Voting and Election Law Enforcement Reform

Voting Reform. While we applaud efforts over the past few legislative sessions to adopt crucial voting and election law reforms, the past year has shown us there is more work to be done. Providing New Yorkers full access to the voting booth without unnecessary hurdles will ensure they can make their voices heard and support policies that best reflect their beliefs.  New York elected officials should continue to build upon the reforms they have adopted. The City Bar supported the constitutional amendments to permit “no excuse” absentee voting and Election Day registration that were rejected by voters in November 2021. We would urge the Legislature to take steps to adopt the spirit of these initiatives until the constitutional amendments can be presented to voters again.          

Election Law Enforcement Reform. We encourage the Legislature to adopt comprehensive civil penalties for all Election Law violations and streamlined administrative enforcement procedures, as well as more reporting of enforcement activity.  Finally, the current state Board of Elections (BOE) consists of four members, two Democrats and two Republicans, and most Board employees involved in the registration and election process are chosen by those two parties.  As a result of this governing structure, the BOE is virtually always at an impasse and, therefore, unable to act effectively.  The two-party system for Board members and employees should be abolished and the Board should become a five-member, non-partisan board.


Establishing a Ten-Day Voter Registration Deadline – Reduces the time for mailing and receipt of registration application to constitutional minimum (A.8858-A (AM Carroll) / S.2951-A (Sen. Kavanagh), Chp. 765).

Addressing “Wrong Church” Ballots – Requires counting affidavit ballots of eligible voters if a voter appears at a polling place in the correct county but in the incorrect election district (A.642-C (AM Carroll)  S.284-C (Sen. Myrie), Chp. 661).