Election legislation roundup: New York State Senate

As of April 9, Ballotpedia has tracked 136 election-related bills in the New York State Senate since the beginning of the year. Of the 136, Ballotpedia tracked eight from April 3-9. Democrats sponsored six, while Republicans sponsored two. Five of eight bills are below:   

  • NY S06199: Relates to obtaining written acceptance from candidates for certain county committees; requires written acceptance, duly acknowledged, from such candidates to be so designated to be filed within ten days of designating petitions for certain county committee candidates, Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill requires written acceptance of a designating petition from a candidate for the party position of a county committee in a city with a million or more people to be delivered to the board of elections within 10 days of the filing of the petition. 
  • NY S06195: Relates to ballots submitted in envelopes that are sealed with tape, paste or any other binding agent or device and have no indication of tampering, Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D). 
    • As introduced, this bill clarifies a mail-in ballot envelope is not invalid and does not require curing if the envelope is sealed using tape, paste, or any other binding materials, and there is no indication of tampering.
  • NY S06173: Permits the state board of elections to join certain multistate voter list maintenance organizations and provide such organizations with certain voter information, Sen. James Skoufis (D).
    • As introduced, this bill:
      • Authorizes the state board of elections to join a multi-state voter list maintenance organization, including the Electronic Registration Information Center, and authorized the agency to spend funds for the purpose.
      • Requires the state board of elections to designate a member as a representative to the organization.
      • Authorizes the board to share registration records and Department of Motor Vehicles information, and lists what information may be shared.
  • NY S06139: Requires a government photo identification card to be presented when casting a ballot; provides for a method to receive a government photo identification card at no charge; provides that notaries are not permitted to collect a fee for collecting the documents required, Sens. L. Dean Murray (R) and Steven Rhoads (R).
    • As introduced, this bill:
      • Strikes certain forms of identification for voting, including utility bill, bank statement, and paycheck.
      • Lists acceptable forms of government issued ID, including a state drivers license, non-driver ID, US passport, ID card issued by an educational institution, US military ID, government issued medical card, or any ID card issued by the US government or the state of New York.
      • Requires photo ID to be shown each time someone votes, rather than just at specified times, and strikes the specified times.
      • Strikes provisions for an affidavit ballot when someone does not have ID, and instead requires the potential voter to obtain a non-driver ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles, or if he or she does not have appropriate documentation, to obtain a no cost affidavit from certain local or state agencies, such as the city clerk or Department of Health.
      • Outlines procedures and deadlines for when the Department of Motor Vehicles receives a signed affidavit of a potential voter.
      • Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.
  • NY S06235: Relates to instant run-off elections in the city of New York for any city-wide elections for the office of mayor, public advocate or comptroller, Sen. Andrew Lanza (R).
    • As introduced, this bill:
      • Provides that in New York City, city-wide primary elections for mayor, public advocate, or comptroller with more than two candidates will be conducted via the instant runoff method of voting.
      • Requires the ballot to allow a voter to rank candidates in a clear way, including the opportunity to rank one write-in candidate, and specifies other ballot requirements.
      • Specifies instructions for the instant runoff ballot and their location.
      • Provides that the board of elections, with approval from the state board of elections, may provide for the use of mechanical, electronic, or other devices for sorting, counting, and tabulating the ballots, with specified requirements and instructions.
      • Requires instructions used in general elections also to be printed on the ballot in a specified location.

During the week of April 3-9, Ballotpedia tracked 41 Senate election-related bills nationally. As of April 9, Ballotpedia has tracked 921 Senate bills nationally. Ballotpedia tracked the most Senate bills this year in the New York State Senate with 136, while Ballotpedia tracked the fewest Senate bills in the Massachusetts State Senate with zero.

As of April 9, Ballotpedia has tracked 417 Senate bills in Democratic trifectas and 388 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 116 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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