New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0480-2014    Version: * Name: Permitting voter registration forms utilized by agencies participating in the agency assisted voter registration program to code their registration forms, and for such codes to be withheld from public inspection.
Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Committee: Committee on Governmental Operations
On agenda: 11/25/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation permitting voter registration forms utilized by agencies participating in the agency assisted voter registration program to code their registration forms, and for such codes to be withheld from public inspection.
Sponsors: Jumaane D. Williams, Ben Kallos, Brad S. Lander, Mark Levine
Council Member Sponsors: 4
Attachments: 1. Committee Report, 2. Hearing Testimony, 3. Hearing Transcript, 4. Hearing Transcript - Stated Meeting 11-25-14, 5. Minutes of the Stated Meeting - November 25, 2014
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
11/25/2014*Jumaane D. Williams City Council Approved, by CouncilPass Action details Meeting details Not available
11/25/2014*Jumaane D. Williams City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
11/25/2014*Jumaane D. Williams City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
11/24/2014*Jumaane D. Williams Committee on Governmental Operations Hearing on P-C Item by Comm  Action details Meeting details Not available
11/24/2014*Jumaane D. Williams Committee on Governmental Operations P-C Item Approved by CommPass Action details Meeting details Not available
Preconsidered Res. No. 480
 
 
Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation permitting voter registration forms utilized by agencies participating in the agency assisted voter registration program to code their registration forms, and for such codes to be withheld from public inspection.
 
 
By Council Members Williams, Kallos, Lander and Levine
 
Whereas, New York State has an agency assisted voter registration program; and
Whereas, This program requires certain state and local agencies to distribute voter registration forms to individuals along with initial applications for services, renewal or recertification for services, and change of address relating to such services; and
Whereas, New York City has a similar program for city agencies, some of which are also covered by the state program; and
Whereas, The New York City agency based voter registration program requires agencies to distribute forms with a New York City Board of Elections-designated code; and
Whereas, The New York City Board of Elections reports on the total number of registration forms entered into its database each year as part of its annual report; and  
Whereas, This reporting shows the number of entered registration forms originated at  agencies participating in the agency based voter registration program, but not which particular participating agency each form came from; and
Whereas, Determining the originating agency for these forms would assist the New York City Council, advocates, and other interested parties in ensuring that the agency based voter registration program is being implemented by each agency in accordance with the law; and
Whereas, The state law creating the agency assisted voter registration program requires that the source of the forms remain confidential; and
Whereas, Determining the originating agency is therefore not feasible under current law for those city agencies covered by the state agency assisted voter registration law; and
Whereas, Registration records are public documents under state law, with certain categories of information, such as driver's license and social security number, remaining confidential; and
Whereas, A number identifying the source agency on a registration form is not included as one of the categories excepted from public review; and
Whereas, The law could be amended to include a number identifying the source agency on a registration form as one of the categories excepted from public review; and
Whereas, The benefit of the transparency that would come from coding such forms outweighs the burden on those who utilize the services of agencies covered by the state agency assisted voter registration law having their identity and service provision, if such information is non-public, and is disclosed only to another employee of the City government, an employee of the New York City Board of Elections; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation permitting voter registration forms utilized by agencies participating in the agency assisted voter registration program to code their registration forms, and for such codes to be withheld from public inspection.
 
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LS #3234
11/17/14