Chapter 46, §1053: Voter guide
a. For all elections in which there are contested elections for the offices of mayor, public advocate, borough presidents, comptroller, or city council or ballot proposals or referenda pursuant to this charter or the municipal home rule law, each printed and online voter guide published by the board shall contain:
1. material explaining the date and hours during which the polls will be open for that election; when, where, and how to register to vote; when an eligible voter is required to reregister; when, where, and how absentee ballots are obtained and used; instructions on how to vote; information on the political subdivisions applicable to a particular voter’s address; and any other general information on voting deemed by the board to be necessary or useful to the electorate or otherwise consistent with the goals of this charter;
2. such 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;
3. information on each candidate, which shall include but need not be limited to name, party affiliation, present and previous public offices held, present occupation and employer, prior employment and other public service experience, educational background, a listing of major organizational affiliations and endorsements, a concise statement by each candidate of such candidate’s principles, platform or views and any other information required by the board by rule;
4. where there is a ballot proposal or referendum, concise statements explaining such proposal or referendum and an abstract of each such proposal or referendum; and
5. for a printed voter guide mailed in connection with the citywide primary and general elections held every four years, such printed voter guide shall include for each registered voter a list of the primary and general elections held over the previous four calendar years for which, according to the records of the board of elections, such voter was registered to vote and whether such voter voted in such election. Such information may be printed separately from such printed voter guide, provided that it is included with the mailing of such printed voter guide.
b. For all other elections in which there are contested elections held in the city of New York for any city, county, state, or federal office or ballot proposals or referenda pursuant to city, county, state, or federal law, each voter guide shall contain information that the board deems necessary or useful to the electorate or is otherwise consistent with the board’s responsibility under this chapter to improve public awareness of candidates, ballot proposals, or referenda.
c. All board-generated content in the voter guides shall be prepared in plain language using words with common and everyday meanings.
d. The board shall prepare and publish each voter guide, regardless of format, in English and in each of the designated citywide languages as defined in section 23-1101 of the administrative code and shall promulgate such rules as it deems necessary for the preparation and publication of voter guides in any other languages the board determines to be necessary and appropriate. The purpose of such rules shall be to ensure that the guide and its distribution will serve to fully, fairly and impartially inform the public about the issues and candidates appearing on the ballot.
e. 1. The online voter guide published by the board pursuant to paragraph 1 of subdivision b of section 1052 of this charter shall include a brief video statement from each candidate who:
(a) is on the ballot in a contested primary or general election for the office of mayor, public advocate, borough president, comptroller or city council;
(b) has agreed to participate in such a candidate video statement; and
(c) has met any further requirements established by the board by rule.
2. Each such candidate video statement shall contain information regarding the candidate, which may include but need not be limited to, a concise audio description of the candidate.
3. For each candidate video statement included in the online voter guide pursuant to this subdivision, the board shall ensure that viewers have the ability to view such video statement with captioning in English and each of the designated citywide languages as defined in section 23-1101 of the administrative code, as well as the ability to view such video statement with American Sign Language translation.
4. The board shall promulgate rules to ensure that any candidate video statements included in the online voter guide are accessible to individuals with vision disabilities and may promulgate any additional rules that it determines to be necessary for the implementation of this subdivision.
5. The board shall make all candidate video statements created pursuant to this subdivision available to any city-owned or operated television channels for broadcast on such channels.
6. Each voter guide shall contain a statement informing voters that a participating candidate who is on the ballot in a contested primary or general election for the office of mayor, public advocate, borough president, comptroller or city council shall be subject to non-payment of five percent of such candidate’s public funds payments if such candidate does not participate in a candidate video statement.
f. For any election in which the board publishes a printed voter guide pursuant to subdivision b of section 1052 of this charter, the board shall collaborate with public libraries and other organizations, as necessary, to cause the information in such a printed voter guide to be made available in a format that is accessible to individuals with print or vision disabilities.