A02011 Summary:

COSPNSREpstein, Mamdani, Wallace, Mitaynes, Anderson, Jackson, Forrest
Add §6-136-a, El L
Authorizes and directs the state board of elections to create an online petitioning system for designating petitions.
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A02011 Actions:

01/23/2023referred to election law
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A02011 Committee Votes:

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A02011 Floor Votes:

There are no votes for this bill in this legislative session.
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A02011 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Carroll
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to authorizing and direct- ing the state board of elections to create an online petitioning system for designating petitions   PURPOSE: To create an online system for the submission of designating petitions for candidates seeking elected office in the state.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: adds a new section 6-136-a to the Election Law authorizing the state board of elections to develop an online system for qualified voters to submit designating petitions for candidates for all statewide elections, legislative offices, and local elections. This system must be integrated with county boards of elections, provide for the trans- mission of signed petitions to the appropriate officer, allow only qual- ified voters to sign particular petitions, and provide that candidates may collect petitions up to their required threshold for the particular office through the system. Establishes that use of the online system does not preclude the use of paper petitions. Section 2: sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Designating petitions are a key component of New York's electoral system. Every year, thousands of volunteers go door-to-door to gather enough signatures for candidates to appear on the ballot. It is a significant investment of time, effort, and passion for our democratic process. However, recent years have shown the limits of this system. Changes in the political calendar to consolidate New York's multiple primary elections moved the petitioning period into February and March. For much of the state, this means that petitioning is happening in the- middle of intense winters. In rural areas, as well as towns and villages without sidewalks, this can be especially challenging. It has also exacerbated the barriers to people with physical disabilities who wish to run for office or participate in political campaigns. In 2020, the health crisis necessitated a temporary reduction of petitioning thresh- olds and an eventual end of the petitioning period to preserve public health. Concerns of safety, health, and fairness suggest that we should not go back to the prior requirement for gathering signatures one door at a time. For several years, the State of Arizona has operated an online petition- ing system called E-Qual. This secure portal allows qualified voters to sign petitions for candidates online. This allows for a broader and more accessible form of petition-gathering that does not depend on thousand of hours of volunteer labor, sometimes in dangerous conditions. Use of the online system in Arizona does not prohibit the additional use of paper designating petitions, nor does it release candidates from the necessity of engaging with voters and supporters in order to earn the necessary number of signatures to appear on the ballot. Creating such a system in New York to supplement the traditional process of paper desig- nating petitions will increase the flexibility of our system and make the designating process more open, safe, and fair across the entire state.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.10345/S.8238 of 2019-20 A.623/S.1344 of 2021-22   EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
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A02011 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 23, 2023
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. CARROLL, EPSTEIN, MAMDANI, WALLACE, MITAYNES,
          ANDERSON, JACKSON, FORREST -- read once and referred to the  Committee
          on Election Law
        AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to authorizing and direct-
          ing  the  state  board  of  elections  to create an online petitioning
          system for designating petitions

          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 6-136-a
     2  to read as follows:
     3    §  6-136-a.  Online  petitioning  system for designating petitions. 1.
     4  Notwithstanding  any  other  provision  of  law,  the  state  board   of
     5  elections,  in cooperation with county boards of election, is authorized
     6  and directed to provide a system for qualified voters to sign  a  desig-
     7  nating petition for a candidate by way of a secure internet portal. Such
     8  system shall:
     9    (a) provide for the collection of designating petitions for candidates
    10  for the following offices:
    11    (i) United States senate;
    12    (ii) United States house of representatives;
    13    (iii) New York state governor;
    14    (iv) New York state lieutenant governor;
    15    (v) New York state comptroller;
    16    (vi) New York state attorney general;
    17    (vii) New York state senate;
    18    (viii) New York state assembly;
    19    (ix) county offices;
    20    (x) town offices;
    21    (xi) city offices;
    22    (xii) village offices; and
    23    (xiii) school boards.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2011                             2

     1    (b) be integrated with county boards of elections;
     2    (c)  provide for the transmission of signed designating petitions or a
     3  facsimile of such petitions to the  appropriate  officer  in  charge  of
     4  elections for a particular elected office;
     5    (d) allow only those qualified voters who are eligible to sign a peti-
     6  tion for a particular candidate to sign such petition, including provid-
     7  ing a method for the qualified voter's identity to be properly verified;
     8  and
     9    (e) provide that candidates may choose to collect designating petition
    10  signatures  up  to an amount equal to the full number of required desig-
    11  nating petition signatures by use of the online petition  system  estab-
    12  lished by this section.
    13    2. Use of the online petition system established by this section shall
    14  not preclude the collection and use of paper designating petitions.
    15    3.  The state board of elections is authorized to promulgate rules and
    16  regulations necessary for the implementation of this section.
    17    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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A02011 LFIN:

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A02011 Chamber Video/Transcript:

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