|SAME AS||SAME AS S06631|
|COSPNSR||Peoples-Stokes, Pichardo, Richardson, Barron, Solages, Davila, Mosley, Joyner, Perry, Sepulveda, Robinson, Hyndman, Rodriguez, Lupardo, Gottfried, Simon, Seawright, Steck, Jaffee, Cahill, Colton, Crespo, Bichotte, Blake, Rosenthal, Williams, Jean-Pierre|
|MLTSPNSR||Buchwald, Cook, Englebright, Glick, Hooper, Lifton, Magee, Ramos, Ryan|
|Amd El L, generally|
|Relates to creating the "modernized voter registration act of New York"; modernizes voter registration; promotes access to voting for individuals with disabilities; protects the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for local and state office and makes an appropriation therefor.|
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 8626 2015-2016 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY December 23, 2015 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. WALKER -- read once and referred to the Committee on Election Law AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to modernizing voter registration, promoting access to voting for individuals with disabil- ities, protecting the ability of individuals to exercise the right to vote in elections for local and state office; and making an appropri- ation therefor The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "modernized 2 voter registration act of New York". 3 § 2. The election law is amended by adding ten new sections 5-200, 4 5-232, 5-234, 5-236, 5-238, 5-240, 5-242, 5-244, 5-246 and 5-248 to read 5 as follows: 6 § 5-200. Automated voter registration. 1. Notwithstanding any other 7 manner of registration required by this article, each person in the 8 state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of this article, shall 9 be automatically registered to vote as provided in this section, 10 provided that the person consents to voter registration. 11 2. The state board of elections or county board of elections shall 12 register to vote or update the registration record of any person in the 13 state qualified to vote pursuant to section 5-102 of this article who 14 consents to the registration or update and does any of the following: 15 (a) completes an application for a new or renewed driver's license, 16 non-driver identification card, pre-licensing course certificate, 17 learner's permit or certification of supervised driving with the depart- 18 ment of motor vehicles, or notifies such department in writing of a 19 change of his or her name or address; 20 (b) completes an application for services, renewal or recertification 21 for services, or change of address relating to such services from agen- 22 cies designated in section 5-211 of this title; EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13168-02-5A. 8626 2 1 (c) completes an application for services, renewal or recertification 2 for services, or change of address relating to such services from any 3 municipal housing authority as set forth in article thirteen of the 4 public housing law; 5 (d) registers for classes at institutions of the state university of 6 New York or the city university of New York; 7 (e) completes a maximum sentence of imprisonment or is discharged from 8 parole; 9 (f) completes an application for unemployment insurance; 10 (g) becomes a member or employee of the New York division of military 11 and naval affairs; or 12 (h) completes an application with any other state or federal agency 13 designated as a source agency pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision 14 three of this section. 15 3. (a) The term "source agency" includes the department of motor vehi- 16 cles, any government agency designated pursuant to section 5-211 of this 17 title, the state university of New York and the city university of New 18 York, all public housing authorities listed in article thirteen of the 19 public housing law, the department of corrections and community super- 20 vision, the department of labor, the New York division of military and 21 naval affairs and any agency designated by the state board of elections 22 pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision. 23 (b) The state board of elections may designate additional state agen- 24 cies to serve as sources for voter registration. In designating an agen- 25 cy under this paragraph, the state board of elections shall consider: 26 (i) the likelihood that source records reflect a large number of 27 eligible citizens; 28 (ii) the extent to which source records reflect eligible citizens who 29 would not otherwise be registered under the act to modernize voter 30 registration; 31 (iii) the accuracy of personal identification data in source records; 32 and 33 (iv) any additional factors designated by the chief election official 34 as reasonably related to accomplishing the purposes of the act to 35 modernize voter registration. 36 4. The state board of elections and the source agencies shall enter 37 into agreements to ensure that for each person described in subdivision 38 two of this section, each source agency electronically transmits to the 39 state or local boards of elections the following information in a format 40 that can be read by the computerized statewide voter registration list: 41 (a) given name or names and surname or surnames; 42 (b) mailing address and residential address; 43 (c) date of birth; 44 (d) citizenship; 45 (e) driver's license or non-driver identification card number, last 46 four digits of the person's social security number, or a space for the 47 person to indicate that he or she does not have any such number; 48 (f) political party enrollment, if any; 49 (g) an indication that the person intends to apply for an absentee 50 ballot, if any; and 51 (h) an image of the person's signature. 52 In the event that any transmission of data pursuant to this section 53 fails to include an image of an individual's signature, the absence of a 54 signature shall not preclude the registration of an eligible citizen. 55 The board of elections shall develop procedures to enable an eligible 56 citizen, whose information is transmitted pursuant to this section andA. 8626 3 1 whose information lacks an electronic signature, to provide a signature 2 at the polling place or with an application for an absentee ballot 3 before voting. The board may require an elector who has not provided a 4 signature before arriving at the polling place or submitting an absentee 5 ballot to present a current and valid photo identification or a copy of 6 a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or 7 other government document that shows the name and address of the voter. 8 5. If an agency does not routinely request information concerning the 9 citizenship status of individuals, it shall maintain records sufficient 10 to transmit to the board of elections indications of United States citi- 11 zenship for each person described in subdivision two of this section, 12 but shall not retain, use, or share any such information relating to an 13 individual's citizenship for any other purpose. 14 6. The state board of elections shall prepare and distribute to 15 participating agencies written instructions as to the implementation of 16 the program and shall be responsible for establishing training programs 17 for employees of source agencies listed in this section. Training shall 18 include requirements that employees of any source agency communicate to 19 each individual identified in subdivision two of this section that the 20 source agency maintains strict neutrality with respect to a person's 21 party enrollment and all persons seeking voter registration forms and 22 information shall be advised that government services are not condi- 23 tioned on being registered to vote, or eligibility to register to vote. 24 No statement shall be made nor any action taken to discourage the appli- 25 cant from registering to vote. 26 7. The agreements between the state board of elections and the source 27 agencies shall include the format in which information will be transmit- 28 ted, whether and how each entity will collect, in addition to the manda- 29 tory information listed in subdivision four of this section, additional 30 information on a voluntary basis from persons for the purpose of facili- 31 tating voter registration, the frequency of data transmissions, the 32 procedures and other measures that will be used to ensure the security 33 and privacy of the information transmitted, and any other matter neces- 34 sary or helpful to implement the requirements of this section. 35 8. Each source agency shall cooperate with the state board of 36 elections and county board of elections to facilitate the voter regis- 37 tration of each person described in subdivision two of this section, and 38 to electronically transmit the information needed to register each such 39 person to vote or to update each such person's voter registration 40 record. 41 9. Each source agency shall enter into an agreement with the state 42 board of elections finalizing the format and content of electronic tran- 43 smissions required by this section no later than September first, two 44 thousand seventeen; provided, that each source agency shall be able to 45 comply fully with all requirements of this section, including the 46 collection and transmission of all data required to register individuals 47 to vote, by January first, two thousand eighteen. 48 10. Upon receiving information from a source agency with respect to an 49 individual, the state board of elections shall determine whether the 50 individual is included in the computerized statewide voter registration 51 list. 52 (a) If an individual for whom information is received from a source 53 agency is eligible to vote in elections for federal office in the state 54 and is not on the computerized statewide voter registration list, the 55 state board of elections shall: (i) ensure that the individual is regis- 56 tered to vote in such elections not later than five days after receivingA. 8626 4 1 the information, without regard to whether or not the information 2 provided by the source agency includes the individual's signature; (ii) 3 update the statewide computerized voter registration list to include the 4 individual; and (iii) notify the individual that the individual is 5 registered to vote in elections for federal office in the state. 6 (b) If a source agency provides the state board of elections with 7 information with respect to an individual who did not consent to be 8 registered to vote, the state board of elections shall not take any 9 action to register the individual to vote, except that no such individ- 10 ual who is already included on the computerized statewide voter regis- 11 tration list shall be removed from the list solely because the informa- 12 tion was incorrectly provided. 13 11. If an individual who is not eligible to register to vote in 14 elections for federal office is registered to vote in such elections by 15 the state board of elections, the individual shall not be subject to any 16 penalty, including the imposition of a fine or term of imprisonment, 17 adverse treatment in any immigration or naturalization proceeding, or 18 the denial of any status under immigration laws, under any law prohibit- 19 ing an individual who is not eligible to register to vote in elections 20 for federal office from registering to vote in such elections. Nothing 21 in this subdivision shall be construed to waive the liability of any 22 individual who knowingly provides false information to any person 23 regarding the individual's eligibility to register to vote in elections 24 for federal office. 25 12. No person may use the information received by the state board of 26 elections to determine the citizenship status of any individual for 27 immigration enforcement, criminal law enforcement (other than enforce- 28 ment of this chapter), or any other purpose other than voter registra- 29 tion or election administration. No information relating to an individ- 30 ual's absence from the statewide voter registration list or an 31 individual's declination to supply information for voter registration 32 purposes to a source agency may be disclosed to the public for immi- 33 gration enforcement, criminal law enforcement other than enforcement of 34 laws against election crimes, or used for any purpose other than voter 35 registration, election administration, or the enforcement of election 36 laws. 37 13. Voter registration information collected under this section shall 38 not be used for commercial purposes including for comparison with any 39 existing commercial list or database. 40 § 5-232. Availability of online registration. 1. Every election 41 district shall ensure that the following services are available to the 42 public at any time on the official public websites of the appropriate 43 local election officials in the state: online application for voter 44 registration, online assistance to applications in applying to register 45 to vote, online completion and submission by applications of the mail 46 voter registration application form pursuant to section 5-210, including 47 assistance with providing a signature in electronic form as required 48 under section 5-234 of this title, and online receipt of completed voter 49 registration applications. 50 2. Any county or municipality shall accept an online voter registra- 51 tion application provided by an individual under this section, and 52 ensure that the individual is registered to vote in the state, if (a) 53 the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable 54 to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with law using 55 the mail voter registration application form, and (b) the individualA. 8626 5 1 provides a signature in electronic form pursuant to section 5-234 of 2 this title. 3 3. (a) Upon the online submission of a completed voter registration 4 application by an individual under this section, the appropriate state 5 or local election official shall send the individual a notice confirming 6 the state's receipt of the application and providing instructions on how 7 the individual may check the status of the application, and 8 (b) as soon as the appropriate election official has approved or 9 rejected an application submitted by an individual under this section, 10 the official shall send the individual a notice of the disposition of 11 the application. 12 § 5-234. Signatures in electronic form. An individual provides a 13 signature in electronic form by executing a computerized mark in the 14 signature field on an online voter registration application; or submit- 15 ting with the application an electronic copy of the individual's hand- 16 written signature through electronic means. 17 § 5-236. Nonpartisan manner. The services made available under this 18 title shall be provided in a manner that ensures that the online appli- 19 cation does not seek to influence an applicant's political preference or 20 party registration and there is no display on the website promoting any 21 political preference or party allegiance, except that nothing in this 22 section may be construed to prohibit an applicant from registering to 23 vote as a member of a political party. 24 § 5-238. Protection of security information. The state board of 25 elections shall establish appropriate technological security measures to 26 prevent to the greatest extent practicable any unauthorized access to 27 information provided by individuals using the services made available 28 under section 5-232 of this title. 29 § 5-240. Use of additional telephone-based system. The board of 30 elections shall make the services made available online under section 31 5-232 of this title available through the use of an automated tele- 32 phone-based system, subject to the same terms and conditions applicable 33 under this section to the services made available online, in addition to 34 making the services available online in accordance with the requirements 35 of this section. 36 § 5-242. Use of internet to update registration information. 1. The 37 appropriate state or local election official shall ensure that any 38 registered voter on the computerized list may at any time update the 39 voter's registration information, including the voter's address and 40 electronic mail address, online through the official public website of 41 the election official responsible for the maintenance of the list, so 42 long as the voter attests to the contents of the update by providing a 43 signature in electronic form. 44 2. If a registered voter updates registration information, the appro- 45 priate state or local election official shall revise any information on 46 the computerized list to reflect the update made by the voter; and if 47 the updated registration information affects the voter's eligibility to 48 vote in an election, ensure that the information is processed with 49 respect to the election if the voter updates the information not later 50 than seven days before the election. 51 3. Upon the online submission of updated registration information by 52 an individual under this section, the appropriate state or local 53 election official shall send the individual a notice confirming receipt 54 of the updated information and providing instructions on how the indi- 55 vidual may check the status of the update.A. 8626 6 1 4. As soon as the appropriate state or local election official has 2 accepted or rejected updated information submitted by an individual 3 under this section, the official shall send the individual a notice of 4 the disposition of the update. 5 5. The appropriate state or local election official shall send the 6 notices required under this section by regular mail, and, in the case of 7 an individual who has requested that the state provide voter registra- 8 tion and voting information through electronic mail, by both electronic 9 mail and regular mail. 10 § 5-244. List maintenance, privacy and security. 1. The state board of 11 elections shall publish on their website all standards established under 12 this section. The state board of elections shall establish standards 13 governing the comparison of data on the statewide computerized voter 14 registration list, the data provided by various source agencies under 15 section 5-200 of this title, including the specific data elements and 16 data matching rules to be used for purposes of determining: (a) whether 17 a data record from any source agency represents the same individual as a 18 record in another source agency or on the statewide list; (b) whether a 19 data record from any source agency represents an individual already 20 registered to vote in the state; (c) whether two data records in the 21 statewide computerized voter registration list represent duplicate 22 records for the same individual; (d) whether a data record supplied by 23 any list maintenance source represents an individual already registered 24 to vote in the state; and (e) which information will be treated as more 25 current and reliable when data records from multiple sources present 26 information for the same individual. 27 2. The state board of elections shall establish uniform and non-dis- 28 criminatory standards describing the specific conditions under which an 29 individual will be determined for list maintenance purposes to be ineli- 30 gible to vote in an election. 31 3. The state board of elections shall publish and enforce a privacy 32 and security policy specifying each class of users who shall have 33 authorized access to the computerized statewide voter registration list, 34 specifying for each such class the permission and levels of access to be 35 granted, and setting forth other safeguards to protect the privacy and 36 security of the information on the list. Such policy shall include secu- 37 rity safeguards to protect personal information in the data transfer 38 process, the online or telephone interface, the maintenance of the voter 39 registration database, and audit procedures to track individual access 40 to the system. 41 4. The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce- 42 ment procedures to prevent unauthorized access to or use of the comput- 43 erized statewide voter registration list, any list or other information 44 provided by a source agency, or any maintenance source for the list. 45 Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit access to 46 information required for official purposes for purposes of voter regis- 47 tration, election administration, and the enforcement of election laws. 48 5. The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce- 49 ment procedures to maintain security during inter-agency transfers of 50 information required or permitted under this chapter. Each state agency 51 and third party participating in such inter-agency transfers of informa- 52 tion shall facilitate and comply with such policies. Nothing in this 53 subdivision shall prevent a source agency from establishing and enforc- 54 ing additional security measures to protect the confidentiality and 55 integrity of inter-agency data transfers. No state or local electionA. 8626 7 1 official shall transfer or facilitate the transfer of information from 2 the computerized statewide voter registration list to any source agency. 3 6. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent a source 4 agency from contracting with a third party to assist in the transmission 5 of data to the state board of elections, so long as the data trans- 6 mission complies with the applicable requirements of this chapter. 7 7. The state board of elections shall establish standards and proce- 8 dures to maintain all election records required for purposes of this 9 section. Records for individuals who have been retained on the computer- 10 ized statewide registration list but identified as ineligible to vote in 11 an election or removed from the list due to ineligibility, shall be 12 maintained and kept available until at least the date of the second 13 general election for federal office that occurs after the date that the 14 individual was identified as ineligible. 15 8. The identity of the specific source agency through which an indi- 16 vidual consented to register to vote shall not be disclosed to the 17 public and shall not be retained after the individual is added to the 18 computerized statewide voter registration list. 19 9. The state board of elections shall establish policies and enforce- 20 ment procedures to ensure that personal information provided by source 21 agencies or otherwise transmitted under this section is kept confiden- 22 tial and is available only to authorized users. For purposes of these 23 policies and procedures, the term "personal information" means any of 24 the following: 25 (a) any portion of an individual's social security number; 26 (b) any portion of an individual's motor vehicle driver's license 27 number or state identification card number; 28 (c) an individual's signature; 29 (d) an individual's personal residence and contact information; 30 (e) sensitive information relating to persons in categories designated 31 confidential by federal or state law, including victims of domestic 32 violence or stalking, prosecutors and law enforcement personnel, and 33 participants in a witness protection program; 34 (f) an individual's phone number; 35 (g) an individual's email address; 36 (h) any indication of an individual's status as a citizen or nonciti- 37 zen of the United States; and 38 (i) such other information as the state board of the elections may 39 designate as confidential to the extent reasonably necessary to prevent 40 identity theft or impersonation, except that such board may not desig- 41 nate as confidential under this subdivision the name, address, or date 42 of registration of an individual, or where applicable, the self-identi- 43 fied racial or ethnic category of the individual. 44 10. The state board of elections shall ensure that, with respect to 45 any individual who declines the opportunity to register to vote, the 46 individual's information is not included on the computerized statewide 47 voter registration list and is not provided to a third party (except to 48 the extent required under other law). Nothing in this subdivision shall 49 be construed to preclude an individual who has previously declined the 50 opportunity to register to vote from subsequently registering to vote. 51 § 5-246. Accuracy of statewide voter registration lists. 1. Not later 52 than twenty-four hours after receiving a change of address form or any 53 other information indicating that identifying information with respect 54 to an individual which is included in the records of the department of 55 motor vehicles has been changed, such department shall transmit such 56 form or other information to the state board of elections, unless:A. 8626 8 1 (a) the records of the department include information indicating that 2 the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or 3 (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the 4 change of address or other information is not for voter registration 5 purposes. 6 2. Not later than twenty-four after receiving a change of address form 7 or any other information indicating that identifying information with 8 respect to an individual which is included in the records of a voter 9 registration agency has been changed, the appropriate official of such 10 agency shall transmit such form or other information to the state board 11 of elections, unless: 12 (a) the records of the department include information indicating that 13 the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or 14 (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the 15 change of address or other information is not for voter registration 16 purposes. 17 3. Not later than twenty-four hours after receiving a change of 18 address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor- 19 mation with respect to an individual which is included in the records of 20 a source agency has been changed, the appropriate official of such agen- 21 cy shall transmit such form or other information to the state board of 22 elections, unless: 23 (a) the records of the department include information indicating that 24 the individual is not eligible to register to vote in the state; or 25 (b) the individual states on the form or otherwise indicates that the 26 change of address or other information is not for voter registration 27 purposes. 28 4. If the department of motor vehicles, a voter registration agency, 29 or a source agency transmits to the state board of elections a change of 30 address form or any other information indicating that identifying infor- 31 mation with respect to an individual has been changed the appropriate 32 state or local election official shall: 33 (a) determine whether the individual appears on the computerized list; 34 and 35 (b) if the individual appears on the list, revise the information 36 relating to the individual on the list to reflect the individual's new 37 address or other changed identifying information. 38 5. If an election official revises any voter registration information 39 on the computerized list with respect to any voter (including removing 40 the voter from the list), immediately after revising the information, 41 the official shall send the individual a written notice of the revision 42 which includes the following information: 43 (a) the voter's name, date of birth, and address, as reflected in the 44 revised information on the computerized list; 45 (b) a statement that the voter's registration information has been 46 updated; 47 (c) information on how to correct information on the computerized 48 list; 49 (d) a statement of the eligibility requirements for registered voters; 50 (e) a statement (in larger font size than the other statements on the 51 notice) that it is illegal for an individual who does not meet the 52 eligibility requirements for registered voters in the state to vote in 53 such state; and 54 (f) a statement that the voter may terminate the voter's status as 55 registered in the state, or request a change in the voter's voter regis- 56 tration information at any time by contacting the appropriate state orA. 8626 9 1 local election official, together with contact information for such 2 official (including any website through which the voter may contact the 3 official or obtain information on voter registration in the state). 4 6. If an election official has an electronic mail address for any 5 voter to whom the official is required to send notice under this 6 section, the official may meet the requirements of this section by send- 7 ing the notice to the voter in electronic form at that address, but only 8 if prior to sending the notice, the official sends a test electronic 9 mail to the voter at that address and receives confirmation that the 10 address is current and valid. 11 § 5-248. Same day registration. Each county shall allow any eligible 12 individual on the day of an election and on any day when voting, includ- 13 ing early voting, to register to vote in such election at the polling 14 place and to cast a vote in such election. 15 § 3. Section 5-210 of the election law is amended by adding three new 16 subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 to read as follows: 17 16. The board of elections shall accept an online voter registration 18 application provided by an individual and ensure that individual is 19 registered to vote in the state if (a) the individual meets the same 20 voter registration requirements applicable to individuals who register 21 to vote by mail in accordance with this section; and (b) the individual 22 provided a signature in electronic form in accordance with section 5-234 23 of this title. 24 17. Upon the online submission of a completed voter registration 25 application by an individual, an appropriate election personnel shall 26 send the individual a notice confirming the board of elections receipt 27 of the application and providing instructions on how the individual may 28 check on the status of the application. As soon as the appropriate 29 election personnel has approved or rejected an application submitted by 30 an individual, the personnel shall send the individual a notice of the 31 disposition of the application by regular mail unless the individual has 32 requested voter information to be sent through electronic mail, in which 33 case a copy should be sent through both regular and electronic mail. 34 18. If an individual who is a registered voter had provided the state 35 or local election official with an electronic mail address for purposes 36 of receiving voting information, the county board of elections, through 37 electronic mail transmitted not later than seven days before the date of 38 the election involved, shall provide the individual with information on 39 how to obtain the following information by electronic means: (a) the 40 name and address of the polling place at which the individual is 41 assigned to vote in the election; (b) the hours of operation for the 42 polling place; and (c) a description of any identification or other 43 information the individual may be required to present at the polling 44 place. 45 § 4. The election law is amended by adding two new sections 5-108 and 46 5-110 to read as follows: 47 § 5-108. Nondiscrimination. 1. The state shall treat a registered 48 voter who is registered to vote online in accordance with this chapter 49 in the same manner as the state treats a registered voter who registered 50 to vote by mail. 51 2. No person may discriminate against any individual on the basis of 52 the individual's absence from the statewide voter registration list, the 53 information supplied by the individual for voter registration purpose to 54 a source agency, or the individual's declination to supply such informa- 55 tion, except as required for purposes of voter registration, election 56 administration, and the enforcement of election laws.A. 8626 10 1 § 5-110. Prohibiting use of electronic mail addresses for other than 2 official purposes. The state board of elections shall ensure that any 3 electronic mail addresses provided by an applicant under this chapter 4 are used only for purposes of carrying out official duties of election 5 officials and are not transmitted by any state or local election offi- 6 cial (or any agent of such an official, including a contractor) to any 7 person who does not require the address to carry out such official 8 duties and who is not under the direct supervision and control of a 9 state or local election official. 10 § 5. Subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the election law is amended by 11 adding a new paragraph (o) to read as follows: 12 (o) The voter registration application shall include a space for the 13 applicant to provide (at the applicant's option) an electronic mail 14 address, together with a statement that, if the applicant so requests, 15 instead of using regular mail the appropriate state and local election 16 officials shall provide to the applicant, through electronic mail sent 17 to that address, any voting information that would otherwise be sent 18 through the regular mail. 19 § 6. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 5-210 of the election law, as 20 amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2005, are amended to read as 21 follows: 22 1. In addition to local registration and veterans' absentee registra- 23 tion as provided in this chapter, any qualified person may apply 24 personally for registration and enrollment, change of enrollment by mail 25 [ or], by appearing at the board of elections on any day, except a day of 26 election, during the hours that such board of elections is open for 27 business or by registering online. 28 2. (a) Application forms for use pursuant to this section shall be 29 furnished by a county board of elections to any person requesting such 30 form or shall be available on the county board of elections website 31 pursuant to section 5-232 of this title. Application forms sent outside 32 of the United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, shall be 33 sent airmail. Each county board of elections shall also cause such 34 application forms to be as widely and freely distributed as possible. 35 (b) The board of elections shall mail an application for registration 36 by mail and information on how the person may re-register to each person 37 for whom it receives notice pursuant to the provisions of subdivision 38 four of section 5-402 of this article that such person has moved into 39 such city or county unless such person is already registered from the 40 address listed in such notice. 41 § 7. The election law is amended by adding a new section 17-172 to 42 read as follows: 43 § 17-172. Penalties against list maintenance, privacy and security. 44 Any person who knowingly uses information or permits information to be 45 used in violation of sections 5-244 or 5-108 of this chapter shall be 46 imprisoned for not more than one year, fined not less than one hundred 47 dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or both such fine and impri- 48 sonment. 49 § 8. Paragraphs (g) and (k) of subdivision 5 of section 5-210 of the 50 election law, as amended by chapter 179 of the laws of 2005, subpara- 51 graph (xii) of paragraph (k) as added by chapter 362 of the laws of 52 2008, are amended and a new paragraph (n) is added to read as follows: 53 (g) Notice that the applicant must be a citizen of the United States, 54 is [ or will be at least eighteen years old not later than December thir-55 ty-first of the calendar year in which he or she registers] at leastA. 8626 11 1 sixteen years old when he or she submits an application to register to 2 vote and a resident of the county or city to which application is made. 3 (k) The form shall also include space for the following information, 4 which must be contained on the inside of the form after it is folded for 5 mailing: 6 (i) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she has 7 ever voted or registered to vote before and, if so, the approximate year 8 in which such applicant last voted or registered and his or her name and 9 address at the time. 10 (ii) The name and residence address of the applicant including the zip 11 code and apartment number, if any. 12 (iii) The date of birth of the applicant. 13 (iv) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her driver's license 14 or department of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID number or the last 15 four digits of his or her social security number or, if the applicant 16 does not have either such number, a space for the applicant to indicate 17 he or she does not have either. 18 (v) A space for the applicant to indicate whether or not he or she is 19 a citizen of the United States and the statement "If you checked "no" in 20 response to this question, do not complete this form." 21 (vi) [ A space for the applicant to answer the question "Will you be 1822 years of age on or before election day?" and the statement "If you23 checked "no" in response to this question, do not complete this form24 unless you will be 18 by the end of the year."25 (vii)] A statement informing the applicant that if the form is submit- 26 ted by mail and the applicant is registering for the first time, certain 27 information or documents must be submitted with the mail-in registration 28 form in order to avoid additional identification requirements upon 29 voting for the first time. Such information and documents are: 30 (A) a driver's license or department of motor vehicles non-driver 31 photo ID number; or 32 (B) the last four digits of the individual's social security number; 33 or 34 (C) a copy of a current and valid photo identification; or 35 (D) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government 36 check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and 37 address of the voter. 38 [ (viii)] (vii) The gender of the applicant (optional). 39 [ (ix)] (viii) A space for the applicant to indicate his or her choice 40 of party enrollment, with a clear alternative provided for the applicant 41 to decline to affiliate with any party. 42 [ (x)] (ix) The telephone number of the applicant (optional). 43 [ (xi)] (x) A place for the applicant to execute the form on a line 44 which is clearly labeled "signature of applicant" preceded by the 45 following specific form of affirmation: 46 AFFIDAVIT: I swear or affirm that: 47 * I am a citizen of the United States. 48 * I will have lived in the county, city, or village for at least 30 49 days before the election. 50 * I meet all the requirements to register to vote in New York 51 State. 52 * This is my signature or mark on the line below. 53 * All the information contained on this application is true. I 54 understand that if it is not true I can be convicted and fined up 55 to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to four years.A. 8626 12 1 which form of affirmation shall be followed by a space for the date and 2 the aforementioned line for the applicant's signature. 3 [ (xii)] (xi) A space for the applicant to register in the New York 4 state donate life registry for organ and tissue donations established 5 pursuant to section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law. 6 (xii) The email address of the applicant (optional). 7 (n) Agreements adopted pursuant to section 5-200 of this title between 8 source agencies and the state or county boards of elections are not 9 required to include the collection or transmission of the information 10 requested in paragraph (j) or subparagraph (i), (vii), (viii), (ix) or 11 (xi) of paragraph (k) of this subdivision, and no board of election 12 shall refuse to register to vote or update the registration record of 13 any person in the state whose information is transmitted pursuant to 14 section 5-200 of this title for the reason that such information does 15 not include the information requested by paragraph (j) or subparagraph 16 (i), (vii), (viii), (ix) or (xi) of paragraph (k) of this subdivision. 17 § 9. The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-228 to read 18 as follows: 19 § 3-228. Board of elections, reports. 1. Not later than ninety days 20 after the end of each year, the board shall submit to the legislature 21 and the governor a report containing the following categories of infor- 22 mation for the year: 23 (a) the number of individuals who registered; 24 (b) the number of voter registration application forms completed by 25 individuals that were transmitted by the department of motor vehicles 26 and voter registration agencies in the state to the board, broken down 27 by each such agency; 28 (c) the number of such individuals whose voter registration applica- 29 tion forms were accepted and who were registered to vote in the state 30 and the number of such individuals whose forms were rejected and who 31 were not registered to vote in the state, broken down by each such agen- 32 cy; 33 (d) the number of change of address forms and other forms of informa- 34 tion indicating that an individual's identifying information has been 35 changed that were transmitted by the department of motor vehicles and 36 voter registration agencies to the board, broken down by such agency and 37 type of form submitted; 38 (e) the number of individuals on the statewide computerized voter 39 registration list whose voter registration information was revised by 40 the board as a result of the forms transmitted to the board by the 41 department of motor vehicles and voter registration agencies (as 42 described in subdivision three of this section), broken down by each 43 agency and the type of form submitted; 44 (f) the number of individuals who requested the board to revise voter 45 registration information on such list, and the number of individuals 46 whose information was revised as a result of such request. 47 2. In preparing the report under this section, the state shall, for 48 each category of information described in subdivision one of this 49 section, include a breakdown by race of the individuals whose informa- 50 tion is included in the category, to the extent that information on the 51 race of such individuals is available to the state. 52 3. In preparing and submitting a report under this section, the board 53 shall ensure that no information regarding the identification of any 54 individual is revealed. 55 § 10. Section 5-202 of the election law is amended by adding a new 56 subdivision 7 to read as follows:A. 8626 13 1 7. The board of elections in each county shall establish procedures 2 providing for absentee registration, for all elections held pursuant to 3 the provisions of this chapter, through mail and/or electronic means for 4 persons with a disability. Such procedures shall be subject to approval 5 by the state board of elections. Such boards of elections shall further 6 be responsible for providing information regarding absentee registration 7 for persons with a disability to such persons with respect to such 8 elections. 9 § 11. The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-109 to 10 read as follows: 11 § 3-109. Prohibition against voter caging. 1. Definitions. For the 12 purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following 13 meanings: 14 (a) Voter caging document means 15 (i) a nonforwardable document that is returned to the sender of a 16 third party as undelivered or undeliverable despite an attempt to deliv- 17 er such document to the address of a registered voter or applicant; or 18 (ii) any document with instructions to an addressee that the document 19 be returned to the sender or a third party but is not so returned, 20 despite an attempt to deliver such document to the address of a regis- 21 tered voter or applicant, unless at least two election cycles have 22 passed since the date of the attempted delivery; 23 (b) Voter caging list means a list of individuals compiled from voter 24 caging documents; and 25 (c) Unverified match list means a list produced by matching the infor- 26 mation of registered voters or applicants for voter registration to a 27 list of individuals who are ineligible to vote in the registrar's juris- 28 diction, by virtue of death, conviction, change of address, or other- 29 wise; unless one of the pieces of information matched includes a signa- 30 ture, photograph, or unique identifying number ensuring that the 31 information from each source refers to the same individual. 32 2. Prohibition against voter caging. Notwithstanding the provisions of 33 sections 5-220, 8-504 or 8-506 of this chapter, no election official 34 shall prevent an individual from registering or voting in any election 35 or permit in connection with any election a formal challenge to an indi- 36 vidual's registration status or eligibility to vote, if the basis for 37 such decision is evidence consisting of: 38 (a) a voter caging document or voter caging list; 39 (b) an unverified match list; 40 (c) an error or omission on any record or paper relating to any appli- 41 cation, registration, or other act requisite to voting, if such error or 42 omission is not material to an individual's eligibility to vote; 43 provided, however, that the election official may use such evidence if 44 it is corroborated by independent evidence of the individual's ineligi- 45 bility to register or vote. 46 3. Penalties for knowing misconduct. Whoever knowingly challenges the 47 eligibility of one or more individuals to register or vote or knowingly 48 causes the eligibility of such individuals to be challenged in violation 49 of this chapter with the intent that one or more eligible voters be 50 disqualified, shall be fined or imprisoned not more than one year, or by 51 both such fine and imprisonment, for each such violation. Each violation 52 shall be a separate offense. 53 § 12. Section 17-154 of the election law is amended by adding a new 54 subdivision 6 to read as follows: 55 6. Knowingly and willfully deprive, defraud, or attempt to deprive or 56 defraud any other person of their free and fair exercise of the right toA. 8626 14 1 vote by the communication of election-related information that is known 2 by the person to be materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent. "Elec- 3 tion-related information" shall mean any oral or written communication 4 regarding the time or place of an election, criminal penalties associ- 5 ated with voting in such an election, an individual's voter registration 6 status or eligibility to vote in such an election, or the explicit 7 endorsement of any person or organization of a candidate in such an 8 election. 9 § 13. Subdivision 1 of section 7-202 of the election law is amended by 10 adding a new paragraph a-1 to read as follows: 11 a-1. use an individual, durable, voter-verified, paper ballot of the 12 voter's vote that shall be marked and made available for inspection and 13 verification by the voter before the voter's vote is cast and counted, 14 and which shall be counted by hand or read by an optical character 15 recognition device or other counting device; such ballots shall be the 16 true and correct record of the votes cast and shall allow a manual audit 17 and be preserved in accordance with the provisions of section 3-222 of 18 this chapter. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "individual, 19 durable, voter-verified, paper ballot" means a paper ballot marked by 20 the voter by hand or a paper ballot marked through the use of a nontabu- 21 lating ballot marking device or system, so long as the voter shall have 22 the option to mark his or her ballot by hand; 23 § 14. Paragraph j of subdivision 1 of section 7-202 of the election 24 law, as added by chapter 181 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as 25 follows: 26 j. retain all paper ballots cast or produce and retain a voter veri- 27 fied permanent paper record which shall be presented to the voter from 28 behind a window or other device before the ballot is cast, in a manner 29 intended and designed to protect the privacy of the voter; such ballots 30 or record shall allow a manual audit and shall be preserved in accord- 31 ance with the provisions of section 3-222 of this chapter; provided, 32 however, the voting system shall not preserve the voter-verified paper 33 ballots in any manner that makes it possible, at any time after the 34 ballot has been cast, to associate a voter with the record of the 35 voter's vote without the voter's consent. 36 § 15. The election law is amended by adding a new section 3-508 to 37 read as follows: 38 § 3-508. Study and report on accessible paper ballot verification 39 mechanisms. 1. The state board of elections shall make grants to not 40 fewer than three eligible entities to study, test, and develop accessi- 41 ble paper ballot voting, verification, and casting mechanisms and 42 devices and best practices to enhance the accessibility of paper ballot 43 voting and verification mechanisms for individuals with disabilities, 44 for voters whose primary language is not English, and for voters with 45 difficulties in literacy, including best practices for the mechanisms 46 themselves and the processes through which the mechanisms are used. 47 2. An entity is eligible to receive a grant under this section if it 48 submits to the board (at such time and in such form as the board may 49 require) an application containing: 50 (a) certifications that the entity shall specifically investigate 51 enhanced methods or devices, including non-electronic devices, that will 52 assist such individuals and voters in marking voter-verified paper 53 ballots and presenting or transmitting the information printed or marked 54 on such ballots back to such individuals and voters, and casting such 55 ballots;A. 8626 15 1 (b) a certification that the entity shall complete the activities 2 carried out with the grant not later than December thirty-first, two 3 thousand eighteen; and 4 (c) such other information and certifications as the board may 5 require. 6 3. Any technology developed with the grants made under this section 7 shall be treated as non-proprietary and shall be made available to the 8 public, including to manufacturers of voting systems. 9 § 16. Subdivision 1 of section 7-104 of the election law, as amended 10 by chapter 165 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 11 1. (a) All ballots shall be printed and/or displayed in a format and 12 arrangement, of such uniform size and style as will fit the ballot 13 frame, and shall be in as plain and clear a type or display as the space 14 will reasonably permit. All voter-verified paper ballots required to be 15 used under this chapter shall be marked or printed on durable paper. 16 Such type or display on the ballot shall satisfy all requirements and 17 standards set forth pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act. For 18 purposes of this subdivision, paper is "durable" if it is capable of 19 withstanding multiple counts and recounts by hand without compromising 20 the fundamental integrity of the ballots, and capable of retaining the 21 information marked or printed on them for the full duration of a 22 retention and preservation period of twenty-two months. 23 (b) All voter-verified paper ballots completed by the voter through 24 the use of a ballot marking device shall be clearly readable by the 25 voter without assistance (other than eyeglasses or other personal vision 26 enhancing devices) and by an optical character recognition device or 27 other device equipped for individuals with disabilities. 28 § 17. Article 9 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 3 29 to read as follows: 30 TITLE III 31 MANDATORY MANUAL AUDITS 32 Section 9-300. Requiring audits of results of elections. 33 9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit. 34 9-304. Process for administering audits. 35 9-306. Selection of election districts. 36 9-308. Publication of results. 37 § 9-300. Requiring audits of results of elections. 1. In accordance 38 with this title, the state board of elections shall administer, without 39 advance notice to the local boards of elections selected, audits of the 40 results of all elections for state and local offices held for each 41 election consisting of random hand counts of the voter-verified paper 42 ballots required to be used and preserved pursuant to this chapter. 43 2. The state board of elections shall not be required to administer an 44 audit of the results of an election under this title if the winning 45 candidate in the election: 46 (a) had no opposition on the ballot; or 47 (b) received eighty percent or more of the total number of votes cast 48 in the election, as determined on the basis of the final unofficial vote 49 count. 50 3. The state board of elections shall administer audits under this 51 title through an election auditing entity selected for such purpose by 52 the state board of elections in accordance with such criteria as the 53 state board of elections considers appropriate consistent with the 54 requirements of this title, except that such entity must meet standards 55 to ensure its independence.A. 8626 16 1 § 9-302. Number of ballots counted under audit. 1. Except as provided 2 in subdivision two of this section, the number of voter-verified paper 3 ballots which will be subject to a hand count administered by the 4 election auditing entity under this title with respect to an election 5 shall be determined as follows: 6 (a) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision 7 one of section 9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory 8 between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the 9 election is less than one percent of the total votes cast in that 10 election, the hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots shall 11 occur in at least ten percent of all election districts (or alternative 12 audit units used in accordance with the method provided for under subdi- 13 vision two of this section) in the district involved or the state. 14 (b) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision 15 one of section 9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory 16 between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the 17 election is greater than or equal to one percent but less than two 18 percent of the total votes cast in that election, the hand counts of the 19 voter-verified paper ballots shall occur in at least five percent of all 20 election districts (or alternative audit units used in accordance with 21 the method provided for under subdivision two of this section) in the 22 district involved or the state. 23 (c) In the event that the unofficial count as described in subdivision 24 one of section 9-304 of this title reveals that the margin of victory 25 between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes in the 26 election is equal to or greater than two percent of the total votes cast 27 in that election, the hand counts of the voter-verified paper ballots 28 shall occur in at least three percent of all election districts (or 29 alternative audit units used in accordance with the method provided for 30 under subdivision two of this section) in the district involved or the 31 state. 32 2. Notwithstanding subdivision one of this section, the state board of 33 elections may adopt and apply an alternative mechanism to determine the 34 number of voter-verified paper ballots which will be subject to the hand 35 counts required under this title with respect to an election, so long as 36 the alternative mechanism uses the voter-verified paper ballots to 37 conduct the audit and the alternative mechanism is in accordance with 38 the principles set forth in this subdivision. In approving an alterna- 39 tive mechanism under this subdivision, the state board of elections 40 shall ensure that the audit procedure will have the property that for 41 each election: 42 (a) the alternative mechanism will be at least as statistically effec- 43 tive in ensuring the accuracy of the election results as the procedures 44 under this section; or 45 (b) the alternative mechanism will achieve at least a ninety-five 46 percent confidence interval (as determined in accordance with criteria 47 set forth by the National Institute of Standards and Technology) with 48 respect to the outcome of the election. 49 § 9-304. Process for administering audits. The election auditing enti- 50 ty shall administer an audit under this section of the results of an 51 election in accordance with the following procedures: 52 1. Within twenty-four hours after the final unofficial vote count is 53 released, the election auditing entity shall: 54 (a) determine and then announce the election districts (or alternative 55 audit units used in accordance with the method provided under subdivi-A. 8626 17 1 sion two of section 9-302 of this title) in the state in which it will 2 administer the audits; and 3 (b) with respect to votes cast at the election district on or before 4 the date of the election (other than affidavit ballots described in 5 subdivision two of this section), begin to administer the hand count of 6 the votes on the voter-verified paper ballots required to be used and 7 preserved under this chapter and the comparison of the count of the 8 votes on those ballots with the final unofficial count of such votes as 9 announced by the board of elections. 10 2. With respect to votes cast other than at the election district on 11 the date of the election (other than votes cast before the date of the 12 election) or votes cast by affidavit ballot on the date of the election 13 which are certified and counted by the board of elections on or after 14 the date of the election, including votes cast by absent uniformed 15 services voters and overseas voters under the Uniformed and Overseas 16 Citizens Absentee Voting Act, the election auditing entity shall admin- 17 ister the hand count of the votes on the applicable voter-verified paper 18 ballots required to be produced and preserved under this chapter and the 19 comparison of the count of the votes on those ballots with the final 20 unofficial count of such votes as announced by the board of elections. 21 3. In administering the audits, the election auditing entity may 22 utilize the services of the personnel of the state or local boards of 23 elections, including election administration personnel and poll workers, 24 without regard to whether or not the personnel have professional audit- 25 ing experience. 26 4. The election auditing entity shall administer an audit of an 27 election: 28 (a) at the location where the ballots cast in the election are stored 29 and counted after the date of the election or such other appropriate and 30 secure location agreed upon by the election auditing entity and the 31 state board of elections; and 32 (b) in the presence of the personnel of the state board of elections. 33 5. (a) If the election auditing entity finds that any of the hand 34 counts administered under this section do not match the final unofficial 35 tally of the results of an election, the election auditing entity shall 36 administer hand counts of such additional election districts (or alter- 37 native audit units) as the election auditing entity considers appropri- 38 ate to resolve any concerns resulting from the audit and ensure the 39 accuracy of the election results. 40 (b) Not later than August first, two thousand nineteen, the state 41 board of elections shall establish and publish procedures for carrying 42 out the additional audits under this subdivision, including the means by 43 which the state board of elections shall resolve any concerns resulting 44 from the audit with finality and ensure the accuracy of the election 45 results. 46 6. Each audit conducted under this section shall be conducted in a 47 manner that allows public observation of the entire process. 48 § 9-306. Selection of election districts. 1. The selection of the 49 election districts or alternative audit units in the state in which the 50 election auditing entity shall administer the hand counts under this 51 title shall be made by the election auditing entity on a random basis 52 except that at least one election district shall be selected at random 53 in each county, with additional election districts selected by the 54 election auditing entity at the election auditing entity's discretion.A. 8626 18 1 2. The random selection of election districts under subdivision one of 2 this section shall be conducted in public, at a time and place announced 3 in advance. 4 § 9-308. Publication of results. 1. As soon as practicable after the 5 completion of an audit under this title, the election auditing entity 6 shall submit to the state board of elections the results of the audit, 7 and shall include in the submission a comparison of the results of the 8 election in the election district as determined by the election auditing 9 entity under the audit and the final unofficial vote count in the 10 election district as announced by the board of elections and all under- 11 votes, overvotes, blank ballots, and spoiled, voided, or cancelled 12 ballots, as well as a list of any discrepancies discovered between the 13 initial, subsequent, and final hand counts administered by the election 14 auditing entity and such final unofficial vote count and any explanation 15 for such discrepancies, broken down by the categories of votes described 16 in subdivisions one and two of section 9-304 of this title. 17 2. Immediately after receiving the submission of the results of an 18 audit from the election auditing entity under subdivision one of this 19 section, the state board of elections shall publicly announce and 20 publish the information contained in the submission. 21 3. The results of any election which is subject to an audit under this 22 title shall not be certified prior to: 23 (a) to the completion of the audit (and, if required, any additional 24 audit conducted under subdivision five of section 9-304 of this title) 25 and the announcement and submission of the results of each such audit to 26 the state board of elections for publication of the information required 27 under this section; and 28 (b) the completion of any procedure established by the state board of 29 elections pursuant to subdivision five of section 9-304 of this title to 30 resolve discrepancies and ensure the accuracy of results. 31 § 18. Subdivision 3-a of section 3-100 of the election law is renum- 32 bered subdivision 3-b and a new subdivision 3-a is added to read as 33 follows: 34 3-a. (a) It shall be unlawful for a member of the state board of 35 elections to take an active part in political management or in a poli- 36 tical campaign with respect to any election held pursuant to the 37 provisions of this chapter or for federal office over which such offi- 38 cial has supervisory authority. Provided, however, that this section 39 shall not apply to such officials with respect to an election in which 40 the official or an immediate family member of the official is a candi- 41 date. 42 (b) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have 43 the following meanings: 44 (i) "Active part" shall mean service as a member of an authorized 45 committee of a candidate for office; the use of official authority or 46 influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of 47 an election; and the solicitation, acceptance, or receipt of a contrib- 48 ution from any person on behalf of a candidate for office. 49 (ii) "Immediate family member" shall mean a candidate's father, moth- 50 er, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, father-in-law or 51 mother-in-law. 52 § 19. Subdivision 11 of section 5-614 of the election law, as added by 53 chapter 24 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as follows: 54 11. a. The state board of elections shall establish a statewide voter 55 hotline [ using information available through the statewide voter regis-56 tration list] for [ voters to obtain information regarding their voterA. 8626 19 1 registration] responding to questions and complaints from individuals 2 voting or seeking to vote, or registering to vote or seeking to register 3 to vote, in elections held pursuant to this chapter or in federal 4 elections. Such hotline shall provide same-day, and immediate assistance 5 to such individuals, including information on how to register to vote, 6 the location and hours of operation of polling places, and how to obtain 7 absentee ballots, and assistance to such individuals encountering prob- 8 lems with registering to vote or voting, including individuals encount- 9 ering intimidation or deceptive practices. 10 b. Such voter hotline shall operate in a manner that ensures that 11 individuals with disabilities and individuals with limited proficiency 12 in the English language are fully able to use the service. 13 c. The state board of elections shall furnish to the temporary presi- 14 dent of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, and the governor, a 15 bi-annual report detailing the number and type of calls received by the 16 service, a compilation and description of the reports made to the 17 service by individuals citing instances of voter intimidation or 18 suppression, an assessment of the effectiveness of the service in making 19 information available to all households with telephone service, and any 20 recommendations to improve the service. 21 § 20. Article 8 of the election law is amended by adding a new title 6 22 to read as follows: 23 TITLE VI 24 EARLY VOTING AND VOTING BY MAIL 25 Section 8-600. Early voting; general. 26 8-601. Early voting; length of period. 27 8-602. Polling place requirements. 28 8-603. Early voting; state board of elections. 29 8-604. Voting by mail. 30 § 8-600. Early voting; general. A voter shall be permitted to vote in 31 any election held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter during an 32 early voting period which occurs prior to the date of the election, in 33 the same manner as voting is allowed on such date. 34 § 8-601. Early voting; length of period. 1. The early voting period 35 required under section 8-600 of this title, shall consist of a period of 36 consecutive days, including weekends, which begins on the fifteenth day 37 before the date of the election and ends on the date of the election. 38 2. Such early voting period may commence prior to the fifteenth day 39 before the date of the election. 40 § 8-602. Polling place requirements. 1. Each polling place which 41 allows voting during an early voting period under section 8-600 of this 42 title shall: 43 a. allow such voting for no less than four hours on each day, except 44 such polling place may allow such voting for fewer than four hours on 45 Sundays; and 46 b. have uniform hours each day for which such voting occurs. 47 2. To the greatest extent practicable, each polling place which allows 48 voting during an early voting period under section 8-600 of this title, 49 shall be located within walking distance of a stop on a public transpor- 50 tation route. 51 § 8-603. Early voting; state board of elections. 1. The state board of 52 elections shall issue standards for the administration of early voting 53 for a state or local election. Such standards shall include the nondis- 54 criminatory geographic placement of polling places at which such voting 55 occurs.A. 8626 20 1 2. The standards described in subdivision one of this section shall 2 permit the boards of elections, upon providing adequate public notice, 3 to deviate from any requirement in the case of unforeseen circumstances 4 such as a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or a change in voter turn- 5 out. 6 § 8-604. Voting by mail. A voter qualified to cast a vote in a state 7 or local election shall not be restricted by additional conditions or 8 requirements on the eligibility of such voter to vote in such election 9 by mail, except to the extent the board of elections imposes a deadline 10 for requesting the ballot and related voting materials from the appro- 11 priate election official and for returning the ballot to the appropriate 12 official. 13 § 21. Section 8-400 of the election law is amended by adding a new 14 subdivision 6-a to read as follows: 15 6-a. An absentee ballot may not be accepted or processed unless the 16 individual's identity is verified by comparing the individual's signa- 17 ture on the absentee ballot with the individual's signature on the offi- 18 cial list of registered voters, in accordance with such procedures 19 adopted by the state board of elections. 20 § 22. Section 5-104 of the election law is amended by adding a new 21 subdivision 1-a to read as follows: 22 1-a. For the purpose of registering and voting, no spouse, domestic 23 partner, or dependent of a person who is absent from the state in 24 compliance with military or naval orders shall, solely by reason of that 25 person's absence and without regard to whether or not such family member 26 is accompanying that person be deemed to have: 27 a. lost a residence or domicile in this state, without regard to 28 whether or not the person intends to return; 29 b. acquired a residence or domicile in any other state; or 30 c. become a resident in or a resident of any other state. 31 § 23. Section 10-124 of the election law is amended by adding three 32 new subdivisions 3, 4 and 5 to read as follows: 33 3. Not later than forty-five days before any regularly scheduled 34 general election the state board of elections shall submit a report to 35 the governor and attorney general and make that report publicly avail- 36 able that same day, certifying that absentee ballots for the election 37 are or will be available for transmission to absent uniformed services 38 voters and overseas voters by no later than the amount of days prior to 39 the election as outlined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 40 10-108 of this article. The report shall be in a form prescribed joint- 41 ly by the governor and attorney general and shall require certified 42 specific information about ballot availability from each unit of local 43 government which will administer the election. 44 4. Not later than twelve days before any regularly scheduled general 45 election the state board of elections shall submit a report to the 46 governor and attorney general and make that report publicly available 47 that same day, certifying whether all absentee ballots have been trans- 48 mitted by no later than the amount of days prior to the election as 49 outlined in paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section 10-108 of this 50 article to all qualified absent uniformed services and overseas voters 51 whose requests were received prior to such dates before the election. 52 The report shall be in a form prescribed jointly by the governor and 53 attorney general and shall require certified specific information about 54 ballot availability from each unit of local government which will admin- 55 ister the election.A. 8626 21 1 5. Not later than ninety days after the date of each regularly sched- 2 uled general election the state and county boards of elections which 3 administered such election shall submit a report to the governor and 4 attorney general on the combined number of absentee ballots transmitted 5 to absent uniformed services voters and overseas voters for the election 6 and the combined number of such ballots which were returned by such 7 voters and cast in the election, and shall make such report available to 8 the general public that same day. 9 § 24. Section 10-108 of the election law is amended by adding a new 10 subdivision 2-a to read as follows: 11 2-a. (a) In the event that the board of elections in any county fails 12 to meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of subdivision one of this 13 section the board of elections in such county shall transmit the ballot 14 to the voter by express delivery or in the case of a voter who has 15 designated that absentee ballots be transmitted electronically, the 16 board of elections of such county shall transmit the ballot to the voter 17 electronically. 18 (b) If, in carrying out the provisions of paragraph (a) of this subdi- 19 vision, a county board of elections transmits an absentee ballot to an 20 absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter fewer than seven days 21 before the election, the county board of elections shall enable the 22 ballot to be returned by the voter by express delivery. 23 § 25. Section 10-106 of the election law is amended by adding a new 24 subdivision 9 to read as follows: 25 9. (a) If an application submitted by an absent uniformed services 26 voter or overseas voter has been accepted and such voter requests that 27 the application be considered an application for an absentee ballot for 28 each subsequent election, an absentee ballot shall be provided to such 29 voter for each subsequent election. 30 (b) Paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall not apply with respect to 31 a voter registered to vote in any election held after the voter notifies 32 the board of elections that the voter no longer wishes to be registered 33 to vote in this state or such county or after the board of elections 34 determines that the voter has registered to vote in another state or 35 county or is otherwise no longer eligible to vote. 36 (c) A valid voter registration application or absentee ballot applica- 37 tion submitted by an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter 38 shall not be refused on the grounds that the voter submitted the appli- 39 cation before the first date on which such applications are accepted or 40 processed by absentee voters who are not members of the uniformed 41 services or overseas citizens. 42 § 26. Section 3-404 of the election law is amended by adding a new 43 subdivision 8 to read as follows: 44 8. (a) An employee in or under a state agency is entitled to leave, 45 without loss of or reduction in pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, 46 credit for time or service, or performance or efficiency rating, not to 47 exceed six days in a leave year, in order to provide election adminis- 48 tration assistance at a polling place on the date of any election for 49 public office or to receive any training without which such employee 50 would be ineligible to provide such assistance. 51 (b) The department of civil service may prescribe regulations for the 52 administration of this subdivision, including regulations setting forth 53 the terms and conditions of the election administration assistance an 54 employee may provide for purposes of paragraph (a) of this subdivision. 55 § 27. Title 4 of article 3 of the election law is amended by adding a 56 new section 3-422 to read as follows:A. 8626 22 1 § 3-422. Model poll worker training program. 1. The state board of 2 elections shall develop and provide to each county materials for a model 3 poll worker training program which the counties may use to train indi- 4 viduals to serve as poll workers in state and county elections. 5 2. The materials for the model poll worker training program developed 6 under this section shall include materials to provide training with 7 respect to the following: 8 (a) the relevant provisions of the laws which apply to the adminis- 9 tration of elections, including but not limited to the Voting Rights Act 10 of 1965 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002; 11 (b) the provision of access to voting to individuals with disabilities 12 in a manner which preserves the dignity and privacy of such individuals; 13 (c) the provision of access to voting to individuals with limited 14 English language proficiency, and to individuals who are members of 15 racial or ethnic minorities, consistent with the protections provided 16 for such individuals under relevant law, in a manner which preserves the 17 dignity of such individuals; 18 (d) practical experience in the use of voting machines which will be 19 used in the election involved, including the accessibility features of 20 such machines; and 21 (e) such other election administration subjects as the state board of 22 elections considers appropriate to ensure that poll workers are able to 23 efficiently assist with the administration of elections. 24 § 28. Section 3-212 of the election law is amended by adding a new 25 subdivision 6 to read as follows: 26 6. Before the state board of elections or any local board of elections 27 makes any changes in administration, regulations, policies, practices 28 and procedures affecting counties with at least ten percent African 29 American, Hispanic, Asian and/or Native American registered voters who 30 average fifty percent or less voter turnout over the past five general 31 elections and/or have any minority voter complaints or government 32 enforcement actions within the past ten years, must submit such changes 33 to the civil rights bureau of the attorney general's office for 34 approval. This shall not apply to any changes made pursuant to law. 35 § 29. The sum of five million dollars ($5,000,000) is hereby appropri- 36 ated to the state board of elections out of any moneys in the state 37 treasury in the general fund to the credit of the state purposes 38 account, not otherwise appropriated, and made immediately available, for 39 the purpose of carrying out the provisions of section 3-508 of the 40 election law. Such moneys shall be payable on the audit and warrant of 41 the comptroller on vouchers certified or approved by a majority of the 42 commissioners of the state board of elections in the manner prescribed 43 by law. 44 § 30. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all 45 elections conducted in 2018 and thereafter. Provided, however, that 46 section twenty-seven of this act shall take effect one year after this 47 act takes effect.