Galef/Morahan Succeed in Push to Amend Election Law to Allow for Advancement of Technology

August 19, 2003

New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef (AD 90) and New York State Senator Thomas Morahan (SD 38) sponsored legislation (A.6435/ S.4552) which was signed by the Governor and will take effect immediately. It allows the most current technology available to be used for election finance reporting.

In legislation passed in 1997, the State Board of Elections made a provision allowing for electronic reporting of statements of campaign receipts, transfers, contributions and expenditures that are filed by candidates and committees of statewide elections. However, the law contains the phrase "on self-executing diskettes." While current at the time the law was written, new technologies such as CD-ROMs now provide easier and cheaper ways to provide the information.

"By eliminating the words ‘on self-executing diskettes,’ our electronic reporting process will only be improved," stated Galef. "Technology is constantly advancing and we must keep as up-to-date as possible in order to have the cheapest and most efficient system. We must allow for changes in technology within the system without restriction and increase options for candidates to file financial disclosure statements."

"This law gives the Board of Elections the ability to adjust with changes in technology when it comes to electronic reporting," said Senator Morahan, Chairman of the Senate Elections Committee. "The new law will make the electronic reporting system much more efficient."

The law amends election law to enable the State Board of Elections to accept candidates’ campaign finance information in the format that is most appropriate and efficient as technology changes. While there are no direct fiscal implications of the amendment, it allows for changes in technology and will minimize costs in the future for the Board of Elections as well as for the candidates.