|SAME AS||SAME AS S05646|
|COSPNSR||Niou, Skartados, D'Urso, Ortiz, Colton, Pheffer Amato, Bichotte, Seawright, Gottfried, Hyndman, Richardson, Rivera, Mosley, Stirpe, De La Rosa, Dinowitz, Walker, Sepulveda, Wright, Blake, Simon, Miller MG, Barron, Hevesi, Skoufis, Thiele, Rodriguez, Pichardo, McDonald, Peoples-Stokes, Pellegrino, Taylor, Jaffee, Epstein|
|Amd §§5-102, 5-210 & 8-504, El L; amd §801, Ed L|
|Lowers the voting age to 17 years and requires that students receive education in civics and be given the opportunity to register to vote in the classroom.|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6839 SPONSOR: Carroll
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the election law, in relation to the qualifications of voters; and to amend the education law, in relation to civic education and student voter registration   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To amend the election law and high school curricula in order to lower the voting age to 17, making it easier for high school students to register to vote, and incorporate civics into high school curricula   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends current New York election law to allow all persons seventeen years of age or older to vote in state and local elections. Section 2 of the bill amends current New York election law to allow all persons turning seventeen years of age in a given calendar year to register to vote in that year. This section makes current voter regis- tration laws consistent with a voting age of seventeen. Section 3 of the bill changes the oath a person must take at a polling place if his or her eligibility to vote is challenged so that this oath is consistent with a voting age of seventeen. Section 4 of the bill incorporates existing New York State grade 9-12 civics standards into grades 9-11 social studies class for a minimum of 8 full class periods. Section 5 of the bill mandates that all high schools in the State of New York shall distribute two forms to all students turning seventeen years of age in that calendar year. One of the forms shall be a standard voter registration form and the other shall be a "Voter Registration Opt-Out Form." Every student will have the opportunity to complete either form as they wish, and school administrators will collect both forms. Section 6 of the bill sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Currently in the state of New York, seventeen year-olds are tasked with many of the responsibilities of adulthood. They are tried as adults in criminal proceedings, and they pay state and federal taxes for jobs they hold to support themselves and their families. Because they do not have the right to vote, seventeen year-olds have no input towards the govern- ment that shapes their lives, no input as to who oversees the public schools that 85% of them attend, no input as to who administers the taxes that the 80% of them who work pay, and no input as to who will make the crucial decisions of our day, decisions that will affect their lives. *, ** Lowering the voting age to seventeen, coupled with an opt-out registra- tion system and a targeted seminar in civics will not only respect the right to self-determination of this age group, but will greatly encour- age youth turnout and engagement which, from 1972 to 2012, has dropped from 50% to 38%. ***   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the same date as a concurrent resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section I of article 2 of the constitution, in relation to the voting age." * Studies: Light 1995; Steinberg and Cauffman 1995; The Evansville Cour- ier, August 10, 2003, p. B3. ** NY Department of Education Information and Reporting Services, "2011-2015 Enrollment Data Archive (Public school enrollment statistics, NY, 2017). *** "Why the voting age should be lowered." The Economist. February 04, 2017. Accessed March 10, 2017. http://www.economist.cominews/leaders/21716030-young-voters-are-becomi ng-disillusioned-elections-catch-them-early-and-teach-them-value.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6839 2017-2018 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY March 22, 2017 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. CARROLL -- read once and referred to the Commit- tee on Election Law AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to the qualifications of voters; and to amend the education law, in relation to civic education and student voter registration The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 5-102 of the election law is 2 amended to read as follows: 3 1. No person shall be qualified to register for and vote at any 4 election unless [ he] such person is a citizen of the United States and 5 is or will be, on the day of such election, [ eighteen] seventeen years 6 of age or over, and a resident of this state and of the county, city or 7 village for a minimum of thirty days next preceding such election. 8 § 2. Paragraph (g) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the election 9 law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read 10 as follows: 11 (g) Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States, 12 is or will be at least [ eighteen] seventeen years old not later than 13 December thirty-first of the calendar year in which he or she registers 14 and a resident of the county or city to which application is made. 15 § 3. Subdivision 3 of section 8-504 of the election law, as renumbered 16 by chapter 373 of the laws of 1978, is amended to read as follows: 17 3. After receiving the answers as above specified, of any applicant, 18 the board shall, if it believes the applicant to be qualified or the 19 challenge is withdrawn, permit him or her to vote. Otherwise, the board 20 shall point out to him or her the qualifications, if any, in respect of 21 which he or she shall appear deficient. If, after such deficiencies have 22 been so indicated, the applicant shall persist in his or her claim to 23 vote, an inspector shall administer to him or her the following oath, 24 which shall be known as "The Qualification Oath": "You do swear (or EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10507-03-7A. 6839 2 1 affirm) that you are [ eighteen] seventeen years of age, that you are a 2 citizen of the United States and that you have been a resident of this 3 state, and of this county (of the city of New York) (village) for thirty 4 days next preceding this election, that you still reside at the same 5 address from which you have been duly registered in this election 6 district, that you have not voted at this election, and that you do not 7 know of any reason why you are not qualified to vote at this election. 8 You do further declare that you are aware that it is a crime to make any 9 false statement. That all the statements you have made to the board have 10 been true and that you understand that a false statement is perjury and 11 you will be guilty of a misdemeanor." 12 § 4. Subdivisions 1 and 3 of section 801 of the education law, as 13 amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 1997, are amended and a new subdi- 14 vision 6 is added to read as follows: 15 1. In order to promote a spirit of patriotic and civic service and 16 obligation and to foster in the children of the state moral and intel- 17 lectual qualities which are essential in preparing to meet the obli- 18 gations of citizenship in peace or in war, the regents of The University 19 of the State of New York shall prescribe courses of instruction in 20 patriotism, citizenship and civics, and human rights issues, with 21 particular attention to the study of the inhumanity of genocide, slavery 22 (including the freedom trail and underground railroad), the Holocaust, 23 and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 1850, to be maintained 24 and followed in all the schools of the state. The boards of education 25 and trustees of the several cities and school districts of the state 26 shall require instruction to be given in such courses, by the teachers 27 employed in the schools therein. All pupils attending such schools, over 28 the age of eight years, shall attend upon such instruction. All pupils 29 in the ninth and higher grades shall receive civic education for at 30 least eight full class periods, in accordance with the department's 9-12 31 social studies framework. 32 Similar courses of instruction shall be prescribed and maintained in 33 private schools in the state, and all pupils in such schools in grades 34 or classes corresponding to the instruction in the eighth and higher 35 grades of the public schools shall attend upon such courses. If such 36 courses are not so established and maintained in a private school, 37 attendance upon instruction in such school shall not be deemed substan- 38 tially equivalent to instruction given to pupils in the public schools 39 of the city or district in which such pupils reside. 40 3. The regents shall determine the subjects to be included in such 41 courses of instruction in patriotism, citizenship and civics, and human 42 rights issues, with particular attention to the study of the inhumanity 43 of genocide, slavery (including the freedom trail and underground rail- 44 road), the Holocaust, and the mass starvation in Ireland from 1845 to 45 1850, and in the history, meaning, significance and effect of the 46 provisions of the constitution of the United States, the amendments 47 thereto, the declaration of independence, the constitution of the state 48 of New York and the amendments thereto, and the period of instruction in 49 each of the grades in such subjects. They shall adopt rules providing 50 for attendance upon such instruction and for such other matters as are 51 required for carrying into effect the objects and purposes of this 52 section. The commissioner shall be responsible for the enforcement of 53 such section and shall cause to be inspected and supervise the instruc- 54 tion to be given in such subjects. The commissioner may, in his 55 discretion, cause all or a portion of the public school money to be 56 apportioned to a district or city to be withheld for failure of theA. 6839 3 1 school authorities of such district or city to provide instruction in 2 such courses and to compel attendance upon such instruction, as herein 3 prescribed, and for a non-compliance with the rules of the regents 4 adopted as herein provided. 5 6. a. The regents, in collaboration with the state board of 6 elections, shall make available to each high school two forms to be 7 distributed to all pupils who shall be seventeen years of age on or 8 before December thirty-first of each year. Such forms shall be distrib- 9 uted on one date between the second and fifth school day in the month of 10 January of each year. 11 b. The first form to be distributed pursuant to this subdivision shall 12 be a standard voter registration form as prescribed by section 5-210 of 13 the election law. Such form shall be completed for each eligible pupil, 14 by school administrators who shall complete each field of the registra- 15 tion form except the fields pertaining to citizenship status, party 16 affiliation, signature and date. The content of the registration form 17 shall be explained to all pupils to whom forms are distributed and 18 pupils shall be directed to correct any incorrect information previously 19 completed by school administrators. 20 c. The second form to be distributed pursuant to this subdivision 21 shall be entitled "Voter Registration Opt-Out Form" and shall contain 22 the following statement: "I, the undersigned, decline to register as a 23 voter in the State of New York at this time, and defer my choice of 24 registration in the State of New York to a future date of my choosing." 25 Such form shall be created by the regents in collaboration with the 26 state board of elections. 27 d. Pupils shall be given classroom time to have the opportunity to 28 complete either the standard voter registration form or the voter regis- 29 tration opt-out form. After pupils have had time to complete both forms, 30 school administrators shall collect both forms from all pupils to whom 31 the forms were distributed. School administrators shall be required to 32 dispose of all voter registration forms for pupils who elect to not 33 register to vote. 34 § 5. This act shall take effect on the same date as a concurrent 35 resolution amending the constitution, entitled "CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF 36 THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing amendments to section 1 of article 2 37 of the constitution, in relation to the voting age".