New York Voting Rights Act

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
  • The Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG) has proposed to add a new rule related to the New York Voting Rights Act (NYVRA). This rule is designed to protect the right to vote.

    The NYVRA has requirements for some local jurisdictions (covered entities) when they wish to make certain types of changes to their voting or elections procedures (covered policies). The jurisdictions must submit their proposed changes to OAG’s Civil Rights Bureau or to an appropriate court. The changes can be made only if they are approved.

    The process of submitting the proposed changes and receiving approval is called preclearance. Under NYVRA, OAG has the authority to make rules related to preclearance.

    The new rule relates to:

    • procedures for submission and review of proposed changes
    • the legal standard that will apply to preclearance submissions
    • covered entities
    • covered policies 

    The OAG submitted a notice of proposed rulemaking for this new rule to the State Register on May 28, 2024, and it was published on June 12, 2024.

    Members of the public can submit comments about the rule until August 12, 2024:

    • by email to
    • by mail to ATTN: Voting Rights Section, Civil Rights Bureau, Office of the New York Attorney General, 28 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10005

    Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    Summary of Proposed Rule

    Regulatory Impact Statement

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Summary of Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Rural Area Flexibility Analysis

    Summary of Rural Flexibility Analysis


The Office of the New York State Attorney General (OAG) promotes and protects the rights of all eligible New Yorkers to vote by investigating and addressing voting rights violations and by ensuring that all New York elections are run fairly and free from discrimination.   

For more information about voting in New York state, visit our voting resources page. 

John R. Lewis New York Voting Rights Act (NYVRA)

A state law enacted in 2022, the NYVRA (New York Election Law section 17-210) strengthens the voting rights of all New Yorkers including historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities. The law requires OAG to play a role in enforcing these rights. 

The NYVRA removes barriers and protects fair, open, and equal access to the ballot box for all eligible New Yorkers. 

Beginning September 22, 2024, certain jurisdictions that wish to make changes to their voting or elections procedures must have their changes reviewed and approved (precleared) by OAG or a state court.

If you are an election official, legislative body, or other person or body that can make changes that affect elections or voting: You may have to request preclearance review if you plan to make certain changes on or after this date. 

Read OAG’s preliminary guidance on the entities and practices covered by preclearance.

View received comments on the guidance. 

Sign up to receive notifications of updates related to preclearance.

How the NYVRA protects the right to vote

The NYVRA prohibits practices that harm the right to vote. These practices include:

  • Voter suppression refers to laws and practices that make it harder for voters to cast their ballots. Literacy tests, for example, were used in the past to prevent people of color from voting. Today, practices to suppress votes include a lack of poll sites in communities of color.   
  • Vote dilution involves weakening or limiting the voting power of a group, often through the system used to elect representatives. The way electoral districts are drawn, or the rules used to conduct an election, can cause vote dilution.
  • Voter intimidation occurs through the use or threat of force, damage, or other harm to affect a person’s vote or registration. This can occur before, during, or after an election.
  • Voter deception involves giving people false information about voting or elections.
  • Voter obstruction means interfering with voting, the counting of votes, access to a poll site or the election process generally.

The NYVRA introduces new requirements for local jurisdictions in New York, such as, counties, cities, towns, villages and school districts:

  • Some local jurisdictions must submit election changes for preclearance. Some parts of New York have a history of violating voting or civil rights, arresting certain groups at higher rates, or having highly segregated neighborhoods. Those localities have been preliminarily identified by OAG’s Civil Rights Bureau in the OAG’s preclearance guidance. If these localities are considering changing their election procedures in certain ways, OAG or a state court must review and approve the changes before they can be made. This requirement begins on September 22, 2024.
  • Some local jurisdictions must expand support for voters with limited English proficiency. Expanding on requirements under federal law, this applies to any local jurisdiction in New York, for example, a county, city, town, village, or school district, that has a certain number of citizens at least 18 years of age who do not speak or understand English well enough to participate in elections. The locality must provide language assistance, such as translating ballots and voter-registration materials. This requirement begins on June 20, 2025.

View our NYVRA Guidance

The Office of the New York State Attorney General has issued guidance, explaining the NYVRA preclearance process and preliminarily identifying the localities and changes that will be subject to the preclearance requirement when it takes effect on September 22, 2024. 

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