Provides that the board of elections shall accept voter registrations electronically through its website.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to authorizing electronic voter registration
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Provides that the Board of Elections shall accept voter registrations electronically through its website in order to improve poll book accuracy and remove the voter registration backlogs that appeared prior to the 2008 General Election.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 adds §5-209 to the Election Law and requires the State Board of Elections to implement online voter registration using similar provision to the voter registration card. Registrants who provide a DMV client identification number would have their signature transferred from the DMV. Registrants providing only a social security number would need to show identification when voting for the first since they would be unable to meet New York State's signature requirements.
JUSTIFICATION: In the first two weeks of October in 2008 the New York City Board of Elections was crushed under nearly 204,000 voter registration forms which it had significantly difficulty processing. This brought the 2008 total for voter registrations received by the New York City Board of Election to nearly 715,000, as compared with 253,000 in all of 2007. Local Boards of Elections throughout the State reported similar unprecedented volume.
Local Boards of Elections struggled to get thousands of voter registration records entered in time for the General Election. However, many voters still reported that their names were not in poll books. Many of these voters fell victim to data entry errors, where a simple misspelling in an often ethnic name, made it nearly impossible to locate their name in the poll book and vote on a machine.
This legislation would use online voter registration to improve poll book accuracy and cure recent backlogs at local Boards of Election across the State
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Projected cost savings in data entry costs for local Boards of Elections.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately on the 180th day after becoming a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5237 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 3, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- 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 authorizing electronic voter registration THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new section 5-209 to read as follows: S 5-209. ELECTRONIC VOTER REGISTRATION. 1. IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER METHODS OF VOTER REGISTRATION PROVIDED FOR IN THIS ARTICLE, ANY QUALI- FIED PERSON MAY APPLY FOR REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT BY APPLICATION MADE ELECTRONICALLY THROUGH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS WEBSITE. 2. THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL DESIGN A WEBPAGE THAT SERVES AS AN ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT FORM, OR A REGISTRATION FORM NECESSITATED BY A CHANGE OF RESIDENCE. 3. THE VOTER REGISTRATION WEBPAGE: (A) SHALL REQUIRE ONLY SUCH INFORMATION AS WILL ENABLE ELECTION OFFI- CIALS TO ASSESS THE APPLICANT'S ELIGIBILITY TO REGISTER TO VOTE, PREVENT DUPLICATE REGISTRATION AND TO ADMINISTER VOTER REGISTRATION AND OTHER PARTS OF THE ELECTION PROCESS. (B) SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT OF THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTER REGISTRATION AND SHALL REQUIRE THE APPLICANT TO ATTEST BY HIS OR HER SIGNATURE THAT HE OR SHE MEETS THOSE REQUIREMENTS UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY. (C) SHALL INFORM THE APPLICANT, IN PRINT IDENTICAL TO THAT USED IN THE ATTESTATION SECTION OF THE FOLLOWING: (I) VOTER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS; AND (II) PENALTIES FOR SUBMISSION OF FALSE REGISTRATION APPLICATION. (D) SHALL REQUIRE THE APPLICANT TO SUBMIT AT LEAST ONE OF THE FOLLOW- ING WITH HIS OR HER APPLICATION: (I) HIS OR HER SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER; OREXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00675-01-1 S. 5237 2
(II) HIS OR HER VALID NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES CLIENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER. 4. INCLUDED ON THE WEBPAGE SHALL BE: (A) THE STATEMENT, "IF YOU BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE HAS INTERFERED WITH YOUR RIGHT TO REGISTER OR DECLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE, YOUR RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN DECIDING WHETHER TO REGISTER OR IN APPLYING TO REGISTER TO VOTE, OR YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN POLITICAL PARTY OR OTHER POLI- TICAL PREFERENCE, YOU MAY FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS (ADDRESS AND TOLL FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER)." (B) A TOLL FREE NUMBER AT THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS THAT CAN BE CALLED FOR ANSWERS TO REGISTRATION QUESTIONS. 5. WHENEVER AN APPLICANT SUPPLIES THE BOARD WITH HIS OR HER VALID NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES CLIENT IDENTIFICATION NUMBER, SUCH APPLICANT'S IDENTIFICATION SHALL BE DEEMED VERIFIED. THE BOARD SHALL IMPORT THE APPLICANT'S SIGNATURE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES TO BE USED FOR VERIFICATION PURPOSES AT THE TIME OF CASTING A BALLOT. 6. ELECTRONIC REGISTRATIONS MADE NOT LATER THAN THE TWENTIETH DAY BEFORE AN ELECTION SHALL ENTITLE THE APPLICANT TO VOTE IN SUCH ELECTION PROVIDED THE BOARD DETERMINES THAT THE APPLICANT IS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED. 7. ELECTRONIC APPLICATION FORMS SHALL BE PROCESSED BY THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5-210 OF THIS TITLE OR, IF THE APPLICANT IS ALREADY REGISTERED TO VOTE FROM ANOTHER ADDRESS IN SUCH COUNTY OR CITY, IN THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5-208 OF THIS TITLE. THE BOARD SHALL SEND THE APPROPRIATE NOTICE OF APPROVAL OR REJECTION AS REQUIRED BY EITHER SUBDIVISION NINE OF SUCH SECTION 5-210 OR SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SUCH SECTION 5-208. 8. THE STATE BOARD SHALL ADOPT SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO CARRY OUT THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION. THE BOARD SHALL ALSO ADOPT SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY TO REQUIRE COUNTY BOARDS TO PROVIDE THE STATE BOARD WITH SUCH INFORMATION AND DATA AS THE BOARD DEEMS NECESSARY TO ASSESS COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION AND TO COMPILE SUCH STATISTICS AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION. 9. THE STATE BOARD SHALL DEVELOP AND DISTRIBUTE PUBLIC INFORMATION AND PROMOTIONAL MATERIALS RELATING TO THE PURPOSES AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PROGRAM. 10. THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES SHALL COOPERATE WITH THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law. Effective immediately, the amendment, addi- tion, and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the timely implementation of this act on its effective date is hereby authorized to be made on or before such effective date.