Rule 10-02 Contents of the Voter Guide

(a) Generally. In addition to any information that the Board determines to be useful for promoting public awareness of the voting process, City government, and the candidates and ballot proposals in an election, the printed and online Voter Guides for an election shall contain:

(1) the date of the election;

(2) the hours during which the polls will be open;

(3) an explanation of the voter registration process, including deadlines to register for both the primary and general elections;

(4) an explanation of how to obtain and cast or mark an absentee ballot;

(5) an explanation of how to cast a vote, including write-in votes;

(6) information about the boundaries of City Council districts to aid voters in determining their appropriate district; and

(7) tables of contents, graphics, and other materials which the Board determines will make the Voter Guide easier to understand or more useful for the average voter.

(b) Candidate statements. (1) Candidate print statements.

(i) Candidate print statements contain the following biographical information:

(A) the name of the candidate;

(B) the political party, if any, in which the candidate is enrolled, and on which party line or lines the candidate’s name will appear on the ballot;

(C) the previous and current public offices held by the candidate;

(D) the current occupation and employer of the candidate;

(E) prior employment and positions held by the candidate;

(F) the experience the candidate has had in public service;

(G) the educational background of the candidate;

(H) a list of the candidate’s major organizational affiliations;

(I) information about the candidate’s principles, platform, or views, in a form prescribed by the Board; and

(J) such other information as may be determined by the Board and requested of the candidate.

(ii) The candidate print statement must be submitted in English.

(iii) The photograph of the candidate submitted as part of a candidate print statement must:

(A) be a recent photograph;

(B) have a plain background;

(C) show only the face or the head, neck, and shoulders of the candidate;

(D) not include the hands or anything held in the hands of the candidate;

(E) not show the candidate wearing any distinctive uniform, including but not limited to a judicial robe, or a military, police, or fraternal uniform; and

(F) not exceed the size and/or resolution requirements as determined by the Board.

(iv) Candidate print statements may not:

(A) contain profanity;

(B) make statements that libelous, slanderous, or defamatory, or assert facts that the candidate knows or should know to be false; or

(C) engage in the unauthorized use of copyrighted material or invasion of privacy.

(v) Candidate print statements that violate any of the requirements outlined in this chapter will not be included in the Voter Guide.

(vi) Timing of submission.

(A) In the election year, all registered candidates who intend to file designating petitions must submit their print statements on or before the submission deadline set by the Board.

(B) A candidate not named in a designating petition filed with the Board of Elections who intends to file an independent nominating petition for the general election must submit a candidate print statement on or before the “independent candidates” filing deadline set by the Board.

(C) All candidate print statements for the general election Voter Guide must be submitted prior to the publication of the primary election Voter Guide.

(2) Candidate video statements.

(i) Candidate video statements must contain information regarding the candidate’s platform and candidacy, and may contain such other information as the candidate may choose; provided, however, that the candidate may not:

(A) use profanity or make statements or gestures, or display materials, that are obscene or pornographic;

(B) make statements that are libelous, slanderous, or defamatory, or assert facts that the candidate knows or should know to be false;

(C) engage in any commercial programming or advertising;

(D) display any literature, graphs, or props;

(E) engage in the unauthorized use of copyrighted material or invasion of privacy; or

(F) violate any city, state or federal law, including regulations of the New York State Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

(ii) Candidates recording video statements may dress as they choose and are responsible for their own clothing, make-up and hairdressing; provided, however, that when recording a video statement, candidates may not:

(A) engage in full or partial nudity;

(B) wear any distinctive uniform, including but not limited to a judicial robe, or a military, police, or fraternal uniform;

(C) violate any city, state or federal law, including regulations of the New York State Public Service Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.

(iii) Candidate video statement scripts must be submitted in advance of the candidate’s scheduled recording session in order for the Board to determine that the script meets the requirements of this section. Candidates must follow their approved video statement script during the recording. Recorded statements will not be edited by the Board or any entity participating in the production of the video edition of the Voter Guide, except that candidate identification and other election information may be displayed.

(iv) Only the candidate may appear on camera, and only the candidate may record a candidate video statement.

(v) Candidates will be allowed to sit or stand while recording statements. Reasonable accommodations for candidates with special needs will be made.

(vi) Video statements must be recorded in English. Candidates may record a portion of their video statements in a language other than English; provided, however, that the script submitted for Board approval contains both the English and non-English text, and an English translation of all non-English text. No additional time will be allotted for statements recorded in multiple languages.

(vii) Candidate video statements that violate any of the requirements outlined in this chapter will not be included in the Voter Guide.

(viii) Timing of candidate video statement recordings. In the election year, the recording schedule for candidates’ video statements will be provided to registered candidates in advance. The production schedule will permit candidates filing designating and/or independent nominating petitions to participate. Appointments for candidate video statement recordings must be made at a time within the prescribed production schedule. A candidate who fails to appear at his or her scheduled time will be deemed to have waived participation in the video edition of the Voter Guide.

(3) Inclusion of candidate statements in Voter Guide editions.

(i) Primary election editions. Candidate print and video statements will be included in primary election editions of the Voter Guide only for registered candidates who (A) have met the requirements set forth in this chapter, (B) are named in designating petitions filed with the Board of Elections, and (C) are on the ballot in a contested primary. In the case of printed editions of the Voter Guide, print statements of candidates anticipated to appear on the ballot in a contested primary on the date that the primary election print edition goes to press will be included, based on the Board’s assessment of information available from the Board of Elections.

(ii) General election editions. Candidate print and video statements will be included in general election editions of the Voter Guide only for registered candidates who (A) have met the requirements set forth in this chapter, (B) are named in nominating petitions filed with the Board of Elections, and (C) are on the general election ballot. In the case of printed editions of the Voter Guide, print statements of candidates anticipated to appear on the general election ballot on the date that the general election print edition goes to press will be included, based on the Board’s assessment of information available from the Board of Elections. Candidates running unopposed in the general election will be included in general election editions of the Voter Guide, except where the only election being covered is uncontested, in which case the Board will not produce or distribute print or video editions of the Voter Guide, but will produce an online Voter Guide.

(iii) If a candidate in the general election was included in the primary election Voter Guide, then that candidate’s primary election Voter Guide statement will be included in the general election Voter Guide. No modifications or additions to the original statement will be accepted.

(iv) Candidates’ print statements will be included in the primary and general election online editions in accordance with the rules set forth in subparagraphs (i), (ii), and (iii) of this paragraph.

(v) The Board shall not accept a candidate print or video statement unless it is submitted in a manner provided by the Board, includes any signatures or notarizations as may be required by the Board, and the candidate has verified that the contents of the form are true to the best of his or her knowledge. The Board may, at its discretion, reject any candidate print or video statement, or portions thereof, it deems to contain matter that is obscene, libelous, slanderous, defamatory, or otherwise in violation of the requirements set forth in this chapter.

(4) Candidate statements shall not exceed the length and space limitations provided by the Board. The Board may, at its discretion, require that candidate print statements follow a consistent format, and edit statements to achieve uniformity of presentation, conformance with length and space limitations, and consistency with existing law. Candidate video statements that exceed their allotted statement time of two minutes will be cut off.

(5) A candidate print statement or video script is a written instrument which, when filed, becomes part of the Board’s records. Knowingly filing a written instrument that contains a false statement or false information is a Class A misdemeanor under New York State Penal Law §175.30. A candidate may not include any false information in his or her candidate print statement or video script. The candidate shall verify that his or her candidate print statement and/or video script is true, to the best of his or her knowledge.

(6) With each candidate print statement, the Board shall publish one of the following notices:

(i) In the case of a participant: “Participant in the Campaign Finance Program” or language to like effect.

(ii) In the case of a limited participant: “Limited participant in the Campaign Finance Program” or language to like effect.

(iii) In the case of a non-participant: “Not a participant in the Campaign Finance Program” or language to like effect.

(c) Omitted.

(d) Ballot proposals. The print and online editions of the Voter Guide for a general election in which a city ballot proposal is anticipated to appear on the ballot shall contain:

(1) the form of each ballot proposal as it will appear on the ballot in the general election;

(2) a plain-language abstract of each ballot proposal; and

(3) to the extent feasible, the major arguments for and against the passage of each ballot proposal, clearly labeled as such. If feasible, the Board shall solicit and accept from the public statements for and against passage of each ballot proposal for possible inclusion in the Voter Guide for the general election. A statement shall not be accepted by the Board unless it:

(i) is submitted in a form and manner provided by the Board and includes any signatures required by the Board;

(ii) conforms to the length and space limitations provided by the Board;

(iii) identifies the organization, if any, on whose behalf the statement is made; and

(iv) clearly argues for or against passage of the proposal.

No person may submit more than one statement per ballot proposal pursuant to this paragraph.

(e) Board determines whether to publish statements for and against ballot proposals. With respect to statements for or against passage of ballot proposals, the Board, at its discretion, may determine:

(1) not to publish any such statements;

(2) not to publish any statements submitted pursuant to paragraph (d)(3);

(3) to publish all or any portion of a statement submitted pursuant to paragraph (d)(3); and

(4) to compose and publish such statements of arguments for and against passage of ballot proposals as it deems appropriate.

(f) State ballot proposals. The Board will include information about state ballot proposals in Voter Guides for a covered office or a city ballot proposal. At its discretion, the Board may produce an online Voter Guide to provide information about state ballot proposals during an election for which no print Voter Guide is produced.