Election legislation roundup: New York State Legislature

As of Sept. 17, members of the New York State Legislature, which includes the New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate, have passed nine bills related to election administration since the beginning of the year. Of the nine bills passed this year, six have been enacted, with one being enacted during the week of Sept. 11-17. This is seven fewer than this point a year ago. Democrats sponsored five bills, while a bipartisan group of legislators sponsored one. Five of the six bills are: 

  • NY S00945: Amends election law to accurately reflect proper cross reference relating to the operational failure of a voting machine, Sen. Michael Gianaris (D).
    • As introduced, this bill makes technical changes to statute numbers to update references to voting machines.
  • NY S00818: Adjusts the effective date of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York to July 1, 2023, Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D).
    • Changes the deadline for enactment of the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act to July 1, 2023.
  • NY A05057: Relates to the dates to file a designating petition; provides for the repeal of such provisions, Assembly Members Stacey Pheffer Amato (D), Alex Bores (D), Edward Braunstein (D), Kenneth Burgos (D), Monique Chandler-Waterman (D), Jeffrey Dinowitz (D), Simcha Eichenstein (D), Edward Gibbs (D), Deborah Glick (D), Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (D), Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn (D), Andrew Hevesi (D), Jonathan Jacobson (D), Anna Kelles (D), Charles Lavine (D), Grace Lee (D), Dana Levenberg (D), Steven Otis (D), Amy Paulin (D), Steven Raga (D), David Rosenthal (D), Nily Rozic (D), Manny De Los Santos (D), Rebecca Seawright (D), Amanda Septimo (D), Gina Sillitti (D), Jo Anne Simon (D), Tony Simone (D), Steve Stern (D), Latrice Walker (D), David Weprin (D), John Zaccaro (D), Karl Brabenec (R), Michael Novakhov (R), and Edward Ra (R).
    • As amended, this bill requires a designating petition be filed no earlier than the 13th Monday before and no later than the 12th Monday before the primary election. A signature made earlier than 41 days before the last day to file designating petitions for the primary election or a signature made later than the 12th Thursday before the primary election will not be counted.
  • NY S01327: Relates to certain deadlines for voter registration; changes the amount of time required with respect to certain deadlines for voter registration procedures, Sen. Brian Kavanagh (D).
    • Changes the deadline for a registered voter changing their address from 20 days before an election to 15 days before an election.
    • Clarifies that a board of elections receiving an application for someone in another district must forward the application electronically, the same day it was received.
    • Changes the deadline for the county board of elections to receive registration forms from 25 days to 10 days before the election, and the deadline for mailing to 15 days before the applicant can vote.
    • Changes the deadline for the board to notify a registrant of a rejected application from 10 days before an election to seven days before the election and makes associated changes.
    • Makes conforming changes.
    • Click the hyperlinked bill number above for more information.
  • NY S00852: Relates to the accessibility of congressional, senatorial, assembly and election district maps in downloadable digital file formats compatible with geographic information (GIS) software, Sen. James Skoufis (D).
    • Specifies that election district maps on websites must be available in a specific downloadable digital format.

From Sept. 11-17, legislators passed 11 bills related to election administration nationally. As of Sept. 17, Texas legislators have passed the most bills this year with 35, while legislators in six states have passed the fewest bills with zero. The state with the most enacted bills is Texas with 33, while six states have enacted none.

The New York State Legislature was scheduled to be in regular session from Jan. 4 to June 8 this year. In 2022, New York legislators passed 19 election-related bills, 10 in the state Senate and nine in the state House. All 19 bills were enacted into law. New York is a Democratic trifecta, meaning Democrats control the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature.

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