NYDLC 2022 PRO-VOTER LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) strongly supports the enactment of legislation to further modernize our voter registration system and improve voter access. The Brennan Center for Justice recently categorized New York as a state with restrictive voting laws. New York can do better!
Legislation to Ensure that Voters have Reasonable Opportunities to Exercise their Fundamental Right to Vote
Count All Eligible Votes (Wrong Church) S284B (Myrie) /A642B (Carroll) - Passed Senate
If a voter appears in the correct county, but at the wrong poll site, an affidavit ballot would be counted for all races for which the voter is eligible to vote.
Mobile Early Voting S557 (May) / A4568 (Galef) - Passed Senate
Authorizes counties to establish, in addition to required early voting sites, mobile early voting locations that are operational for at least three consecutive days.
Require County Boards of Election to Designate College Campuses as Polling Sites (A454A (Rozic) / S4658A (Parker) - Passed Senate
Requires any college campus with more than 300 registered voters to be designated a polling place. In 2022, the Assembly should also pass this bill and ensure that voting is always available to students on-campus.
Reduce Voter Registration Deadline to Constitutional Minimum S2951 (Kavanagh) / A8858 (Carroll) - Passed Senate
Allow eligible voters to register to vote up until 10 days before an election, which is the maximum amount of time allowed by the state’s constitution. The current deadline is 25 days prior to the election.
Permit Registration at Second and Vacation Homes S6214 (Myrie) / A6482 (Barrett)
Constitutional Amendments (neither reintroduced after propositions failed): We want to introduce both amendments again this year to try to get amendments on the ballot in 2024
Same Day Registration S517 (Gianaris) / A502 (Carroll)
No Excuse Absentee Ballot A4431 (Vanel) /S360 (Comrie)
Require Notice to Voter when Removed from Voter Rolls: Voters should be given reasonable notice when they are removed from voter rolls due to inactivity or otherwise.
Legislation to Improve Absentee Voting
In addition to the constitutional amendment for no excuse absentee ballot (referenced above), the legislature should enact the following common sense reforms so that absentee ballots are not rejected for technical reasons and to make it easier for voters to return them:
Count Absentee Ballots When the Voter’s Intent is Clear S253 (Myrie) / A1144A (Paulin) – Passed Senate
Allow Voters to Cure Envelope Sealing Defects S327 (Myrie) / A1084 (Paulin)
Allow Counting of Absentee Ballots without Postmarks Marked Received and Requires Envelopes with Tracking Barcodes S466 (Myrie) / A1084 (Paulin)
Authorize Boards of Elections to Establish Absentee Ballot Drop-off Locations
S492 (Hoylman) / A4128A (Gottfried) - Passed Senate
Require BOEs to Process Absentee Ballot Applications and Send Ballots to Voters on a Specific Timeline S516 (Gianaris) / A9376 (Walker)
Legislation to Prevent Voter Suppression and Ensure Due Process
John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of NY A6678A (Walker) / S1046A (Myrie)
Require, among other things, that changes to voting regulations in counties with large minority populations be approved by the Attorney General of New York.
Universal Attorney Poll Watchers A9222 Weprin / S5309 (Parker) Permit attorneys licensed and residing in New York, who are already subject to statewide ethics oversight, to act as poll watchers in any New York locality in order to monitor for misconduct.
Deceptive Practices and Voter Suppression Act (A7972-2019 (Lavine) / S1032-2022 (Stewart-Cousins): Defines and penalizes deceptive election practices as well as voter suppressing and intimidating conduct that undermines our democracy.
Restore Voting Rights for Convicted Felons S3072 (Salazar) / A6646 (Epstein) Authorize convicted felons who are incarcerated in state or local facilities to vote in elections based on the inmates’ residence prior to incarceration.
Require Voter Challenges to be in Writing S269 (Myrie) / A5566 (Solages) Require all challenges to voters be made in writing and logged in poll books.
Legislation to Improve Election Security and Ensure Public Confidence in Election Results
Ban Risky Voting Machines and Guarantee Reliable Paper Ballots for Audits S309A (Myrie) / A1115C (Paulin) - Passed Senate Ban: a) hybrid voting machines that experts say can add fake votes to your ballot; b) votes encoded with bar codes that voters cannot verify; and c) direct recording electronic voting machines that do not accept paper ballots. Require paper ballots for all voters. Guarantee that voters have the option, in every polling place, to mark a ballot by hand or with a ballot marking device. Give boards of election the flexibility to use more than two types of voting machines per election. This bill would modernize statutory voting machine standards in NY that have not been changed since 2008, the year after the first iPhone was introduced. NYDLC Memo.
Give the State Board of Elections Discretion over Voting Machine Certification S6211 (Reichlin-Melnick / A829 (Paulin) Give the State Board of Elections discretion to reject a machine that meets the statutory eligibility requirements, but otherwise appears insecure. Currently, the Board must certify any machine that meets the statutory requirements.
Making Ballot Images Available S286A (Myrie) / A6589A (Galef) Require that Boards of Election make copies of all ballots cast in an election available to the public upon request.
Require Basic Security Measures for E-Poll Books: Require certain minimum security requirements for e-poll books used during early voting and on election day in each polling site across the state in order to reduce the occurrence of hacking and to provide a backup of the records stored on the e-poll books in the event that the devices fail.
Risk-Limiting Audits to Ensure Accuracy Require a statistically-based risk-limiting audit or hand count of voter-verifiable records after an election to avoid certification of an incorrect outcome.
Mandate Training for BOE Commissioners, Employees, Employees, Poll Workers, and Those Who Train Poll Workers A4323(Walker) / S5800B (Comrie)
Bar Elected Officials and Party Chairs from Serving as Election Commissioners A4254 (Abinanti) / S7442 (Myrie)
View NYDLC's 2022 Memos of Support for Priority Legislation.