2019 NYS Pro-Voter Bills Memos

Click below to access one-pagers in support of each bill in
NYDLC's Comprehensive New York State Pro-Voter Legislative Agenda
(or view in printable pdf)

 

Comprehensive NYS Pro-Voter Legislative Agenda

The New York Democratic Lawyers Council (NYDLC) strongly supports the enactment of legislation to modernize our voter registration system and improve voter access. Currently, nearly 2 million eligible New Yorkers are not even registered, and New York consistently ranks near the bottom in turnout (41st in 2016). We applaud the legislature for passing a comprehensive pro-voter bill package at the beginning of 2019, but additional reform is still needed.

                                               

Legislation to Reduce Barriers to Participation: Modernize and Streamline Voter Registration 

NYS Automatic Voter Registration A7348 (Carroll) / S1278 (Gianaris) / A2209 (Hunter) / NSA:  Streamlines and modernizes voter registration by automatically registering or updating the registration of all eligible NYers who interact with government agencies and public institutions. 

PASSED (Round 1)! Same-Day Registration and Voting A777 (Carroll) / S1048 (Gianaris) Constitutional amendment to provide busy NYers with a one-stop registration and voting option, thereby improving access to participation and safeguarding civil rights. 

Technical Fix for Early Voting - Ballot Printers S5129 (Myrie) / A7123 (Jacobson) Allows Boards of Elections to authorize the printing of ballots without perforations, which will enable them to make each early voting site available to all New Yorkers, regardless of election district.

 

Improve Access to the Ballot: Reasonable Opportunities to Exercise Fundamental Rights

Voter Friendly Ballot Act A2682 (Lavine) / S2300 (Kavanagh) This bill will make the ballot clearer, more readable, and easier to use by modernizing and updating the NY Election Law, including bringing it in line with the adoption of optical scanners in 2010. 

Ballot-Saving When Voters Appear at the Wrong District S3195 (Myrie) / No Same As Requires the board of elections to count the affidavit ballot of a voter if that voter appeared at a polling place in the correct county, but in the wrong election district. 

PASSED (Round 1)! No-Excuse Absentee Voting A778 (Vanel) / S1049 (Comrie) Expands convenient absentee voting to all NYers so they can vote by mail or in-person ahead of Election Day. Today, only voters who meet limited criteria are eligible. 

 

Prevent Voter Suppression and Ensure Due Process

Deceptive Practices and Voter Suppression Act S2952-2018 (Stewart-Cousins). Defines and penalizes deceptive election practices as well as voter suppressing and intimidating conduct that undermines our democracy. (Inspired by real events).  

Pre-Clearance by Attorney General of Voting Changes NSA / S4032 (Myrie) Requires that changes to voting regulations in counties with large minority populations be approved by the NYS Attorney General.  (Inspired by oversight protections of the Federal Voting Rights Act.) 

Universal Attorney Poll Watchers A4044 (Weprin) / S4552 (Parker) Permits NYS licensed resident attorneys, who are already subject to statewide ethics oversight, to act as watchers in any New York locality in order to monitor the polls for misconduct. 

Voting Rights Restoration and Registration for Citizens on Parole A4987 (O'Donnell) / S1931 (Comrie) Automatically restores the fundamental right to vote to individuals released on parole and adds a proactive voter registration component to the re-entry process. 

Hand Recount of Votes in Close Elections A1668 (Abinanti) / NSA Allows for an automatic hand recount of the votes cast in very close elections, or a recount upon request in certain situations. 

Prohibiting Party Names that Include “Independent” or “Independence” A2600 (Dinowitz)/ S1628 (Skoufis) Prohibits the use of the words “independent” and “independence” in the name of any entity organized as a state party under the election law. (Avoids confusion for voters or registrants.)

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.



Enacted! Bills supported by NYDLC that have become law.

ENACTED - 2019! Online Voter Registration S3194 (Myrie) Modernizes our paper-based registration system by allowing New Yorkers to apply online including an electronic signature, which the NYS AG has said is valid under NY law.

ENACTED - 2019! Electronic Poll Books A2070A (Cusick) / S508A (Myrie) Modernizes and improves elections by allowing poll workers to check-in voters at their poll site using a tablet or electronic device that meet security standards approved by the State Board, saving time, resources, and improving accuracy. 

ENACTED - 2019! Youth Preregistration A774 (Lavine) / S1100 (Carlucci) Permits preregistration of 16- and 17-year-olds. At age 18, residency is verified before new voters are added to the rolls, reducing hurdles to participation. 

ENACTED - 2019! Registration Portability when Voters Move A775 (Dinowitz) / S1099 (Carlucci) Keeps voters on the rolls when they move within NYS by automatically transferring registration to the voter’s new county or city Board of Elections.

ENACTED - 2019! Early Voting A780 (Lavine) / S1102 (Myrie) Provides busy NYers with an opportunity to vote early during 9 days (includes the 2 weekends) before any election. Counties must provide at least one early voting site per fifty thousand voters. Early voting must at least be available to each voter: For 8 hours between 7AM-8PM on weekdays (with one site open until 8 PM on at least 2 days); For 5 hours between 9AM-6PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. 2019-20 Early Voting Budget Memo

ENACTED - 2019! Consolidated State and Federal Primaries A779 (Lavine) / S1103 (Stewart-Cousins) Consolidates multiple state and federal primaries to improve turnout, comply with the Federal MOVE Act, and save millions of taxpayer dollars.

 


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