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A01722 Summary:

BILL NOA01722B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S01381-A
 
SPONSORZinerman
 
COSPNSRDinowitz, Walker, Sillitti, Taylor, Burgos, Fall, Levenberg, Simon, Aubry, Jean-Pierre, De Los Santos, Tapia, Novakhov, Solages, Jackson, Gonzalez-Rojas, Forrest, Shrestha
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 4-108 & 4-116, El L
 
Requires a proposed amendment to the constitution or other question provided by law to be submitted to a statewide vote be submitted to the people for their approval in plain language which is deemed to be no higher than an eighth grade reading level.
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A01722 Memo:

Memo not available
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A01722 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         1722--B
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    January 20, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. ZINERMAN, DINOWITZ, WALKER, SILLITTI, TAYLOR,
          BURGOS, FALL, LEVENBERG,  SIMON,  AUBRY,  JEAN-PIERRE,  DE LOS SANTOS,
          TAPIA,  NOVAKHOV,  SOLAGES, JACKSON, GONZALEZ-ROJAS, FORREST, SHRESTHA
          -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law --  commit-
          tee  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recom-
          mitted to said committee -- again reported from  said  committee  with
          amendments,  ordered  reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted to said
          committee
 
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to the  form  in  which  a
          proposed  amendment  to the constitution or other question provided by
          law to be submitted to a statewide vote  shall  be  submitted  to  the
          people for their approval
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1.  Paragraph d of subdivision 1 and subdivisions 2 and  3  of
     2  section  4-108  of  the  election  law, paragraph d of subdivision 1 and
     3  subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 136 of the laws of 1978 and subdivi-
     4  sion 3 as added by chapter 234 of the laws of 1976, are amended and four
     5  new subdivisions 4, 5, 6 and 7 are added to read as follows:
     6    d. In addition to the text, such transmittal shall contain an abstract
     7  of such proposed amendment, proposition or  question,  prepared  by  the
     8  state board of elections [concisely stating the purpose and effect ther-
     9  eof  in a clear and coherent manner using words with common and everyday
    10  meanings] in plain language.
    11    2. The form in which the proposed amendment, proposition  or  question
    12  is  to  be submitted shall consist [of] only [an abbreviated title indi-
    13  cating generally and briefly, and in a clear and coherent  manner  using
    14  words  with  common  and  every-day  meanings, the subject matter of the
    15  amendment, proposition or question] of the following: a.  a  descriptive
    16  title  of  up  to  fifteen  words,  which  describes the topic, goal, or
    17  outcome of the ballot question in plain language; b. a  summary  of  the
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01430-03-3

        A. 1722--B                          2
 
     1  text  ballot  proposal of up to thirty words, written in plain language,
     2  that describes the change in policy to be  adopted  and  not  the  legal
     3  mechanism;  and  c.  a statement of what a YES or NO vote means in up to
     4  thirty  words  written  in  plain language that identifies the practical
     5  outcome of each election result and not the  legal  mechanism.  If  more
     6  than  one such amendment, proposition or question is to be voted upon at
     7  such election, each such amendment, proposition or question respectively
     8  shall be separately and consecutively numbered.
     9    3. The attorney general shall  advise  in  the  preparation  of  [such
    10  abstract and] such form of submission, and such recommendations shall be
    11  in plain language.
    12    4.  a.  The  state board of elections shall prominently publish on its
    13  website at least four months prior to the general election  at  which  a
    14  ballot  proposal  shall appear, the proposed form of the ballot proposal
    15  and abstract. There shall be a public comment period of at least fifteen
    16  days subsequent to such publication. The state board  shall  review  and
    17  consider  public  comments  before adopting the final form of the ballot
    18  proposal and abstract.
    19    b. The state board of elections shall also publish on its website  the
    20  Automated Readability Index score calculated pursuant to subdivision six
    21  of this section for each form of question  and abstract.
    22    The  score  shall require no higher than an eighth grade reading level
    23  (a score of 8 on the Automated  Readability  Index),  unless  the  state
    24  board  of elections shall state the basis for its determination that the
    25  plain language requirements of this section are met.
    26    5. For the purposes of this section, plain  language  shall  mean  the
    27  form of the ballot proposal and abstract:
    28    a. shall be written in easily comprehended, concise language;
    29    b. shall not contain more the one passive sentence;
    30    c.  shall  not  use semicolons, using multiple sentences as necessary;
    31  and
    32    d. shall not contain double negatives.
    33    6. To evaluate compliance with the plain language requirements of this
    34  section, the state board of elections shall calculate an Automated Read-
    35  ability Index score, separately,  for  each  statewide  form  of  ballot
    36  proposal and abstract.
    37    The  Automated   Readability Index score shall be calculated according
    38  to the following formula:
    39    a. Divide the number of characters (excluding spaces) by the number of
    40  words and multiply that number by 4.71;
    41    b. Divide the number of words by the number of sentences and  multiply
    42  that number by 0.5;
    43    c. Add the results of paragraphs a and b of this subdivision.
    44    d. Subtract 21.43 from the result of paragraph c of this paragraph and
    45  round to the nearest whole number.
    46    7.  No  specific  Automated Readability Index score shall be required;
    47  provided, however, the board shall use  best  efforts  to  score  at  an
    48  eighth  grade  reading  level  or below and meet the definition of plain
    49  language in subdivision five of this section.  In  addition,  the  board
    50  shall  expend their best efforts not to exceed the word limits in subdi-
    51  vision two of this section but may do so when plain language clarity  is
    52  improved thereby.
    53    §  2.  Section  4-116  of the election law, is amended by adding a new
    54  subdivision 4 to read as follows:
    55    4. No later than two months prior to the general election at which any
    56  statewide ballot proposal is to be submitted to the  people,  the  state

        A. 1722--B                          3
 
     1  board  of  elections  and all local boards of elections shall publish on
     2  their websites the information required  to  be  published  pursuant  to
     3  subdivision two of this section.
     4    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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