In 2020, New York State amended the Election Law to require School Boards to adopt a policy to promote the voter registration and pre-registration of students 16 years and older. In response to the continuing low rate of voter registration and participation by our young people, the law was recently amended again. The newly amended law now requires these policies to include procedures to promote voter registration and pre-registration. Policies must now state that procedures will be implemented to provide access to voter registration and pre-registration applications during the school year, as well as assistance to students in filling out the applications. Policies must also include procedures for providing information to students regarding the state requirements for voter registration and pre-registration. BOCES are also required to adopt the same policies and procedures under the amended law.
Districts may receive information from outside organizations offering to help implement these requirements and encourage student registration. These organizations may offer to bring in public speakers, conduct online training, and provide resources for voter registration and pre-registration drives. As with any agreement with an outside agency, we recommend consulting with counsel to ensure that all legal requirements are met and protections provided before entering any agreement.