senate Bill S6351

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Allows any qualified person to apply for voter registration and enrollment by application made with an application for any hunting or fishing license

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 11, 2012 referred to election law
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Jun 06, 2012 advanced to third reading
Jun 05, 2012 2nd report cal.
Jun 04, 2012 1st report cal.1000
Jan 31, 2012 referred to elections

Votes

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S6351 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4222
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Election Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง5-217, El L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
A2960

S6351 - Bill Texts

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Allows any qualified person to apply for voter registration and enrollment by application made with an application for any hunting or fishing license.

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BILL NUMBER:S6351

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the election law, in relation to the
registration and enrollment
of voters

PURPOSE:
To allow individuals the opportunity to register to vote at the same
time they apply for a hunting license, fishing license, and any
combination of both.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Allows for any qualified individual to apply for voter
registration simultaneously with their application for a hunting
license, fishing license, or any combination of both.

Section 2: Requires the Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC)with the approval of the Board of Elections to design a form
that will serve as an application for registration and enrollment.
Clarifies that DEC will incur the costs for the creation of such form.

Section 3: Outlines the required provisions of the voter registration
portion of the form.

Section 4: Requires the form to bear certain questions, statements,
and information.

Section 5: Requires DEC to retain the form that declines voter
registration for a certain time period.

Section 6: Requires DEC to transmit the voter registration form to the
appropriate Board of Elections.

Section 7: Requires DEC to transmit applications within certain time
frames.

Section 8: Prohibits the disclosure of voter registration information
for any other purpose than voter registration by DEC or its employees.

Section 9: Requires Board of Elections to process the application and
send appropriate notice of approval or rejection.

Section 10: Requires strict neutrality with respect to an individual's
party enrollment and all individuals seeking registration shall be
told that government services are not conditioned on being registered
to vote.

Section 11: Prohibits any statement or action from being made to
discourage an individual from registering to vote.

Section 12: Requires DEC to provide any individual who chooses to
register to vote the same assistance as the individual would be given
to fill out the DEC forms.

Section 13: Requires the State Board of Elections to promulgate rules
and regulations that may be necessary to carry out the provisions of
this act.

Section 14: The State Board of Elections shall develop and distribute
public information and promotional material relating to the
implementation of this program.

Section 15: Requires the State Board of Elections to prepare and
distribute written instruction to the DEC and shall be responsible
for establishing training programs for DEC employees.

Section 16: Requires DEC to take all actions which are necessary for
the implementation of the program. Directs DEC to designate at least
one person within the agency as the voter registration coordinator.

JUSTIFICATION:
In 1993 the National Voter Registration Act was enacted
by Congress. Part of this law included provisions that required
states to provide all citizens the opportunity to register to vote
when they apply for or renew a driver's license. It then directs the
Department of Motor Vehicles to forward the application to the
appropriate election official. The enactment of the "motor voter" law
has led to an increase in the number of registered voters in New York
State and throughout the country. While the "motor voter" law has
been successful, there is still a large population of individuals who
do not operate a motor vehicle and therefore do not have access to
this convenient voter registration method.

This legislation is designed to expand on the ideas set forth in the
"motor voter" law to hunting and fishing licenses. Under this
proposal, the Department of Environmental Conservation must amend its
hunting and fishing license applications to include an application
for voter registration, similar to the current driver's license
application. In New York State there are more than 2 million licensed
hunters and anglers. These citizens will have the opportunity to
register to vote in a similar manner of ease as provided under the
"motor voter" provisions. The effect of this law will be far reaching
as it will present New Yorkers with a simple voter registration
option which will increase the number of registered voters in this
state and help to further develop widespread participation in New
York State elections. Similar legislation has been enacted in Georgia
and proposed in Florida.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010 A.2960 - Held for consideration in election law.
2007-2008 A.3875 - Held for consideration in election law.
2005-2006 A.0374 - Held for consideration in election law.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Unknown.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
One hundred and eighty days after it shall have become
a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition,
amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the
implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and
directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6351

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  BALL  --  read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Elections

AN ACT to amend the election law, in relation to  the  registration  and
  enrollment of voters

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. The election law is amended by adding a new  section  5-217
to read as follows:
  S  5-217.  ADDITIONAL REGISTRATION. 1. IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER METHOD
OF VOTER REGISTRATION PROVIDED FOR IN THIS ARTICLE, ANY QUALIFIED PERSON
MAY APPLY FOR REGISTRATION AND ENROLLMENT BY APPLICATION MADE SIMULTANE-
OUSLY AND INTEGRATED  WITH  AN  APPLICATION  FOR  ANY  TYPE  OF  HUNTING
LICENSE, A FISHING LICENSE, AND ANY COMBINATION OF BOTH.
  2.  THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, WITH THE APPROVAL OF
THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, SHALL DESIGN A FORM OR FORMS WHICH  SHALL,
IN  ADDITION  TO  ELICITING  SUCH  INFORMATION AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR A  HUNTING  LICENSE  AND/OR
FISHING  LICENSE,  SERVE  AS AN APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AND ENROLL-
MENT, OR A REGISTRATION NECESSITATED BY A CHANGE OF RESIDENCE. THE  COST
OF  SUCH FORMS SHALL BE BORNE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSER-
VATION.
  3. THE VOTER REGISTRATION PORTION OF SUCH FORMS SHALL:
  (A) NOT  REQUIRE  ANY  INFORMATION  THAT  DUPLICATES  THE  INFORMATION
REQUIRED  ON  THE  APPLICATION FOR THE LICENSE PORTION AND SHALL REQUIRE
ONLY SUCH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, INCLUDING THE  APPLICANT'S  SIGNATURE,
AS  WILL ENABLE ELECTION OFFICIALS TO ASSESS THE APPLICANT'S ELIGIBILITY
TO REGISTER TO VOTE, PREVENT DUPLICATE REGISTRATION  AND  TO  ADMINISTER
VOTER REGISTRATION AND OTHER PARTS OF THE ELECTION PROCESS;
  (B)  INCLUDE  A  STATEMENT  OF  THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR VOTER
REGISTRATION AND SHALL REQUIRE THE APPLICANT TO ATTEST  BY  HIS  OR  HER
SIGNATURE THAT HE OR SHE MEETS SUCH REQUIREMENTS UNDER PENALTY OF PERJU-
RY; AND
  (C)  INFORM  THE  APPLICANT,  IN  PRINT  IDENTICAL TO THAT USED IN THE
ATTESTATION SECTION OF THE FOLLOWING:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD08665-01-1

S. 6351                             2

  (I) VOTER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS;
  (II) PENALTIES FOR SUBMISSION OF FALSE REGISTRATION APPLICATION;
  (III)  THAT  THE  OFFICE  WHERE  THE  APPLICANT REGISTERS SHALL REMAIN
CONFIDENTIAL AND THE INFORMATION SHALL BE USED ONLY FOR VOTER  REGISTRA-
TION PURPOSES;
  (IV)  IF  THE  APPLICANT  DECLINES TO REGISTER, HIS OR HER DECLINATION
SHALL REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL  AND  BE  USED  ONLY  FOR  VOTER  REGISTRATION
PURPOSES.
  4. INCLUDED ON THE FORM OR ON A SEPARATE FORM SHALL BE:
  (A)  THE  QUESTION,  "IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED TO VOTE WHERE YOU LIVE
NOW, WOULD YOU LIKE TO APPLY TO REGISTER HERE TODAY";
  (B) BOXES FOR THE APPLICANT TO CHECK TO INDICATE WHETHER THE APPLICANT
WOULD LIKE TO REGISTER OR DECLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE;
  (C) THE STATEMENT IN PROMINENT TYPE, "IF YOU DO NOT CHECK EITHER  BOX,
YOU  WILL  BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE DECIDED NOT TO REGISTER TO VOTE AT THIS
TIME.";
  (D) THE STATEMENT, "IF YOU WOULD LIKE HELP IN FILLING  OUT  THE  VOTER
REGISTRATION APPLICATION FORM, WE WILL HELP YOU. THE DECISION WHETHER TO
SEEK  OR  ACCEPT HELP IS YOURS. YOU MAY FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FORM IN
PRIVATE.";
  (E) THE STATEMENT, "IF YOU BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE  HAS  INTERFERED  WITH
YOUR  RIGHT  TO  REGISTER  OR DECLINE TO REGISTER TO VOTE, YOUR RIGHT TO
PRIVACY IN DECIDING WHETHER TO REGISTER OR IN APPLYING  TO  REGISTER  TO
VOTE,  OR  YOUR  RIGHT TO CHOOSE YOUR OWN POLITICAL PARTY OR OTHER POLI-
TICAL PREFERENCE, YOU MAY FILE A  COMPLAINT  WITH  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS (ADDRESS AND TOLL FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER)."; AND
  (F)  A  TOLL  FREE  NUMBER AT THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS THAT CAN BE
CALLED FOR ANSWERS TO REGISTRATION QUESTIONS.
  5. THE FORM CONTAINING THE DECLINATION TO REGISTER TO  VOTE  SHALL  BE
RETAINED  BY  THE  DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION FOR THE SAME
PERIOD OF TIME AS SUCH DEPARTMENT RETAINS THE  ACCOMPANYING  APPLICATION
FOR  SERVICES  OR  FOR SUCH SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME AS MAY BE APPROVED BY
THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS.
  6. THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION  SHALL  TRANSMIT  THAT
PORTION  OF  THE  FORM  WHICH  CONSTITUTES THE COMPLETED APPLICATION FOR
REGISTRATION OR CHANGE OF ADDRESS  FORM  TO  THE  APPROPRIATE  BOARD  OF
ELECTIONS  NOT  LATER  THAN  TEN DAYS AFTER RECEIPT EXCEPT THAT ALL SUCH
COMPLETED APPLICATIONS AND FORMS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF  ENVIRON-
MENTAL CONSERVATION BETWEEN THE THIRTIETH AND TWENTY-FIFTH DAY BEFORE AN
ELECTION  SHALL  BE  TRANSMITTED  IN  SUCH MANNER AND AT SUCH TIME AS TO
ASSURE THEIR RECEIPT BY SUCH BOARD OF ELECTIONS NOT LATER THAN THE TWEN-
TIETH DAY BEFORE SUCH ELECTION. ALL TRANSMITTALS SHALL INCLUDE  ORIGINAL
SIGNATURES.
  7.  COMPLETED APPLICATION FORMS RECEIVED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRON-
MENTAL CONSERVATION NOT LATER THAN THE TWENTY-FIFTH DAY BEFORE THE  NEXT
ENSUING  PRIMARY,  GENERAL  OR  SPECIAL ELECTION AND TRANSMITTED BY SUCH
DEPARTMENT TO THE APPROPRIATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS  SO  THAT  THEY  ARE
RECEIVED  NOT  LATER  THAN  THE TWENTIETH DAY BEFORE SUCH ELECTION SHALL
ENTITLE THE APPLICANT TO VOTE IN SUCH ELECTION PROVIDED THE BOARD DETER-
MINES THAT THE APPLICANT IS OTHERWISE QUALIFIED.
  8. DISCLOSURE OF VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION, INCLUDING A  DECLINA-
TION  TO  REGISTER, BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, ITS
AGENTS OR EMPLOYEES, FOR OTHER THAN VOTER REGISTRATION  PURPOSES,  SHALL
BE  DEEMED  AN  UNWARRANTED INVASION OF PERSONAL PRIVACY PURSUANT TO THE
PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION EIGHTY-NINE OF THE PUBLIC OFFI-
CERS LAW AND SHALL CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THIS CHAPTER.

S. 6351                             3

  9. APPLICATION FORMS SHALL BE PROCESSED BY THE BOARD OF  ELECTIONS  IN
THE  MANNER  PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5-210 OF THIS TITLE OR, IF THE APPLI-
CANT IS ALREADY REGISTERED TO VOTE FROM ANOTHER ADDRESS IN  SUCH  COUNTY
OR  CITY,  IN  THE MANNER PRESCRIBED BY SECTION 5-208 OF THIS TITLE. THE
BOARD  SHALL  SEND  THE  APPROPRIATE  NOTICE OF APPROVAL OR REJECTION AS
REQUIRED BY EITHER SUBDIVISION NINE OF SUCH SECTION 5-210 OR SUBDIVISION
FIVE OF SUCH SECTION 5-208.
  10. STRICT NEUTRALITY WITH RESPECT  TO  A  PERSON'S  PARTY  ENROLLMENT
SHALL BE MAINTAINED AND ALL PERSONS SEEKING VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS AND
INFORMATION  SHALL  BE  ADVISED  THAT GOVERNMENT SERVICES ARE NOT CONDI-
TIONED ON BEING REGISTERED TO VOTE.
  11. NO STATEMENT SHALL BE MADE NOR ANY ACTION TAKEN TO DISCOURAGE  THE
APPLICANT FROM REGISTERING TO VOTE.
  12. THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION SHALL PROVIDE TO EACH
PERSON  WHO  CHOOSES  TO  REGISTER  TO VOTE THE SAME LEVEL OF ASSISTANCE
PROVIDED TO PERSONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE COMPLETION  OF  THE  AGENCY'S
OWN FORMS, UNLESS SUCH PERSON REFUSES SUCH ASSISTANCE.
  13.  THE  STATE  BOARD  OF  ELECTIONS SHALL ADOPT SUCH RULES AND REGU-
LATIONS AS MAY BE NECESSARY  TO  CARRY  OUT  THE  REQUIREMENTS  OF  THIS
SECTION. THE BOARD SHALL ALSO ADOPT SUCH RULES AND REGULATIONS AS MAY BE
NECESSARY  TO  REQUIRE COUNTY BOARDS AND THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION TO PROVIDE THE STATE BOARD WITH SUCH INFORMATION  AND  DATA
AS  THE BOARD DEEMS NECESSARY TO ASSESS COMPLIANCE WITH THIS SECTION AND
TO COMPILE SUCH STATISTICS AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE  FEDERAL  ELECTIONS
COMMISSION.
  14.  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL DEVELOP AND DISTRIBUTE PUBLIC
INFORMATION AND PROMOTIONAL  MATERIALS  RELATING  TO  THE  PURPOSES  AND
IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS PROGRAM.
  15.  THE  STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS SHALL PREPARE AND DISTRIBUTE TO THE
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS AS TO  THE
IMPLEMENTATION  OF THE PROGRAM AND SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ESTABLISHING
TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR  EMPLOYEES  OF  THE  DEPARTMENT  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL
CONSERVATION INVOLVED IN SUCH PROGRAM.
  16.  THE  COMMISSIONER  OF  ENVIRONMENTAL  CONSERVATION SHALL TAKE ALL
ACTIONS WHICH ARE NECESSARY AND PROPER FOR THE  IMPLEMENTATION  OF  THIS
SECTION.  THE COMMISSIONER OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION SHALL DESIGNATE
ONE PERSON WITHIN THE AGENCY AS THE AGENCY VOTER REGISTRATION  COORDINA-
TOR  WHO  WILL,  UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS, BE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE VOTER REGISTRATION PROGRAM IN SUCH AGENCY.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal  of  any  rule  or  regulation
necessary  for  the  implementation of this act on its effective date is
authorized and directed to be made  and  completed  on  or  before  such
effective date.

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