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A06839 Summary:

BILL NOA06839
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05646
 
SPONSORCarroll
 
COSPNSRNiou, 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
 
MLTSPNSRBuchwald, Lentol
 
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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A06839 Memo:

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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A06839 Text:



 
                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.
                                                                   LBD10507-03-7

        A. 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 the

        A. 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".
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