S03436 Summary:

BILL NOS03436
 
SAME ASSAME AS A05627
 
SPONSORPARKER
 
COSPNSRHOYLMAN, LATIMER
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd El L, generally
 
Relates to creating the "modernized voter registration act of New York"; modernizes voter registration; promotes access to voting for individuals with disabilities; protects the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for local and state office and makes an appropriation therefor.
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S03436 Actions:

BILL NOS03436
 
01/23/2017REFERRED TO FINANCE
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S03436 Committee Votes:

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S03436 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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S03436 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          3436
 
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
 
                    IN SENATE
 
                                    January 23, 2017
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance
 
        AN ACT to amend the election  law,  in  relation  to  modernizing  voter
          registration, promoting access to voting for individuals with disabil-
          ities,  protecting the ability of individuals to exercise the right to
          vote in elections for local and state office; and making an  appropri-
          ation therefor
 
          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  ten  new  sections  5-200,
     4  5-232, 5-234, 5-236, 5-238, 5-240, 5-242, 5-244, 5-246 and 5-248 to read
     5  as follows:
     6    §  5-200.  Automated  voter registration. 1. Notwithstanding any other
     7  manner of registration required by this  article,  each  person  in  the
     8  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of this article, shall
     9  be  automatically  registered  to  vote  as  provided  in  this section,
    10  provided that the person consents to voter registration.
    11    2. The state board of elections or county  board  of  elections  shall
    12  register  to vote or update the registration record of any person in the
    13  state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of  this  article  who
    14  consents to the registration or update and does any of the following:
    15    (a)  completes  an  application for a new or renewed driver's license,
    16  non-driver  identification  card,  pre-licensing   course   certificate,
    17  learner's permit or certification of supervised driving with the depart-
    18  ment  of  motor  vehicles,  or  notifies such department in writing of a
    19  change of his or her name or address;
    20    (b) completes an application for services, renewal or  recertification
    21  for  services, or change of address relating to such services from agen-
    22  cies designated in section 5-211 of this title;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD00758-01-7

        S. 3436                             2
 
     1    (c) completes an application for services, renewal or  recertification
     2  for  services,  or  change of address relating to such services from any
     3  municipal housing authority as set forth  in  article  thirteen  of  the
     4  public housing law;
     5    (d)  registers  for classes at institutions of the state university of
     6  New York or the city university of New York;
     7    (e) completes a maximum sentence of imprisonment or is discharged from
     8  parole;
     9    (f) completes an application for unemployment insurance;
    10    (g) becomes a member or employee of the New York division of  military
    11  and naval affairs; or
    12    (h)  completes  an  application with any other state or federal agency
    13  designated as a source agency pursuant to paragraph (b)  of  subdivision
    14  three of this section.
    15    3. (a) The term "source agency" includes the department of motor vehi-
    16  cles, any government agency designated pursuant to section 5-211 of this
    17  title,  the  state university of New York and the city university of New
    18  York, all public housing authorities listed in article thirteen  of  the
    19  public  housing  law, the department of corrections and community super-
    20  vision, the department of labor, the New York division of  military  and
    21  naval  affairs and any agency designated by the state board of elections
    22  pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision.
    23    (b) The state board of elections may designate additional state  agen-
    24  cies to serve as sources for voter registration. In designating an agen-
    25  cy under this paragraph, the state board of elections shall consider:
    26    (i)  the  likelihood  that  source  records  reflect a large number of
    27  eligible citizens;
    28    (ii) the extent to which source records reflect eligible citizens  who
    29  would  not  otherwise  be  registered  under  the act to modernize voter
    30  registration;
    31    (iii) the accuracy of personal identification data in source  records;
    32  and
    33    (iv)  any additional factors designated by the chief election official
    34  as reasonably related to  accomplishing  the  purposes  of  the  act  to
    35  modernize voter registration.
    36    4.  The  state  board of elections and the source agencies shall enter
    37  into agreements to ensure that for each person described in  subdivision
    38  two  of this section, each source agency electronically transmits to the
    39  state or local boards of elections the following information in a format
    40  that can be read by the computerized statewide voter registration list:
    41    (a) given name or names and surname or surnames;
    42    (b) mailing address and residential address;
    43    (c) date of birth;
    44    (d) citizenship;
    45    (e) driver's license or non-driver identification  card  number,  last
    46  four  digits  of the person's social security number, or a space for the
    47  person to indicate that he or she does not have any such number;
    48    (f) political party enrollment, if any;
    49    (g) an indication that the person intends to  apply  for  an  absentee
    50  ballot, if any; and
    51    (h) an image of the person's signature.
    52    In  the  event  that any transmission of data pursuant to this section
    53  fails to include an image of an individual's signature, the absence of a
    54  signature shall not preclude the registration of  an  eligible  citizen.
    55  The  board  of  elections shall develop procedures to enable an eligible
    56  citizen, whose information is transmitted pursuant to this  section  and

        S. 3436                             3
 
     1  whose  information lacks an electronic signature, to provide a signature
     2  at the polling place or with  an  application  for  an  absentee  ballot
     3  before  voting.  The board may require an elector who has not provided a
     4  signature before arriving at the polling place or submitting an absentee
     5  ballot  to present a current and valid photo identification or a copy of
     6  a current utility bill, bank statement, government check,  paycheck,  or
     7  other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.
     8    5.  If an agency does not routinely request information concerning the
     9  citizenship status of individuals, it shall maintain records  sufficient
    10  to transmit to the board of elections indications of United States citi-
    11  zenship  for  each  person described in subdivision two of this section,
    12  but shall not retain, use, or share any such information relating to  an
    13  individual's citizenship for any other purpose.
    14    6.  The  state  board  of  elections  shall  prepare and distribute to
    15  participating agencies written instructions as to the implementation  of
    16  the  program and shall be responsible for establishing training programs
    17  for employees of source agencies listed in this section. Training  shall
    18  include  requirements that employees of any source agency communicate to
    19  each individual identified in subdivision two of this section  that  the
    20  source  agency  maintains  strict  neutrality with respect to a person's
    21  party enrollment and all persons seeking voter  registration  forms  and
    22  information  shall  be  advised  that government services are not condi-
    23  tioned on being registered to vote, or eligibility to register to  vote.
    24  No statement shall be made nor any action taken to discourage the appli-
    25  cant from registering to vote.
    26    7.  The agreements between the state board of elections and the source
    27  agencies shall include the format in which information will be transmit-
    28  ted, whether and how each entity will collect, in addition to the manda-
    29  tory information listed in subdivision four of this section,  additional
    30  information on a voluntary basis from persons for the purpose of facili-
    31  tating  voter  registration,  the  frequency  of data transmissions, the
    32  procedures and other measures that will be used to ensure  the  security
    33  and  privacy of the information transmitted, and any other matter neces-
    34  sary or helpful to implement the requirements of this section.
    35    8. Each  source  agency  shall  cooperate  with  the  state  board  of
    36  elections  and  county board of elections to facilitate the voter regis-
    37  tration of each person described in subdivision two of this section, and
    38  to electronically transmit the information needed to register each  such
    39  person  to  vote  or  to  update  each  such person's voter registration
    40  record.
    41    9. Each source agency shall enter into an  agreement  with  the  state
    42  board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic tran-
    43  smissions  required  by  this section no later than September first, two
    44  thousand nineteen; provided, that each source agency shall  be  able  to
    45  comply  fully  with  all  requirements  of  this  section, including the
    46  collection and transmission of all data required to register individuals
    47  to vote, by January first, two thousand twenty.
    48    10. Upon receiving information from a source agency with respect to an
    49  individual, the state board of elections  shall  determine  whether  the
    50  individual  is included in the computerized statewide voter registration
    51  list.
    52    (a) If an individual for whom information is received  from  a  source
    53  agency  is eligible to vote in elections for federal office in the state
    54  and is not on the computerized statewide voter  registration  list,  the
    55  state board of elections shall: (i) ensure that the individual is regis-
    56  tered to vote in such elections not later than five days after receiving

        S. 3436                             4
 
     1  the  information,  without  regard  to  whether  or  not the information
     2  provided by the source agency includes the individual's signature;  (ii)
     3  update the statewide computerized voter registration list to include the
     4  individual;  and  (iii)  notify  the  individual  that the individual is
     5  registered to vote in elections for federal office in the state.
     6    (b) If a source agency provides the  state  board  of  elections  with
     7  information  with  respect  to  an  individual who did not consent to be
     8  registered to vote, the state board of  elections  shall  not  take  any
     9  action  to register the individual to vote, except that no such individ-
    10  ual who is already included on the computerized statewide  voter  regis-
    11  tration  list shall be removed from the list solely because the informa-
    12  tion was incorrectly provided.
    13    11. If an individual who is  not  eligible  to  register  to  vote  in
    14  elections  for federal office is registered to vote in such elections by
    15  the state board of elections, the individual shall not be subject to any
    16  penalty, including the imposition of a fine  or  term  of  imprisonment,
    17  adverse  treatment  in  any immigration or naturalization proceeding, or
    18  the denial of any status under immigration laws, under any law prohibit-
    19  ing an individual who is not eligible to register to vote  in  elections
    20  for  federal  office from registering to vote in such elections. Nothing
    21  in this subdivision shall be construed to waive  the  liability  of  any
    22  individual  who  knowingly  provides  false  information  to  any person
    23  regarding the individual's eligibility to register to vote in  elections
    24  for federal office.
    25    12.  No  person may use the information received by the state board of
    26  elections to determine the citizenship  status  of  any  individual  for
    27  immigration  enforcement,  criminal law enforcement (other than enforce-
    28  ment of this chapter), or any other purpose other than  voter  registra-
    29  tion  or election administration. No information relating to an individ-
    30  ual's  absence  from  the  statewide  voter  registration  list  or   an
    31  individual's  declination  to  supply information for voter registration
    32  purposes to a source agency may be disclosed to  the  public  for  immi-
    33  gration  enforcement, criminal law enforcement other than enforcement of
    34  laws against election crimes, or used for any purpose other  than  voter
    35  registration,  election  administration,  or the enforcement of election
    36  laws.
    37    13. Voter registration information collected under this section  shall
    38  not  be  used  for commercial purposes including for comparison with any
    39  existing commercial list or database.
    40    § 5-232.  Availability  of  online  registration.  1.  Every  election
    41  district  shall  ensure that the following services are available to the
    42  public at any time on the official public websites  of  the  appropriate
    43  local  election  officials  in  the  state: online application for voter
    44  registration, online assistance to applications in applying to  register
    45  to  vote,  online  completion and submission by applications of the mail
    46  voter registration application form pursuant to section 5-210, including
    47  assistance with providing a signature in  electronic  form  as  required
    48  under section 5-234 of this title, and online receipt of completed voter
    49  registration applications.
    50    2.  Any  county or municipality shall accept an online voter registra-
    51  tion application provided by  an  individual  under  this  section,  and
    52  ensure  that  the  individual is registered to vote in the state, if (a)
    53  the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable
    54  to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with law using
    55  the mail voter registration application form,  and  (b)  the  individual

        S. 3436                             5

     1  provides  a  signature  in  electronic form pursuant to section 5-234 of
     2  this title.
     3    3.  (a)  Upon  the online submission of a completed voter registration
     4  application by an individual under this section, the  appropriate  state
     5  or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming
     6  the state's receipt of the application and providing instructions on how
     7  the individual may check the status of the application, and
     8    (b)  as  soon  as  the  appropriate  election official has approved or
     9  rejected an application submitted by an individual under  this  section,
    10  the  official  shall  send the individual a notice of the disposition of
    11  the application.
    12    § 5-234. Signatures in  electronic  form.  An  individual  provides  a
    13  signature  in  electronic  form  by executing a computerized mark in the
    14  signature field on an online voter registration application; or  submit-
    15  ting  with  the application an electronic copy of the individual's hand-
    16  written signature through electronic means.
    17    § 5-236. Nonpartisan manner. The services made  available  under  this
    18  title  shall be provided in a manner that ensures that the online appli-
    19  cation does not seek to influence an applicant's political preference or
    20  party registration and there is no display on the website promoting  any
    21  political  preference  or  party allegiance, except that nothing in this
    22  section may be construed to prohibit an applicant  from  registering  to
    23  vote as a member of a political party.
    24    §  5-238.  Protection  of  security  information.  The  state board of
    25  elections shall establish appropriate technological security measures to
    26  prevent to the greatest extent practicable any  unauthorized  access  to
    27  information  provided  by  individuals using the services made available
    28  under section 5-232 of this title.
    29    § 5-240. Use  of  additional  telephone-based  system.  The  board  of
    30  elections  shall  make  the services made available online under section
    31  5-232 of this title available through the  use  of  an  automated  tele-
    32  phone-based  system, subject to the same terms and conditions applicable
    33  under this section to the services made available online, in addition to
    34  making the services available online in accordance with the requirements
    35  of this section.
    36    § 5-242. Use of internet to update registration  information.  1.  The
    37  appropriate  state  or  local  election  official  shall ensure that any
    38  registered voter on the computerized list may at  any  time  update  the
    39  voter's  registration  information,  including  the  voter's address and
    40  electronic mail address, online through the official public  website  of
    41  the  election  official  responsible for the maintenance of the list, so
    42  long as the voter attests to the contents of the update by  providing  a
    43  signature in electronic form.
    44    2.  If a registered voter updates registration information, the appro-
    45  priate state or local election official shall revise any information  on
    46  the  computerized  list  to reflect the update made by the voter; and if
    47  the updated registration information affects the voter's eligibility  to
    48  vote  in  an  election,  ensure  that  the information is processed with
    49  respect to the election if the voter updates the information  not  later
    50  than seven days before the election.
    51    3.  Upon  the online submission of updated registration information by
    52  an individual  under  this  section,  the  appropriate  state  or  local
    53  election  official shall send the individual a notice confirming receipt
    54  of the updated information and providing instructions on how  the  indi-
    55  vidual may check the status of the update.

        S. 3436                             6
 
     1    4.  As  soon  as  the appropriate state or local election official has
     2  accepted or rejected updated  information  submitted  by  an  individual
     3  under  this  section, the official shall send the individual a notice of
     4  the disposition of the update.
     5    5.  The  appropriate  state  or local election official shall send the
     6  notices required under this section by regular mail, and, in the case of
     7  an individual who has requested that the state provide  voter  registra-
     8  tion  and voting information through electronic mail, by both electronic
     9  mail and regular mail.
    10    § 5-244. List maintenance, privacy and security. 1. The state board of
    11  elections shall publish on their website all standards established under
    12  this section. The state board of  elections  shall  establish  standards
    13  governing  the  comparison  of  data on the statewide computerized voter
    14  registration list, the data provided by various  source  agencies  under
    15  section  5-200  of  this title, including the specific data elements and
    16  data matching rules to be used for purposes of determining: (a)  whether
    17  a data record from any source agency represents the same individual as a
    18  record  in another source agency or on the statewide list; (b) whether a
    19  data record from any source  agency  represents  an  individual  already
    20  registered  to  vote  in  the state; (c) whether two data records in the
    21  statewide  computerized  voter  registration  list  represent  duplicate
    22  records  for  the same individual; (d) whether a data record supplied by
    23  any list maintenance source represents an individual already  registered
    24  to  vote in the state; and (e) which information will be treated as more
    25  current and reliable when data records  from  multiple  sources  present
    26  information for the same individual.
    27    2.  The  state board of elections shall establish uniform and non-dis-
    28  criminatory standards describing the specific conditions under which  an
    29  individual will be determined for list maintenance purposes to be ineli-
    30  gible to vote in an election.
    31    3.  The  state  board of elections shall publish and enforce a privacy
    32  and security policy specifying  each  class  of  users  who  shall  have
    33  authorized access to the computerized statewide voter registration list,
    34  specifying for each such class the permission and levels of access to be
    35  granted,  and  setting forth other safeguards to protect the privacy and
    36  security of the information on the list. Such policy shall include secu-
    37  rity safeguards to protect personal information  in  the  data  transfer
    38  process, the online or telephone interface, the maintenance of the voter
    39  registration  database,  and audit procedures to track individual access
    40  to the system.
    41    4. The state board of elections shall establish policies and  enforce-
    42  ment  procedures to prevent unauthorized access to or use of the comput-
    43  erized statewide voter registration list, any list or other  information
    44  provided  by  a  source  agency, or any maintenance source for the list.
    45  Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed  to  prohibit  access  to
    46  information  required for official purposes for purposes of voter regis-
    47  tration, election administration, and the enforcement of election laws.
    48    5. The state board of elections shall establish policies and  enforce-
    49  ment  procedures  to  maintain security during inter-agency transfers of
    50  information required or permitted under this chapter. Each state  agency
    51  and third party participating in such inter-agency transfers of informa-
    52  tion  shall  facilitate  and  comply with such policies. Nothing in this
    53  subdivision shall prevent a source agency from establishing and  enforc-
    54  ing  additional  security  measures  to  protect the confidentiality and
    55  integrity of inter-agency data transfers. No  state  or  local  election

        S. 3436                             7
 
     1  official  shall  transfer or facilitate the transfer of information from
     2  the computerized statewide voter registration list to any source agency.
     3    6.  Nothing  in  this  section  shall be construed to prevent a source
     4  agency from contracting with a third party to assist in the transmission
     5  of data to the state board of elections, so  long  as  the  data  trans-
     6  mission complies with the applicable requirements of this chapter.
     7    7.  The  state board of elections shall establish standards and proce-
     8  dures to maintain all election records required  for  purposes  of  this
     9  section. Records for individuals who have been retained on the computer-
    10  ized statewide registration list but identified as ineligible to vote in
    11  an  election  or  removed  from  the list due to ineligibility, shall be
    12  maintained and kept available until at least  the  date  of  the  second
    13  general  election for federal office that occurs after the date that the
    14  individual was identified as ineligible.
    15    8. The identity of the specific source agency through which  an  indi-
    16  vidual  consented  to  register  to  vote  shall not be disclosed to the
    17  public and shall not be retained after the individual is  added  to  the
    18  computerized statewide voter registration list.
    19    9.  The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce-
    20  ment procedures to ensure that personal information provided  by  source
    21  agencies  or  otherwise transmitted under this section is kept confiden-
    22  tial and is available only to authorized users. For  purposes  of  these
    23  policies  and  procedures,  the term "personal information" means any of
    24  the following:
    25    (a) any portion of an individual's social security number;
    26    (b) any portion of an  individual's  motor  vehicle  driver's  license
    27  number or state identification card number;
    28    (c) an individual's signature;
    29    (d) an individual's personal residence and contact information;
    30    (e) sensitive information relating to persons in categories designated
    31  confidential  by  federal  or  state  law, including victims of domestic
    32  violence or stalking, prosecutors and  law  enforcement  personnel,  and
    33  participants in a witness protection program;
    34    (f) an individual's phone number;
    35    (g) an individual's email address;
    36    (h)  any indication of an individual's status as a citizen or nonciti-
    37  zen of the United States; and
    38    (i) such other information as the state board  of  the  elections  may
    39  designate  as confidential to the extent reasonably necessary to prevent
    40  identity theft or impersonation, except that such board may  not  desig-
    41  nate  as  confidential under this subdivision the name, address, or date
    42  of registration of an individual, or where applicable, the  self-identi-
    43  fied racial or ethnic category of the individual.
    44    10.  The  state  board of elections shall ensure that, with respect to
    45  any individual who declines the opportunity to  register  to  vote,  the
    46  individual's  information  is not included on the computerized statewide
    47  voter registration list and is not provided to a third party (except  to
    48  the  extent required under other law). Nothing in this subdivision shall
    49  be construed to preclude an individual who has previously  declined  the
    50  opportunity to register to vote from subsequently registering to vote.
    51    §  5-246. Accuracy of statewide voter registration lists. 1. Not later
    52  than twenty-four hours after receiving a change of address form  or  any
    53  other  information  indicating that identifying information with respect
    54  to an individual which is included in the records of the  department  of
    55  motor  vehicles  has  been  changed, such department shall transmit such
    56  form or other information to the state board of elections, unless:

        S. 3436                             8
 
     1    (a) the records of the department include information indicating  that
     2  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
     3    (b)  the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the
     4  change of address or other information is  not  for  voter  registration
     5  purposes.
     6    2. Not later than twenty-four after receiving a change of address form
     7  or  any  other  information indicating that identifying information with
     8  respect to an individual which is included in the  records  of  a  voter
     9  registration  agency  has been changed, the appropriate official of such
    10  agency shall transmit such form or other information to the state  board
    11  of elections, unless:
    12    (a)  the records of the department include information indicating that
    13  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
    14    (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that  the
    15  change  of  address  or  other information is not for voter registration
    16  purposes.
    17    3. Not later than  twenty-four  hours  after  receiving  a  change  of
    18  address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor-
    19  mation with respect to an individual which is included in the records of
    20  a source agency has been changed, the appropriate official of such agen-
    21  cy  shall  transmit such form or other information to the state board of
    22  elections, unless:
    23    (a) the records of the department include information indicating  that
    24  the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or
    25    (b)  the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the
    26  change of address or other information is  not  for  voter  registration
    27  purposes.
    28    4.  If  the department of motor vehicles, a voter registration agency,
    29  or a source agency transmits to the state board of elections a change of
    30  address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor-
    31  mation with respect to an individual has been  changed  the  appropriate
    32  state or local election official shall:
    33    (a) determine whether the individual appears on the computerized list;
    34  and
    35    (b)  if  the  individual  appears  on the list, revise the information
    36  relating to the individual on the list to reflect the  individual's  new
    37  address or other changed identifying information.
    38    5.  If an election official revises any voter registration information
    39  on the computerized list with respect to any voter  (including  removing
    40  the  voter  from  the list), immediately after revising the information,
    41  the official shall send the individual a written notice of the  revision
    42  which includes the following information:
    43    (a)  the voter's name, date of birth, and address, as reflected in the
    44  revised information on the computerized list;
    45    (b) a statement that the voter's  registration  information  has  been
    46  updated;
    47    (c)  information  on  how  to  correct information on the computerized
    48  list;
    49    (d) a statement of the eligibility requirements for registered voters;
    50    (e) a statement (in larger font size than the other statements on  the
    51  notice)  that  it  is  illegal  for  an individual who does not meet the
    52  eligibility requirements for registered voters in the state to  vote  in
    53  such state; and
    54    (f)  a  statement  that  the voter may terminate the voter's status as
    55  registered in the state, or request a change in the voter's voter regis-
    56  tration information at any time by contacting the appropriate  state  or

        S. 3436                             9
 
     1  local  election  official,  together  with  contact information for such
     2  official (including any website through which the voter may contact  the
     3  official or obtain information on voter registration in the state).
     4    6.  If  an  election  official  has an electronic mail address for any
     5  voter to whom the  official  is  required  to  send  notice  under  this
     6  section, the official may meet the requirements of this section by send-
     7  ing the notice to the voter in electronic form at that address, but only
     8  if  prior  to  sending  the notice, the official sends a test electronic
     9  mail to the voter at that address and  receives  confirmation  that  the
    10  address is current and valid.
    11    §  5-248.  Same day registration. Each county shall allow any eligible
    12  individual on the day of an election and on any day when voting, includ-
    13  ing early voting, to register to vote in such election  at  the  polling
    14  place and to cast a vote in such election.
    15    §  3. Section 5-210 of the election law is amended by adding three new
    16  subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 to read as follows:
    17    16. The board of elections shall accept an online  voter  registration
    18  application  provided  by  an  individual  and ensure that individual is
    19  registered to vote in the state if (a) the  individual  meets  the  same
    20  voter  registration  requirements applicable to individuals who register
    21  to vote by mail in accordance with this section; and (b) the  individual
    22  provided a signature in electronic form in accordance with section 5-234
    23  of this title.
    24    17.  Upon  the  online  submission  of  a completed voter registration
    25  application by an individual, an appropriate  election  personnel  shall
    26  send  the  individual a notice confirming the board of elections receipt
    27  of the application and providing instructions on how the individual  may
    28  check  on  the  status  of  the  application. As soon as the appropriate
    29  election personnel has approved or rejected an application submitted  by
    30  an  individual,  the personnel shall send the individual a notice of the
    31  disposition of the application by regular mail unless the individual has
    32  requested voter information to be sent through electronic mail, in which
    33  case a copy should be sent through both regular and electronic mail.
    34    18. If an individual who is a registered voter had provided the  state
    35  or  local election official with an electronic mail address for purposes
    36  of receiving voting information, the county board of elections,  through
    37  electronic mail transmitted not later than seven days before the date of
    38  the  election involved, shall provide the individual with information on
    39  how to obtain the following information by  electronic  means:  (a)  the
    40  name  and  address  of  the  polling  place  at  which the individual is
    41  assigned to vote in the election; (b) the hours  of  operation  for  the
    42  polling  place;  and  (c)  a  description of any identification or other
    43  information the individual may be required to  present  at  the  polling
    44  place.
    45    §  4. The election law is amended by adding two new sections 5-108 and
    46  5-110 to read as follows:
    47    § 5-108. Nondiscrimination. 1. The  state  shall  treat  a  registered
    48  voter  who  is registered to vote online in accordance with this chapter
    49  in the same manner as the state treats a registered voter who registered
    50  to vote by mail.
    51    2. No person may discriminate against any individual on the  basis  of
    52  the individual's absence from the statewide voter registration list, the
    53  information supplied by the individual for voter registration purpose to
    54  a source agency, or the individual's declination to supply such informa-
    55  tion,  except  as  required for purposes of voter registration, election
    56  administration, and the enforcement of election laws.

        S. 3436                            10
 
     1    § 5-110. Prohibiting use of electronic mail addresses for  other  than
     2  official  purposes.  The  state board of elections shall ensure that any
     3  electronic mail addresses provided by an applicant  under  this  chapter
     4  are  used  only for purposes of carrying out official duties of election
     5  officials  and  are not transmitted by any state or local election offi-
     6  cial (or any agent of such an official, including a contractor)  to  any
     7  person  who  does  not  require  the  address to carry out such official
     8  duties and who is not under the direct  supervision  and  control  of  a
     9  state or local election official.
    10    §  5.  Subdivisions  1  and 2 of section 5-210 of the election law, as
    11  amended by chapter 179 of the laws of  2005,  are  amended  to  read  as
    12  follows:
    13    1.  In addition to local registration and veterans' absentee registra-
    14  tion as provided  in  this  chapter,  any  qualified  person  may  apply
    15  personally for registration and enrollment, change of enrollment by mail
    16  [or], by appearing at the board of elections on any day, except a day of
    17  election,  during  the  hours  that  such board of elections is open for
    18  business or by registering online.
    19    2. (a) Application forms for use pursuant to  this  section  shall  be
    20  furnished  by  a county board of elections to any person requesting such
    21  form or shall be available on the  county  board  of  elections  website
    22  pursuant  to section 5-232 of this title. Application forms sent outside
    23  of the United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, shall  be
    24  sent  airmail.  Each  county  board  of  elections shall also cause such
    25  application forms to be as widely and freely distributed as possible.
    26    (b) The board of elections shall mail an application for  registration
    27  by mail and information on how the person may re-register to each person
    28  for  whom  it  receives notice pursuant to the provisions of subdivision
    29  four of section 5-402 of this article that such person  has  moved  into
    30  such  city  or  county unless such person is already registered from the
    31  address listed in such notice.
    32    § 6. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  17-172  to
    33  read as follows:
    34    §  17-172.  Penalties  against list maintenance, privacy and security.
    35  Any person who knowingly uses information or permits information  to  be
    36  used  in  violation  of sections 5-244 or 5-108 of this chapter shall be
    37  imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not less than  one  hundred
    38  dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both such fine and impri-
    39  sonment.
    40    §  7.  Paragraphs (g) and (k) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the
    41  election law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws  of  2005,  subpara-
    42  graph  (xii)  of  paragraph  (k)  as added by chapter 362 of the laws of
    43  2008, are amended and two new paragraphs (n) and (o) are added  to  read
    44  as follows:
    45    (g)  Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States,
    46  is [or will be at least eighteen years old not later than December thir-
    47  ty-first of the calendar year in which he or  she  registers]  at  least
    48  sixteen  years  old when he or she submits an application to register to
    49  vote and a resident of the county or city to which application is made.
    50    (k) The form shall also include space for the  following  information,
    51  which must be contained on the inside of the form after it is folded for
    52  mailing:
    53    (i) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she has
    54  ever voted or registered to vote before and, if so, the approximate year
    55  in which such applicant last voted or registered and his or her name and
    56  address at the time.

        S. 3436                            11
 
     1    (ii) The name and residence address of the applicant including the zip
     2  code and apartment number, if any.
     3    (iii) The date of birth of the applicant.
     4    (iv) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her driver's license
     5  or  department  of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID number or the last
     6  four digits of his or her social security number or,  if  the  applicant
     7  does  not have either such number, a space for the applicant to indicate
     8  he or she does not have either.
     9    (v) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she  is
    10  a citizen of the United States and the statement "If you checked "no" in
    11  response to this question, do not complete this form."
    12    (vi) [A space for the applicant to answer the question "Will you be 18
    13  years  of  age  on  or  before  election day?" and the statement "If you
    14  checked "no" in response to this question, do  not  complete  this  form
    15  unless you will be 18 by the end of the year."
    16    (vii)] A statement informing the applicant that if the form is submit-
    17  ted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time, certain
    18  information or documents must be submitted with the mail-in registration
    19  form  in  order  to  avoid  additional  identification requirements upon
    20  voting for the first time. Such information and documents are:
    21    (A) a driver's license or  department  of  motor  vehicles  non-driver
    22  photo ID number; or
    23    (B)  the  last four digits of the individual's social security number;
    24  or
    25    (C) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or
    26    (D) a copy of a  current  utility  bill,  bank  statement,  government
    27  check,  paycheck  or  other  government document that shows the name and
    28  address of the voter.
    29    [(viii)] (vii) The gender of the applicant (optional).
    30    [(ix)] (viii) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her  choice
    31  of party enrollment, with a clear alternative provided for the applicant
    32  to decline to affiliate with any party.
    33    [(x)] (ix) The telephone number of the applicant (optional).
    34    [(xi)]  (x)  A  place  for the applicant to execute the form on a line
    35  which is clearly  labeled  "signature  of  applicant"  preceded  by  the
    36  following specific form of affirmation:
    37    AFFIDAVIT: I swear or affirm that:
    38       * I am a citizen of the United States.
    39       * I will have lived in the county, city, or village for at least 30
    40         days before the election.
    41       * I  meet  all  the  requirements  to  register to vote in New York
    42         State.
    43       * This is my signature or mark on the line below.
    44       * All the information contained on  this  application  is  true.  I
    45         understand that if it is not true I can be convicted and fined up
    46         to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to four years.
    47  which  form of affirmation shall be followed by a space for the date and
    48  the aforementioned line for the applicant's signature.
    49    [(xii)] (xi) A space for the applicant to register  in  the  New  York
    50  state  donate  life  registry for organ and tissue donations established
    51  pursuant to section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law.
    52    (xii) The email address of the applicant (optional).
    53    (n) Agreements adopted pursuant to section 5-200 of this title between
    54  source agencies and the state or county  boards  of  elections  are  not
    55  required  to  include  the collection or transmission of the information
    56  requested in paragraph (j) or subparagraph (i), (vii), (viii),  (ix)  or

        S. 3436                            12
 
     1  (xi)  of  paragraph  (k)  of  this subdivision, and no board of election
     2  shall refuse to register to vote or update the  registration  record  of
     3  any  person  in  the  state whose information is transmitted pursuant to
     4  section  5-200  of  this title for the reason that such information does
     5  not include the information requested by paragraph (j)  or  subparagraph
     6  (i), (vii), (viii), (ix) or (xi) of paragraph (k) of this subdivision.
     7    (o)  The  voter registration application shall include a space for the
     8  applicant to provide (at the  applicant's  option)  an  electronic  mail
     9  address,  together  with a statement that, if the applicant so requests,
    10  instead of using regular mail the appropriate state and  local  election
    11  officials  shall  provide to the applicant, through electronic mail sent
    12  to that address, any voting information that  would  otherwise  be  sent
    13  through the regular mail.
    14    § 8. The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-228 to read
    15  as follows:
    16    §  3-228.  Board  of elections, reports. 1. Not later than ninety days
    17  after the end of each year, the board shall submit  to  the  legislature
    18  and  the governor a report containing the following categories of infor-
    19  mation for the year:
    20    (a) the number of individuals who registered;
    21    (b) the number of voter registration application  forms  completed  by
    22  individuals  that  were  transmitted by the department of motor vehicles
    23  and voter registration agencies in the state to the board,  broken  down
    24  by each such agency;
    25    (c)  the  number of such individuals whose voter registration applica-
    26  tion forms were accepted and who were registered to vote  in  the  state
    27  and  the  number  of  such individuals whose forms were rejected and who
    28  were not registered to vote in the state, broken down by each such agen-
    29  cy;
    30    (d) the number of change of address forms and other forms of  informa-
    31  tion  indicating  that  an individual's identifying information has been
    32  changed that were transmitted by the department of  motor  vehicles  and
    33  voter registration agencies to the board, broken down by such agency and
    34  type of form submitted;
    35    (e)  the  number  of  individuals  on the statewide computerized voter
    36  registration list whose voter registration information  was  revised  by
    37  the  board  as  a  result  of  the forms transmitted to the board by the
    38  department  of  motor  vehicles  and  voter  registration  agencies  (as
    39  described  in  subdivision  three  of this section), broken down by each
    40  agency and the type of form submitted;
    41    (f) the number of individuals who requested the board to revise  voter
    42  registration  information  on  such  list, and the number of individuals
    43  whose information was revised as a result of such request.
    44    2. In preparing the report under this section, the  state  shall,  for
    45  each  category  of  information  described  in  subdivision  one of this
    46  section, include a breakdown by race of the individuals  whose  informa-
    47  tion  is included in the category, to the extent that information on the
    48  race of such individuals is available to the state.
    49    3. In preparing and submitting a report under this section, the  board
    50  shall  ensure  that  no  information regarding the identification of any
    51  individual is revealed.
    52    § 9. Section 5-202 of the election law is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    53  subdivision 7 to read as follows:
    54    7.  The  board  of elections in each county shall establish procedures
    55  providing for absentee registration, for all elections held pursuant  to
    56  the provisions of this chapter, through mail and/or electronic means for

        S. 3436                            13
 
     1  persons  with a disability. Such procedures shall be subject to approval
     2  by the state board of elections. Such boards of elections shall  further
     3  be responsible for providing information regarding absentee registration
     4  for  persons  with  a  disability  to  such persons with respect to such
     5  elections.
     6    § 10. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-109  to
     7  read as follows:
     8    §  3-109.  Prohibition  against  voter caging. 1. Definitions. For the
     9  purposes of this section, the following terms shall have  the  following
    10  meanings:
    11    (a) Voter caging document means
    12    (i)  a  nonforwardable  document  that  is returned to the sender of a
    13  third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliv-
    14  er such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or
    15    (ii) any document with instructions to an addressee that the  document
    16  be  returned  to  the  sender  or  a third party but is not so returned,
    17  despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of  a  regis-
    18  tered  voter  or  applicant,  unless  at  least two election cycles have
    19  passed since the date of the attempted delivery;
    20    (b) Voter caging list means a list of individuals compiled from  voter
    21  caging documents; and
    22    (c) Unverified match list means a list produced by matching the infor-
    23  mation  of  registered  voters or applicants for voter registration to a
    24  list of individuals who are ineligible to vote in the registrar's juris-
    25  diction, by virtue of death, conviction, change of  address,  or  other-
    26  wise;  unless one of the pieces of information matched includes a signa-
    27  ture,  photograph,  or  unique  identifying  number  ensuring  that  the
    28  information from each source refers to the same individual.
    29    2. Prohibition against voter caging. Notwithstanding the provisions of
    30  sections  5-220,  8-504  or  8-506 of this chapter, no election official
    31  shall prevent an individual from registering or voting in  any  election
    32  or permit in connection with any election a formal challenge to an indi-
    33  vidual's  registration  status  or eligibility to vote, if the basis for
    34  such decision is evidence consisting of:
    35    (a) a voter caging document or voter caging list;
    36    (b) an unverified match list;
    37    (c) an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any appli-
    38  cation, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or
    39  omission is  not  material  to  an  individual's  eligibility  to  vote;
    40  provided,  however,  that the election official may use such evidence if
    41  it is corroborated by independent evidence of the individual's  ineligi-
    42  bility to register or vote.
    43    3.  Penalties for knowing misconduct. Whoever knowingly challenges the
    44  eligibility of one or more individuals to register or vote or  knowingly
    45  causes the eligibility of such individuals to be challenged in violation
    46  of  this  chapter  with  the  intent that one or more eligible voters be
    47  disqualified, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or by
    48  both such fine and imprisonment, for each such violation. Each violation
    49  shall be a separate offense.
    50    § 11. Section 17-154 of the election law is amended by  adding  a  new
    51  subdivision 6 to read as follows:
    52    6.  Knowingly and willfully deprive, defraud, or attempt to deprive or
    53  defraud any other person of their free and fair exercise of the right to
    54  vote by the communication of election-related information that is  known
    55  by  the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent. "Elec-
    56  tion-related information" shall mean any oral or  written  communication

        S. 3436                            14
 
     1  regarding  the  time or place of an election, criminal penalties associ-
     2  ated with voting in such an election, an individual's voter registration
     3  status or eligibility to vote in  such  an  election,  or  the  explicit
     4  endorsement  of  any  person  or  organization of a candidate in such an
     5  election.
     6    § 12. Subdivision 1 of section 7-202 of the election law is amended by
     7  adding a new paragraph a-1 to read as follows:
     8    a-1. use an individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot  of  the
     9  voter's  vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection and
    10  verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast  and  counted,
    11  and  which  shall  be  counted  by  hand or read by an optical character
    12  recognition device or other counting device; such ballots shall  be  the
    13  true and correct record of the votes cast and shall allow a manual audit
    14  and  be  preserved in accordance with the provisions of section 3-222 of
    15  this chapter. For purposes of  this  paragraph,  the  term  "individual,
    16  durable,  voter-verified,  paper  ballot" means a paper ballot marked by
    17  the voter by hand or a paper ballot marked through the use of a nontabu-
    18  lating ballot marking device or system, so long as the voter shall  have
    19  the option to mark his or her ballot by hand;
    20    §  13.  Paragraph  j of subdivision 1 of section 7-202 of the election
    21  law, as added by chapter 181 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read  as
    22  follows:
    23    j.  retain  all paper ballots cast or produce and retain a voter veri-
    24  fied permanent paper record which shall be presented to the  voter  from
    25  behind  a  window or other device before the ballot is cast, in a manner
    26  intended and designed to protect the privacy of the voter; such  ballots
    27  or  record  shall allow a manual audit and shall be preserved in accord-
    28  ance with the provisions of section 3-222  of  this  chapter;  provided,
    29  however,  the  voting system shall not preserve the voter-verified paper
    30  ballots in any manner that makes it possible,  at  any  time  after  the
    31  ballot  has  been  cast,  to  associate  a  voter with the record of the
    32  voter's vote without the voter's consent.
    33    § 14. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-508  to
    34  read as follows:
    35    §  3-508.  Study  and  report  on accessible paper ballot verification
    36  mechanisms. 1. The state board of elections shall  make  grants  to  not
    37  fewer  than three eligible entities to study, test, and develop accessi-
    38  ble paper  ballot  voting,  verification,  and  casting  mechanisms  and
    39  devices  and best practices to enhance the accessibility of paper ballot
    40  voting and verification mechanisms for  individuals  with  disabilities,
    41  for  voters  whose  primary language is not English, and for voters with
    42  difficulties in literacy, including best practices  for  the  mechanisms
    43  themselves and the processes through which the mechanisms are used.
    44    2.  An  entity is eligible to receive a grant under this section if it
    45  submits to the board (at such time and in such form  as  the  board  may
    46  require) an application containing:
    47    (a)  certifications  that  the  entity  shall specifically investigate
    48  enhanced methods or devices, including non-electronic devices, that will
    49  assist such individuals  and  voters  in  marking  voter-verified  paper
    50  ballots and presenting or transmitting the information printed or marked
    51  on  such  ballots  back to such individuals and voters, and casting such
    52  ballots;
    53    (b) a certification that the  entity  shall  complete  the  activities
    54  carried  out  with  the  grant not later than December thirty-first, two
    55  thousand twenty; and

        S. 3436                            15
 
     1    (c) such  other  information  and  certifications  as  the  board  may
     2  require.
     3    3.  Any  technology  developed with the grants made under this section
     4  shall be treated as non-proprietary and shall be made available  to  the
     5  public, including to manufacturers of voting systems.
     6    §  15.  Subdivision 1 of section 7-104 of the election law, as amended
     7  by chapter 165 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows:
     8    1. (a) All ballots shall be printed and/or displayed in a  format  and
     9  arrangement,  of  such  uniform  size  and  style as will fit the ballot
    10  frame, and shall be in as plain and clear a type or display as the space
    11  will reasonably permit. All voter-verified paper ballots required to  be
    12  used  under  this  chapter  shall be marked or printed on durable paper.
    13  Such type or display on the ballot shall satisfy  all  requirements  and
    14  standards  set  forth pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act. For
    15  purposes of this subdivision, paper is "durable" if  it  is  capable  of
    16  withstanding  multiple  counts and recounts by hand without compromising
    17  the fundamental integrity of the ballots, and capable of  retaining  the
    18  information  marked  or  printed  on  them  for  the  full duration of a
    19  retention and preservation period of twenty-two months.
    20    (b) All voter-verified paper ballots completed by  the  voter  through
    21  the  use  of  a  ballot  marking device shall be clearly readable by the
    22  voter without assistance (other than eyeglasses or other personal vision
    23  enhancing devices) and by an optical  character  recognition  device  or
    24  other device equipped for individuals with disabilities.
    25    § 16. Article 9 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 3
    26  to read as follows:
    27                                  TITLE III
    28                           MANDATORY MANUAL AUDITS
    29  Section 9-300. Requiring audits of results of elections.
    30          9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit.
    31          9-304. Process for administering audits.
    32          9-306. Selection of election districts.
    33          9-308. Publication of results.
    34    §  9-300.  Requiring  audits of results of elections. 1. In accordance
    35  with this title, the state board of elections shall administer,  without
    36  advance  notice to the local boards of elections selected, audits of the
    37  results of all elections for state  and  local  offices  held  for  each
    38  election  consisting  of  random hand counts of the voter-verified paper
    39  ballots required to be used and preserved pursuant to this chapter.
    40    2. The state board of elections shall not be required to administer an
    41  audit of the results of an election under  this  title  if  the  winning
    42  candidate in the election:
    43    (a) had no opposition on the ballot; or
    44    (b)  received eighty percent or more of the total number of votes cast
    45  in the election, as determined on the basis of the final unofficial vote
    46  count.
    47    3. The state board of elections shall  administer  audits  under  this
    48  title  through  an election auditing entity selected for such purpose by
    49  the state board of elections in accordance with  such  criteria  as  the
    50  state  board  of  elections  considers  appropriate  consistent with the
    51  requirements of this title, except that such entity must meet  standards
    52  to ensure its independence.
    53    §  9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit. 1. Except as provided
    54  in subdivision two of this section, the number of  voter-verified  paper
    55  ballots  which  will  be  subject  to  a  hand count administered by the

        S. 3436                            16
 
     1  election auditing entity under this title with respect  to  an  election
     2  shall be determined as follows:
     3    (a) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
     4  one  of  section  9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory
     5  between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in  the
     6  election  is  less  than  one  percent  of  the total votes cast in that
     7  election, the hand counts of  the  voter-verified  paper  ballots  shall
     8  occur  in at least ten percent of all election districts (or alternative
     9  audit units used in accordance with the method provided for under subdi-
    10  vision two of this section) in the district involved or the state.
    11    (b) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
    12  one of section 9-304 of this title reveals that the  margin  of  victory
    13  between  the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the
    14  election is greater than or equal to  one  percent  but  less  than  two
    15  percent of the total votes cast in that election, the hand counts of the
    16  voter-verified paper ballots shall occur in at least five percent of all
    17  election  districts  (or alternative audit units used in accordance with
    18  the method provided for under subdivision two of this  section)  in  the
    19  district involved or the state.
    20    (c) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision
    21  one  of  section  9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory
    22  between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in  the
    23  election is equal to or greater than two percent of the total votes cast
    24  in  that  election,  the hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots
    25  shall occur in at least three percent  of  all  election  districts  (or
    26  alternative  audit units used in accordance with the method provided for
    27  under subdivision two of this section) in the district involved  or  the
    28  state.
    29    2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the state board of
    30  elections  may adopt and apply an alternative mechanism to determine the
    31  number of voter-verified paper ballots which will be subject to the hand
    32  counts required under this title with respect to an election, so long as
    33  the alternative mechanism  uses  the  voter-verified  paper  ballots  to
    34  conduct  the  audit  and the alternative mechanism is in accordance with
    35  the principles set forth in this subdivision. In approving  an  alterna-
    36  tive  mechanism  under  this  subdivision,  the state board of elections
    37  shall ensure that the audit procedure will have the  property  that  for
    38  each election:
    39    (a) the alternative mechanism will be at least as statistically effec-
    40  tive  in ensuring the accuracy of the election results as the procedures
    41  under this section; or
    42    (b) the alternative mechanism will  achieve  at  least  a  ninety-five
    43  percent  confidence  interval (as determined in accordance with criteria
    44  set forth by the National Institute of Standards  and  Technology)  with
    45  respect to the outcome of the election.
    46    § 9-304. Process for administering audits. The election auditing enti-
    47  ty  shall  administer  an  audit under this section of the results of an
    48  election in accordance with the following procedures:
    49    1. Within twenty-four hours after the final unofficial vote  count  is
    50  released, the election auditing entity shall:
    51    (a) determine and then announce the election districts (or alternative
    52  audit  units  used in accordance with the method provided under subdivi-
    53  sion two of section 9-302 of this title) in the state in which  it  will
    54  administer the audits; and
    55    (b)  with  respect to votes cast at the election district on or before
    56  the date of the election (other  than  affidavit  ballots  described  in

        S. 3436                            17
 
     1  subdivision  two of this section), begin to administer the hand count of
     2  the votes on the voter-verified paper ballots required to  be  used  and
     3  preserved  under  this  chapter  and  the comparison of the count of the
     4  votes  on those ballots with the final unofficial count of such votes as
     5  announced by the board of elections.
     6    2. With respect to votes cast other than at the election  district  on
     7  the  date  of the election (other than votes cast before the date of the
     8  election) or votes cast by affidavit ballot on the date of the  election
     9  which  are  certified  and counted by the board of elections on or after
    10  the date of the election,  including  votes  cast  by  absent  uniformed
    11  services  voters  and  overseas  voters under the Uniformed and Overseas
    12  Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the election auditing entity shall  admin-
    13  ister the hand count of the votes on the applicable voter-verified paper
    14  ballots required to be produced and preserved under this chapter and the
    15  comparison  of  the  count  of the votes on those ballots with the final
    16  unofficial count of such votes as announced by the board of elections.
    17    3. In administering the  audits,  the  election  auditing  entity  may
    18  utilize  the  services  of the personnel of the state or local boards of
    19  elections, including election administration personnel and poll workers,
    20  without regard to whether or not the personnel have professional  audit-
    21  ing experience.
    22    4.  The  election  auditing  entity  shall  administer  an audit of an
    23  election:
    24    (a) at the location where the ballots cast in the election are  stored
    25  and counted after the date of the election or such other appropriate and
    26  secure  location  agreed  upon  by  the election auditing entity and the
    27  state board of elections; and
    28    (b) in the presence of the personnel of the state board of elections.
    29    5. (a) If the election auditing entity finds  that  any  of  the  hand
    30  counts administered under this section do not match the final unofficial
    31  tally  of the results of an election, the election auditing entity shall
    32  administer hand counts of such additional election districts (or  alter-
    33  native  audit units) as the election auditing entity considers appropri-
    34  ate to resolve any concerns resulting from  the  audit  and  ensure  the
    35  accuracy of the election results.
    36    (b)  Not  later  than August first, two thousand twenty-one, the state
    37  board of elections shall establish and publish procedures  for  carrying
    38  out the additional audits under this subdivision, including the means by
    39  which  the state board of elections shall resolve any concerns resulting
    40  from the audit with finality and ensure the  accuracy  of  the  election
    41  results.
    42    6.  Each  audit  conducted  under this section shall be conducted in a
    43  manner that allows public observation of the entire process.
    44    § 9-306. Selection of election districts.  1.  The  selection  of  the
    45  election  districts or alternative audit units in the state in which the
    46  election auditing entity shall administer the  hand  counts  under  this
    47  title  shall  be  made by the election auditing entity on a random basis
    48  except that at least one election district shall be selected  at  random
    49  in  each  county,  with  additional  election  districts selected by the
    50  election auditing entity at the election auditing entity's discretion.
    51    2. The random selection of election districts under subdivision one of
    52  this section shall be conducted in public, at a time and place announced
    53  in advance.
    54    § 9-308. Publication of results. 1. As soon as practicable  after  the
    55  completion  of  an  audit under this title, the election auditing entity
    56  shall submit to the state board of elections the results of  the  audit,

        S. 3436                            18
 
     1  and  shall  include in the submission a comparison of the results of the
     2  election in the election district as determined by the election auditing
     3  entity under the audit and  the  final  unofficial  vote  count  in  the
     4  election  district as announced by the board of elections and all under-
     5  votes, overvotes, blank  ballots,  and  spoiled,  voided,  or  cancelled
     6  ballots,  as  well as a list of any discrepancies discovered between the
     7  initial, subsequent, and final hand counts administered by the  election
     8  auditing entity and such final unofficial vote count and any explanation
     9  for such discrepancies, broken down by the categories of votes described
    10  in subdivisions one and two of section 9-304 of this title.
    11    2.  Immediately  after  receiving  the submission of the results of an
    12  audit from the election auditing entity under subdivision  one  of  this
    13  section,  the  state  board  of  elections  shall  publicly announce and
    14  publish the information contained in the submission.
    15    3. The results of any election which is subject to an audit under this
    16  title shall not be certified prior to:
    17    (a) to the completion of the audit (and, if required,  any  additional
    18  audit  conducted  under subdivision five of section 9-304 of this title)
    19  and the announcement and submission of the results of each such audit to
    20  the state board of elections for publication of the information required
    21  under this section; and
    22    (b) the completion of any procedure established by the state board  of
    23  elections pursuant to subdivision five of section 9-304 of this title to
    24  resolve discrepancies and ensure the accuracy of results.
    25    §  17.  Subdivision 3-a of section 3-100 of the election law is renum-
    26  bered subdivision 3-b and a new subdivision 3-a  is  added  to  read  as
    27  follows:
    28    3-a.  (a)  It  shall  be  unlawful  for a member of the state board of
    29  elections to take an active part in political management or in  a  poli-
    30  tical  campaign  with  respect  to  any  election  held  pursuant to the
    31  provisions of this chapter or for federal office over which  such  offi-
    32  cial  has  supervisory authority.   Provided, however, that this section
    33  shall not apply to such officials with respect to an election  in  which
    34  the  official  or an immediate family member of the official is a candi-
    35  date.
    36    (b) For the purposes of this section, the following terms  shall  have
    37  the following meanings:
    38    (i)  "Active  part"  shall  mean  service as a member of an authorized
    39  committee of a candidate for office; the use of  official  authority  or
    40  influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of
    41  an  election; and the solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of a contrib-
    42  ution from any person on behalf of a candidate for office.
    43    (ii) "Immediate family member" shall mean a candidate's father,  moth-
    44  er,  son,  daughter,  brother,  sister,  husband, wife, father-in-law or
    45  mother-in-law.
    46    § 18. Subdivision 11 of section 5-614 of the election law, as added by
    47  chapter 24 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows:
    48    11. a. The state board of elections shall establish a statewide  voter
    49  hotline  [using information available through the statewide voter regis-
    50  tration list] for [voters to obtain information  regarding  their  voter
    51  registration]  responding  to  questions and complaints from individuals
    52  voting or seeking to vote, or registering to vote or seeking to register
    53  to vote, in elections held  pursuant  to  this  chapter  or  in  federal
    54  elections. Such hotline shall provide same-day, and immediate assistance
    55  to  such  individuals, including information on how to register to vote,
    56  the location and hours of operation of polling places, and how to obtain

        S. 3436                            19
 
     1  absentee ballots, and assistance to such individuals encountering  prob-
     2  lems  with registering to vote or voting, including individuals encount-
     3  ering intimidation or deceptive practices.
     4    b.  Such  voter  hotline  shall  operate in a manner that ensures that
     5  individuals with disabilities and individuals with  limited  proficiency
     6  in the English language are fully able to use the service.
     7    c.  The state board of elections shall furnish to the temporary presi-
     8  dent of the senate, the speaker of the assembly,  and  the  governor,  a
     9  bi-annual  report detailing the number and type of calls received by the
    10  service, a compilation and  description  of  the  reports  made  to  the
    11  service  by  individuals  citing  instances  of  voter  intimidation  or
    12  suppression, an assessment of the effectiveness of the service in making
    13  information available to all households with telephone service, and  any
    14  recommendations to improve the service.
    15    § 19. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 6
    16  to read as follows:
    17                                  TITLE VI
    18                       EARLY VOTING AND VOTING BY MAIL
    19  Section 8-600. Early voting; general.
    20          8-601. Early voting; length of period.
    21          8-602. Polling place requirements.
    22          8-603. Early voting; state board of elections.
    23          8-604. Voting by mail.
    24    §  8-600. Early voting; general. A voter shall be permitted to vote in
    25  any election held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter  during  an
    26  early  voting  period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in
    27  the same manner as voting is allowed on such date.
    28    § 8-601. Early voting; length of period. 1. The  early  voting  period
    29  required under section 8-600 of this title, shall consist of a period of
    30  consecutive  days, including weekends, which begins on the fifteenth day
    31  before the date of the election and ends on the date of the election.
    32    2. Such early voting period may commence prior to  the  fifteenth  day
    33  before the date of the election.
    34    §  8-602.  Polling  place  requirements.  1.  Each polling place which
    35  allows voting during an early voting period under section 8-600 of  this
    36  title shall:
    37    a.  allow  such voting for no less than four hours on each day, except
    38  such polling place may allow such voting for fewer than  four  hours  on
    39  Sundays; and
    40    b. have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs.
    41    2. To the greatest extent practicable, each polling place which allows
    42  voting  during an early voting period under section 8-600 of this title,
    43  shall be located within walking distance of a stop on a public transpor-
    44  tation route.
    45    § 8-603. Early voting; state board of elections. 1. The state board of
    46  elections shall issue standards for the administration of  early  voting
    47  for  a state or local election. Such standards shall include the nondis-
    48  criminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such  voting
    49  occurs.
    50    2.  The  standards  described in subdivision one of this section shall
    51  permit the boards of elections, upon providing adequate  public  notice,
    52  to  deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen circumstances
    53  such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or a change in voter turn-
    54  out.
    55    § 8-604. Voting by mail. A voter qualified to cast a vote in  a  state
    56  or  local  election  shall not be restricted by additional conditions or

        S. 3436                            20
 
     1  requirements on the eligibility of such voter to vote in  such  election
     2  by  mail, except to the extent the board of elections imposes a deadline
     3  for requesting the ballot and related voting materials from  the  appro-
     4  priate election official and for returning the ballot to the appropriate
     5  official.
     6    §  20.  Section  8-400  of the election law is amended by adding a new
     7  subdivision 6-a to read as follows:
     8    6-a. An absentee ballot may not be accepted or  processed  unless  the
     9  individual's  identity  is verified by comparing the individual's signa-
    10  ture on the absentee ballot with the individual's signature on the offi-
    11  cial list of registered  voters,  in  accordance  with  such  procedures
    12  adopted by the state board of elections.
    13    §  21.  Section  5-104  of the election law is amended by adding a new
    14  subdivision 1-a to read as follows:
    15    1-a. For the purpose of registering and voting,  no  spouse,  domestic
    16  partner,  or  dependent  of  a  person  who  is absent from the state in
    17  compliance with military or naval orders shall, solely by reason of that
    18  person's absence and without regard to whether or not such family member
    19  is accompanying that person be deemed to have:
    20    a. lost a residence or domicile  in  this  state,  without  regard  to
    21  whether or not the person intends to return;
    22    b. acquired a residence or domicile in any other state; or
    23    c. become a resident in or a resident of any other state.
    24    §  22.  Section  10-124 of the election law is amended by adding three
    25  new subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 to read as follows:
    26    3. Not later than  forty-five  days  before  any  regularly  scheduled
    27  general  election  the state board of elections shall submit a report to
    28  the governor and attorney general and make that report  publicly  avail-
    29  able  that  same  day, certifying that absentee ballots for the election
    30  are or will be available for transmission to absent  uniformed  services
    31  voters  and overseas voters by no later than the amount of days prior to
    32  the election as outlined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of  section
    33  10-108 of this article.  The report shall be in a form prescribed joint-
    34  ly  by  the  governor  and  attorney general and shall require certified
    35  specific information about ballot availability from each unit  of  local
    36  government which will administer the election.
    37    4.  Not  later than twelve days before any regularly scheduled general
    38  election the state board of elections  shall  submit  a  report  to  the
    39  governor  and  attorney  general and make that report publicly available
    40  that same day, certifying whether all absentee ballots have been  trans-
    41  mitted  by  no  later  than  the amount of days prior to the election as
    42  outlined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 10-108  of  this
    43  article  to  all qualified absent uniformed services and overseas voters
    44  whose requests were received prior to such dates  before  the  election.
    45  The  report  shall  be  in a form prescribed jointly by the governor and
    46  attorney general and shall require certified specific information  about
    47  ballot availability from each unit of local government which will admin-
    48  ister the election.
    49    5.  Not later than ninety days after the date of each regularly sched-
    50  uled general election the state and county  boards  of  elections  which
    51  administered  such  election  shall  submit a report to the governor and
    52  attorney general on the combined number of absentee ballots  transmitted
    53  to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election
    54  and  the  combined  number  of  such ballots which were returned by such
    55  voters and cast in the election, and shall make such report available to
    56  the general public that same day.

        S. 3436                            21
 
     1    § 23. Section 10-108 of the election law is amended by  adding  a  new
     2  subdivision 2-a to read as follows:
     3    2-a.  (a) In the event that the board of elections in any county fails
     4  to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of  subdivision  one  of  this
     5  section  the board of elections in such county shall transmit the ballot
     6  to the voter by express delivery or in the  case  of  a  voter  who  has
     7  designated  that  absentee  ballots  be  transmitted electronically, the
     8  board of elections of such county shall transmit the ballot to the voter
     9  electronically.
    10    (b) If, in carrying out the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdi-
    11  vision, a county board of elections transmits an absentee ballot  to  an
    12  absent  uniformed services voter or overseas voter fewer than seven days
    13  before the election, the county board  of  elections  shall  enable  the
    14  ballot to be returned by the voter by express delivery.
    15    §  24.  Section  10-106 of the election law is amended by adding a new
    16  subdivision 9 to read as follows:
    17    9. (a) If an application submitted by  an  absent  uniformed  services
    18  voter  or  overseas voter has been accepted and such voter requests that
    19  the application be considered an application for an absentee ballot  for
    20  each  subsequent  election, an absentee ballot shall be provided to such
    21  voter for each subsequent election.
    22    (b) Paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall not apply with respect  to
    23  a voter registered to vote in any election held after the voter notifies
    24  the  board of elections that the voter no longer wishes to be registered
    25  to vote in this state or such county or after  the  board  of  elections
    26  determines  that  the  voter  has registered to vote in another state or
    27  county or is otherwise no longer eligible to vote.
    28    (c) A valid voter registration application or absentee ballot applica-
    29  tion submitted by an absent uniformed services voter or  overseas  voter
    30  shall  not be refused on the grounds that the voter submitted the appli-
    31  cation before the first date on which such applications are accepted  or
    32  processed  by  absentee  voters  who  are  not  members of the uniformed
    33  services or overseas citizens.
    34    § 25. Section 3-404 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    35  subdivision 8 to read as follows:
    36    8.  (a)  An  employee in or under a state agency is entitled to leave,
    37  without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise  entitled,
    38  credit  for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating, not to
    39  exceed six days in a leave year, in order to provide  election  adminis-
    40  tration  assistance  at  a polling place on the date of any election for
    41  public office or to receive any training  without  which  such  employee
    42  would be ineligible to provide such assistance.
    43    (b)  The department of civil service may prescribe regulations for the
    44  administration of this subdivision, including regulations setting  forth
    45  the  terms  and  conditions of the election administration assistance an
    46  employee may provide for purposes of paragraph (a) of this subdivision.
    47    § 26. The election law is amended by adding a  new  section  3-422  to
    48  read as follows:
    49    §  3-422.  Model  poll  worker training program. 1. The state board of
    50  elections shall develop and provide to each county materials for a model
    51  poll worker training program which the counties may use to  train  indi-
    52  viduals to serve as poll workers in state and county elections.
    53    2.  The materials for the model poll worker training program developed
    54  under this section shall include  materials  to  provide  training  with
    55  respect to the following:

        S. 3436                            22

     1    (a)  the  relevant  provisions of the laws which apply to the adminis-
     2  tration of elections, including but not limited to the Voting Rights Act
     3  of 1965 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002;
     4    (b) the provision of access to voting to individuals with disabilities
     5  in a manner which preserves the dignity and privacy of such individuals;
     6    (c)  the  provision  of  access  to voting to individuals with limited
     7  English language proficiency, and to  individuals  who  are  members  of
     8  racial  or  ethnic  minorities, consistent with the protections provided
     9  for such individuals under relevant law, in a manner which preserves the
    10  dignity of such individuals;
    11    (d) practical experience in the use of voting machines which  will  be
    12  used  in  the election involved, including the accessibility features of
    13  such machines; and
    14    (e) such other election administration subjects as the state board  of
    15  elections  considers appropriate to ensure that poll workers are able to
    16  efficiently assist with the administration of elections.
    17    § 27. Section 3-212 of the election law is amended  by  adding  a  new
    18  subdivision 6 to read as follows:
    19    6. Before the state board of elections or any local board of elections
    20  makes  any  changes  in administration, regulations, policies, practices
    21  and procedures affecting counties with  at  least  ten  percent  African
    22  American,  Hispanic,  Asian and/or Native American registered voters who
    23  average fifty percent or less voter turnout over the past  five  general
    24  elections  and/or  have  any  minority  voter  complaints  or government
    25  enforcement actions within the past ten years, must submit such  changes
    26  to  the  civil  rights  bureau  of  the  attorney  general's  office for
    27  approval. This shall not apply to any changes made pursuant to law.
    28    § 28. The sum of five million dollars ($5,000,000) is hereby appropri-
    29  ated to the state board of elections out of  any  moneys  in  the  state
    30  treasury  in  the  general  fund  to  the  credit  of the state purposes
    31  account, not otherwise appropriated, and made immediately available, for
    32  the purpose of carrying out the  provisions  of  section  3-508  of  the
    33  election  law.  Such moneys shall be payable on the audit and warrant of
    34  the comptroller on vouchers certified or approved by a majority  of  the
    35  commissioners  of  the state board of elections in the manner prescribed
    36  by law.
    37    § 29. This act shall take effect immediately and shall  apply  to  all
    38  elections  conducted  in  2020  and  thereafter. Provided, however, that
    39  section twenty-six of this act shall take effect one year after this act
    40  takes effect.
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