Election legislation roundup: New York State Senate

As of Feb. 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 107 election-related bills in the New York State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the 107, Ballotpedia tracked five from Feb. 13-19. Democrats sponsored three, while Republicans sponsored two. The five bills are:   

  • NY S04673: Requires voters voting by affidavit ballot to produce an identification document to verify residency in the election district; requires absentee ballots to be received by election day, or be post-marked by the first day of early voting, Sen. George Borrello (R).
  • As introduced, this bill requires voters voting by affidavit to have a valid identification. This bill also requires absentee ballots be received by election day or postmarked by the first day of early voting to be canvassed. 
  • NY S04604: Exempts public school buildings from being designated as early polling locations, Sen. Andrew Lanza (R).
  • As introduced, this bill prohibits the designation of public school buildings as early voting locations.
  • NY S04496: Requires the boards of trustees of SUNY and CUNY to adopt policies requiring institutions thereof to grant course credit to students who serve as election inspectors, poll clerks, or election coordinators, Andrew Gounardes (D).
  • As introduced, this bill requires state university trustees to adopt a policy requiring state universities to grant course credit to each student who serves as an election inspector, poll clerk, or election coordinator, and requires institutions to coordinate with the appropriate board of elections to verify work.
  • NY S04468: Allows voters age sixty-five or older to request an absentee ballot, Rachel May (D).
  • As introduced, this bill allows voters who are 65 or older to vote by absentee ballot.
  • NY S04469: Provides that if a school building is designated as a polling place, the board or body which controls such building shall provide a space that is not easily accessible to areas of the building where instructional activities are taking place, and if such a space cannot be provided that meets such criteria, the board or agency which controls such building shall cancel in-person instructional activities during the operating hours of such poll site, Monica Martinez (D).
  • As introduced, this bill requires a public school building being used for elections have a space that is not easily accessible to areas where instruction is taking place, and if this is not possible, in-person instruction must be canceled during the operation of the polling site.

During the week of Feb. 13-19, Ballotpedia tracked 37 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of Feb. 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 551 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 107, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in Delaware, Louisiana, and Massachusetts with zero. Republicans sponsored 246 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 242. Third party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 47 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 16. 

As of Feb. 19, Ballotpedia has tracked 301 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 189 Senate bills in Republican trifectas. A trifecta is when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. Ballotpedia has tracked 61 Senate bills in states where neither party holds trifecta control.

The New York Senate is scheduled to be in session from Jan. 4 to June 8 this year. In 2022, Ballotpedia tracked 190 Senate bills related to election administration. Ten of these bills passed both chambers and eight were enacted into law. New York is a Democratic trifecta. 

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