the applicant. Within ten days of such 14 action, the board of elections shall send a standard form promulgated by 15 the state board of elections to the voter whose record lacks an exemplar 16 signature, requiring such voter to submit a signature for identification 17 purposes. The voter shall submit to the board of elections a voter 18 registration exemplar signature by any one of the following methods: in 19 person, by mail with return postage paid provided by the board of 20 elections, by electronic mail, or by electronic upload to the board of 21 elections through the electronic voter registration transmittal system. 22 If such voter does not provide the required exemplar signature, when the 23 voter appears to vote the voter shall be entitled to vote by affidavit 24 ballot. 25 § 5-904. Presumption of innocent authorized error. 1. Notwithstanding 26 subdivision six of section 5-210 of this article or any other law to the 27 contrary, a person who is ineligible to vote who fails to decline to 28 register or pre-register to vote in accordance with the provisions of 29 this section and did not willfully and knowingly seek to register or 30 pre-register to vote knowing that he or she is not eligible to do so: 31 (a) shall not be guilty of any crime as the result of the applicant's 32 failure to make such declination; 33 (b) shall be deemed to have been registered or pre-registered with 34 official authorization; and 35 (c) such act may not be considered as evidence of a claim to citizen- 36 ship. 37 2. Notwithstanding subdivision six of section 5-210 of this article or 38 any other law to the contrary, a person who is ineligible to vote who 39 fails to decline to register or pre-register to vote in accordance with 40 the provisions of this section, who then either votes or attempts to 41 vote in an election held after the effective date of that person's 42 registration, and who did not willfully and knowingly seek to register 43 or pre-register to vote knowing that he or she is not eligible to do so, 44 and did not subsequently vote or attempt to vote knowing that he or she 45 is not eligible to do so: 46 (a) shall not be guilty of any crime as the result of the applicant's 47 failure to make such declination and subsequent vote or attempt to vote; 48 (b) shall be deemed to have been registered or pre-registered with 49 official authorization; and 50 (c) such act may not be considered as evidence of a claim to citizen- 51 ship. 52 § 5-906. Forms. The state board of elections shall promulgate rules 53 and regulations to implement this title. All agency forms and notices 54 required by this title shall be approved by the state board of 55 elections. All applications and notices for use by a board of elections 56 pursuant to this title shall be promulgated by the state board ofA. 8280--C 6 1 elections, and no addition or alteration to such forms by a board of 2 elections shall be made without approval of the state board of 3 elections. 4 § 3. The election law is amended by adding a new section 5-308 to read 5 as follows: 6 § 5-308. Enrollment; automatic voter registration. 1. The board of 7 elections shall, promptly and not later than twenty-one days after 8 receipt of a voter registration or pre-registration application submit- 9 ted pursuant to title nine of this article by a voter registering or 10 pre-registering for the first time, send any such voter who did not 11 enroll in a party a notice and a form to indicate party enrollment, with 12 return postage paid by the board of elections. Such notice shall offer 13 the voter the opportunity to enroll with a party or to decline to enroll 14 with a party and contain the following statement in prominent type "IF 15 YOU DO NOT CHOOSE A PARTY YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PARTICIPATE IN PRIMARY 16 ELECTIONS FOR THAT PARTY." Such form shall provide a clear alternative 17 for the applicant to decline to affiliate with any party. If the board 18 of elections has not received a response to the party enrollment notice 19 and form within forty-five days of the application, the board shall mail 20 a second similar notice and form to the voter. 21 2. Notwithstanding subdivision two of section 5-304 of this title, if 22 a voter who registered to vote for the first time (or pre-registered) 23 pursuant to title nine of this article responds to the notice required 24 by subdivision one of this section and elects to enroll in a party, such 25 enrollment shall take effect immediately. However, any pre-registrant's 26 registration shall remain classified as "pending" until he or she 27 reaches the age of eligibility. 28 3. If a voter appears at a primary election and votes by affidavit 29 ballot indicating the intent to enroll in such party, such affidavit 30 ballot shall cause the voter to be enrolled immediately in that party if 31 the board of elections determines that the voter registered (or pre-re- 32 gistered) to vote for the first time pursuant to title nine of this 33 article. 34 4. If a voter appears at a primary election and votes by affidavit 35 ballot indicating the intent to enroll in such party, such affidavit 36 ballot shall be cast and counted if the board of elections determines 37 that the voter registered (or pre-registered) to vote at least twenty- 38 five days before that primary pursuant to title nine of this article and 39 such voter is otherwise qualified to vote in such election. 40 § 4. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 2 of section 9-209 of the election 41 law is amended by adding a new subparagraph (vii) to read as follows: 42 (vii) If the board of elections finds that the voter registered (or 43 pre-registered) to vote for the first time pursuant to title nine of 44 article five of this chapter at least twenty-five days before a primary, 45 appeared at such primary election, and indicated on the affidavit ballot 46 envelope the intent to enroll in such party, the affidavit ballot shall 47 be cast and counted if the voter is otherwise qualified to vote in such 48 election. 49 § 5. This act shall take effect January 1, 2023; provided, however, 50 the state board of elections and any participating agency shall be 51 authorized to implement necessary rules and regulations and to take 52 steps required to implement this act immediately.