Proposed Legislative Amendment on Elections
- Eliminates literacy requirements and forbids property qualifications for voting with certain exceptions.
- Mandates permanent personal registration.
- Adds 30-day domicile requirement in an election district to the existing requirements of three months in county, city or village for voting.
Section 1. This article defines the right of citizens to vote. Any citizen who is domiciled in a county, city, or village of the state for at least three months, and in his election district for at least thirty days prior to the date of an election is entitled to vote in such election. In elections for president of the United States or statewide offices, domicile in the state for three months and in the election district for thirty days is sufficient. For school or special district elections, the only requirement is domicile in the district for three months.
Section 2. Property qualifications or other tests for voting are prohibited except that statutes may be enacted establishing property qualifications for voting in special district elections and requiring party enrollment for voting in a primary election. All voting must be in secret. The minimum voting age is 21 years except that statutes may reduce the voting age to not less than 18. If so reduced, the voting age may not he thereafter increased by statute.
Section 3. Domicile is defined as the fixed, permanent and principal home to which a person always intends to return. Provision is made for the enactment of statutes for the conduct of elections, the nomination of candidates, permanent personal registration and voting, including absentee registration and voting. All boards of election, except for school district and nonpartisan village and special district elections, are to have equal representation of the two political parties receiving the highest number of votes in the last gubernatorial election.
Section 1. Any citizen of the United States domiciled in any county, city or village of the state for three months next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote for all officers and upon all questions in such election. If not so domiciled, but domiciled in the state for three months next preceding an election he shall be entitled to vote only for officers elected by, and upon questions submitted to, the voters of the entire state. In either case, he must be so domiciled for thirty days in the election district in which he offers his vote. However, any citizen domiciled in a school or special district for three months next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote for all offices and upon all questions in an election in such district. There shall be no property or any other qualification or test to vote in any election except the legislature may provide that the ownership of property shall be a qualification for voting in an improvement or special district election and, in primary elections, party enrollment may be required. Voting shall be in secret. The legislature may disqualify persons from voting by reason of mental incompetency or felony conviction. The minimum voting age shall be twenty-one years, which the legislature may reduce to not less than eighteen years but may not thereafter increase. When used in this article, the word "domicile" shall be construed to apply to that place where a person maintains a fixed, permanent and principal home and to which he, wherever temporarily located, always intends to return.
§ 2. The legislature shall provide for the conduct of elections, for the nomination of candidates for public office, for the registration of and voting by voters including those not appearing in person, and for permanent personal registration. Every board registering or enrolling voters or receiving or recording votes, except in school district elections, shall have equal representation from the two political parties receiving the highest number of votes in the preceding gubernatorial election. Such equal representation shall not be required in a village or special district election where candidates of neither of such parties were on the ballot at the preceding election therein.
In 1967, the New York State Constitutional Convention proposed a whole new Constitution that contained this provision and these changes to a vote of the people of the State of New York at the General Election asking "Shall the proposed new Constitution, adopted by the Constitutional Convention, and the Resolution submitting same, be approved?" The Constitution as a whole was voted down by the people, which included these changes.
Learn more on our page devoted to the 1967 Convention. The Proceedings of the Convention are available from the New York State Library and you can download a PDF copy of the Constitution proposed by the 1967 Constitutional Convention.