Senate Passes Reforms to Address Board of Elections Shortfalls

The New York State Senate passed a legislative package to implement policies and reforms to increase public accountability at Boards of Elections. Included in the legislation are provisions to require a standard training curriculum for BOE staff and commissioners, as well as the development of materials for a model poll worker training program. New reforms will also make commissioners full-time employees of the Board, prohibiting them and deputies from holding public office. Updated requirements for minimum employee qualifications are also included in the package. Read the Senate Majority Press Release.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said, “The Senate Democratic Majority has taken great steps to fix our antiquated electoral system to make it fairer and more accessible. We are building on that progress today through needed Board of Elections reforms that will enhance how they function across the entire state. By improving their ability to perform elections, we better the process for everyone and help make New York a beacon for democracy. I commend Senator Zellnor Myrie, Chair of the Senate Elections Committee, and the bill sponsors for their efforts.”

Senator Zellnor Myrie, bill sponsor and Chair of the Senate Elections Committee said, “Last year, the Elections Committee held statewide hearings to listen to voters, poll workers, elections administrators, and advocates. Our report last fall detailed the concerns many New Yorkers shared about how our elections are run and what a better system might look like. I'm grateful to Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and my Senate colleagues for advancing this meaningful package of legislation that will improve our system of election administration at a time when democracy is under attack across this nation.”

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