Election legislation roundup: New York State Senate

As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked 117 election-related bills in the New York State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the 117, Ballotpedia tracked six from Feb. 27 to March 5. Republicans sponsored four, while Democrats sponsored two. The six bills are:

SO5192: Requires the county seat in Herkimer county to have at least one polling place designated for early voting, Sen. Mark Walczyk (R).

  • This bill adds Herkimer county to existing election law requiring at least one polling place designated for early voting, on a public transportation route, if possible.

SO5177: Relates to the notification of county boards of elections of an individual’s death and the subsequent removal of such voter’s name from the applicable registration roll, Sens. Patrick Gallivan (R), Andrew Lanza (R), L. Dean Murray (R), and Anthony Palumbo (R).

  • Changes the deadline for delivery of records of all voting age individuals for whom death certificates have been issued from a monthly delivery, to immediate delivery, but no later than seven business days.
  • Requires the state board of elections to provide relevant information to any affected county board of elections immediately but no later than seven business days.
  • Directs that when notification of a voter’s death is received, a voter’s registration be cancelled and immediately removed from the registration roll.

SO5193: Establishes a nonpartisan poll monitoring program, Sen. James Skoufis (D).

  • Establishes that up to two nonpartisan poll monitors per polling place may be appointed by a civic organization or ballot issue committee.
  • Defines which groups constitute a “civic organization” and defines “ballot issue committee.”
  • Stipulates that the board of elections may deny an appointment if the group fails to furnish satisfactory evidence that the group is devoted to the enumerated purposes or if the group has not maintained an office and public phone number in the state for at least one year.

SO5244: Implements driving privilege licenses for applicants with alternative forms of identification; requires a social security number to register to vote on an application for a motor vehicle driver’s license, Sen. Alexis Weik (R).

  • This bill prohibits the use of driving privilege licenses and learners permits from being used as official form of state issued identification. This bill also requires voter registration applicants to provide a social security number on their application submitted through a driver’s license application.

SO5268: Relates to the authority of the state board of elections to issue subpoenas; directs the board of elections to issue rules and regulations, Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D).

  • This bill specifies that quorum requirements for board votes regarding received complaints are met if two board members and the chief enforcement counsel are present at the vote. This bill also clarifies that the chief enforcement counsel may administer oaths or affirmations, and subpoena witnesses.

SO5114: Requires the county seat in Delaware county (Delhi) to have at least one polling place designated for early voting, Sen. Peter Oberacker (R).

  • This bill requires that Delaware county have at least one polling place designated for early voting, situated along public transportation routes, if possible.

During the week of Feb. 27-March 5, Ballotpedia tracked 37 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked 632 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 117, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in Louisiana, Massachusetts, and West Virginia with zero. Republicans sponsored 289 of these bills, while Democrats sponsored 261. Third party sponsorship and bills with no sponsors accounted for 59 bills, while bipartisan legislators sponsored 23.

As of March 5, Ballotpedia has tracked 342 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 222 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 68 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. 

Additional reading: 

  1. New York State Senate
  2. New York
  3. State Politics