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Chapter 46, §1057-a: Agency based voter registration

Each agency designated as a participating agency under the provisions of this section shall implement and administer a program of distribution of voter registration forms pursuant to the provisions of this section. The following offices are hereby designated as participating voter registration agencies: The administration for children's services, the business integrity commission, the city clerk, the civilian complaint review board, the commission on human rights, community boards, the department of small business services, the department for the aging, the department of citywide administrative services, the department of city planning, the department of consumer affairs, the department of correction, the department of cultural affairs, the department of environmental protection, the department of finance, the department of health and mental hygiene, the department of homeless services, the department of housing preservation and development, the department of parks and recreation, the department of probation, the department of records and information services, the taxi and limousine commission, the department of transportation, the department of youth and community development, the fire department, and the human resources administration. Participating agencies shall include a mandate in all new or renewed agreements with those subcontractors having regular contact with the public in the daily administration of their business to follow the guidelines of this section. Such participating agencies shall be required to offer voter registration forms to all persons together with written applications for services, renewal or recertification for services and change of address relating to such services, in the same language as such application, renewal, recertification or change of address form where practicable; provided however that this section shall not apply to services that must be provided to prevent actual or potential danger to the life, health, or safety of any individual or of the public. Such agencies shall provide assistance to applicants in completing voter registration forms, and in cases in which such an agency would provide assistance with its own form, such agency shall provide the same degree of assistance with regard to the voter registration form as is provided with regard to the completion of its own form, if so requested. Such agencies shall also receive and transmit the completed application form from any applicants who request to have such form transmitted to the board of elections for the city of New York.

 

1. Participating agencies shall adopt such rules and regulations as may be necessary to implement this section. The campaign finance board shall prepare and distribute to participating agencies written advisory agency guidelines as to the implementation of this section and may establish training programs for employees of participating agencies; provided that any guidelines promulgated by the voter assistance commission prior to the effective date of this clause shall remain in effect unless further amended or repealed by the board. Participating agencies may consider such advisory agency guidelines in the promulgation of their rules and regulations.

2. Participating agencies shall provide and distribute voter registration forms to all persons together with written applications for services, renewal or recertification for services and change of address relating to such services, in the same language as such application, renewal, recertification or change of address form where practicable; provided however that this section shall not apply to services that must be provided to prevent actual or potential danger to life, health or safety of any individual or of the public. Participating agency staff shall provide assistance in completing these distributed voter registration forms, and in cases in which such an agency would provide assistance with its own form, such agency shall provide the same degree of assistance with regard to the voter registration form as is provided with regard to the completion of its own form, if so requested. Participating agencies shall also include a voter registration form with any agency communication sent through the United States mail for the purpose of supplying clients with application, renewal or recertification for services and change of address relating to such services materials. Participating agencies shall also incorporate an opportunity to request a voter registration application into any application for services, renewal or recertification for services and change of address relating to such services provided on computer terminals, the World Wide Web or the Internet. Any person indicating that they wish to be sent a voter registration form, via computer terminals, the World Wide Web or the Internet shall be sent such a form by the participating agency, or directed to a bank on that system where such a form may be downloaded.

3. Participating agencies shall also:
a. by December 1, 2015, or at the next regularly scheduled printing of their forms, whichever is earlier, physically incorporate the voter registration forms with their own application forms in a manner that permits the voter registration portion to be detached therefrom. Until such time when the agency amends its form, each agency should affix or include a postage paid board of elections for the city of New York voter registration form to or with its application, renewal, recertification and change of address forms;
b. use voter registration forms that contain a code assigned by the board of elections of the city of New York which designate such forms as originating from participating agencies; and
c. transmit any completed forms collected by such agency to the board of elections of the city of New York within two weeks of the receipt of such completed forms at the participating agency. If a completed form is collected within five days before the last day for registration to vote in a citywide election, such completed form shall be transmitted by the participating agency to the board of elections of the city of New York not later than five days after the date of acceptance, provided, however, that notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any agency subject to the requirements of section 5-211 of the election law shall be governed only by the timeframes for transmission of such forms to the board of elections set forth in such section.

4. All persons seeking voter registration forms and information shall be advised in writing together with other written materials provided by agencies or by appropriate publicity that government services are not conditioned on being registered to vote. No statement shall be made nor any action taken by an agency employee to discourage the applicant from registering to vote or to enroll in any particular political party.

5. The completion of the voter registration form by an applicant is voluntary.

6. Employees of a participating agency who provide voter registration assistance shall not: a. seek to influence an applicant's political preference or party designation; b. display any political preference or party allegiance; c. make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to discourage the applicant from registering to vote; or d. make any statement to an applicant or take any action the purpose or effect of which is to lead the applicant to believe that a decision to register or not to register has any bearing on the availability of services or benefits.

7. Each participating agency, department, division and office that makes available voter registration forms shall prominently display promotional materials designed and approved by the board of elections for the city of New York or state board of elections for use in state agency programs.

8. Each participating agency, other than community boards and the city clerk, shall submit semi- annual reports on their implementation of this section to the mayor's office of operations. Such reports shall include the number of registration forms distributed, the number of registration forms completed at an agency office to the extent readily ascertainable, and the number of registration forms transmitted to the board of elections. Such reports shall be submitted to the mayor's office of operations by January 15 and July 15 of each year, with the first reports due by July 15, 2015. The mayor's office of operations shall compile such reports into a single report that disaggregates such data by agency, and shall deliver such compiled report to the speaker by February 15 and August 15 of each year, with the first such report due by August 15, 2015.