Following a historic low in voter turnout in New York City’s 2017 General Election for municipal offices, the New York City Council Committee on Governmental Operations passed legislation to implement online voter registration. Relying on an opinion by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman which allows online voter registration by localities, Council Member Ben Kallos authored the legislation.
The legislation requires the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) to provide a secure website and mobile app that allows residents in New York City who are qualified to vote to register by providing required information and providing a signature electronically. The CFB would print the information onto a voter registration form with an electronically affixed signature and transmit the printed voter registration form to the New York City Board of Elections within 2 weeks or within 5 days prior to a registration deadline. The online voter registration system would provide required notices, time frames, and deadlines for registrations as well as how to confirm registration. Electronic signature would be required to be accepted from a picture or scan of a signature as well as a touch or stylus interface. The CFB would also be able to use signatures already provided to other city agencies including the NYC ID.