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SB5800 Summary:

Add §3-213, amd §3-412, El L
Relates to mandatory training curriculum for election commissioners and key staff of boards of elections and to model poll worker training programs; requires the state board of elections to develop and provide to each county materials for a model poll worker training program which the counties may use to train individuals to serve as poll workers in state and county elections.
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SB5800 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                    IN SENATE
                                     March 18, 2021
        Introduced  by  Sen.  COMRIE -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections
        AN ACT to amend the election law,  in  relation  to  mandatory  training
          curriculum   for  election  commissioners,  key  staff  of  boards  of
          elections and poll workers

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-213
     2  to read as follows:
     3    § 3-213.  Boards  of  elections;  mandatory  training  curriculum.  1.
     4  Election  commissioners  and  such other board of elections employees as
     5  determined by the state board of elections shall within six months after
     6  their first appointment complete a course of instruction on  the  opera-
     7  tion  of a board of elections which shall be provided by the state board
     8  of elections. The curriculum shall be established by the state board  of
     9  elections  in  consultation  with  election  commissioners and shall not
    10  exceed thirty hours of instruction.
    11    2. Annually, election  commissioners  and  other  board  of  elections
    12  employees  as determined by the state board of elections, shall complete
    13  before June first a continuing course of instruction on the operation of
    14  a board of elections which shall be  provided  by  the  state  board  of
    15  elections.  The  curriculum  shall  be established by the state board of
    16  elections in consultation with the election commissioners and shall  not
    17  exceed three hours of instruction.
    18    3. The state board of elections shall provide the training required by
    19  subdivision two of this section through, in addition to other methods it
    20  may choose, a web-based recorded format.
    21    4.  Upon  the  failure of a commissioner or other employee to complete
    22  the instruction within the time required  by  this  section,  the  state
    23  board of elections shall send a letter to the county legislature or city
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        S. 5800                             2
     1  council and the respective county party chair of the jurisdiction of the
     2  commissioner stating the delinquency.
     3    §  2.   Subdivision 1-a of section 3-412 of the election law, as added
     4  by chapter 181 of the laws of 2005, is amended and  three  new  subdivi-
     5  sions 1-b, 1-c and 1-d are added to read as follows:
     6    1-a.  The  state  board  of elections shall establish a mandatory core
     7  curriculum for poll worker training which includes the  requirements  in
     8  subdivision two of this section, [as amended by a chapter of the laws of
     9  2005,]  and the rights of voters at the polls and obligation of election
    10  workers to protect those rights while maintaining the integrity  of  the
    11  franchise,  including assisting voters with disabilities or with limited
    12  or no proficiency in the  English  language,  handling,  processing  and
    13  entitlement to ballots, including affidavit and emergency ballots, prop-
    14  er  identification  requirements, procedures to be followed with respect
    15  to voters whose names are not on the list of registered voters or  whose
    16  identities  have  not been verified, electioneering and other violations
    17  of the elective franchise as defined in this  chapter,  solicitation  by
    18  individuals  and  groups  at  the  polling  place  and  procedures to be
    19  followed after the polls close. Each board of  elections  shall  augment
    20  the core curriculum with local procedures not inconsistent with the core
    21  curriculum  adopted  by  the state board of elections and which includes
    22  procedures relating to proper operation of, and remedying problems with,
    23  the voting machine or system in use in that jurisdiction.
    24    1-b. The state board of elections shall establish and host  an  educa-
    25  tion  and training institute which shall be responsible for the develop-
    26  ment and implementation of  a  statewide  program  wherein  persons  can
    27  become  certified poll worker trainers. This institute shall also create
    28  a train-the-trainer program, in order for county boards of elections  to
    29  implement  an effective training program at their respective local level
    30  of program delivery.  The state board's trainers shall  include  in  the
    31  trainer curriculum to be developed, attention to, inter alia, poll work-
    32  er  ability  to  serve a diverse electorate with complete confidence and
    33  respect; professionalizing the delivery of all  election  day  services;
    34  providing  assistance to voters with disabilities and those with limited
    35  English language proficiency, ensuring the dignity and privacy  of  such
    36  individuals;  and  to  individuals  who  are members of racial or ethnic
    37  minorities, complete familiarity and comfort with all voting systems  in
    38  use   in   poll   sites,  including  ballot  marking  devices  or  other
    39  systems/services available to voters with disabilities; and poll  worker
    40  ability  to recognize and resolve a variety of issues which may arise in
    41  poll sites. The state board's trainers and  all  certified  poll  worker
    42  instructors  shall  utilize industry-proven training techniques aimed at
    43  adult learners  including  role-based  training  and  hands-on  training
    44  opportunities  using  official  election  day forms and poll site voting
    45  systems and may further include  a  web-based  component  and  companion
    46  video.
    47    1-c.  County boards shall enroll trainers in the program in such quan-
    48  tities to ensure that an adequate contingent of fully trained and certi-
    49  fied poll worker trainers are available to meet the  training  needs  of
    50  such  county.  Each county board of elections shall enroll not less than
    51  two persons designated by the county board on a bipartisan basis, in the
    52  state board of elections training  institute.  Certified  trainers  must
    53  maintain  their  certification  by  attending  once  every  two years, a
    54  continuing education program, to ensure the professionalism of the  poll
    55  worker  training  agenda  set by the state board of elections. Enrollees
    56  who have successfully completed the state board's training  program  and

        S. 5800                             3
     1  been  awarded a "certified poll worker instructor" certificate may serve
     2  at the county board as a trainer of poll workers as well as a trainer of
     3  other bi-partisan designees of the county board, however the  conferring
     4  of  the title "certified poll worker instructor" may be made only by the
     5  state board of elections.
     6    1-d. The state board of elections shall adopt  such  rules  and  regu-
     7  lations  which  may  be  necessary  to create the training institute and
     8  associated curricula provided for in subdivisions one-a, one-b and one-c
     9  of this section, including a process whereby attendees who  successfully
    10  complete  a  state  board-sponsored  training program shall be awarded a
    11  certificate conferring upon him or her, the  title  of  "certified  poll
    12  worker instructor".
    13    § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    14  it shall have become a law.  Effective immediately, the addition, amend-
    15  ment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implemen-
    16  tation  of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to
    17  be made and completed on or before such effective date.
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