New York Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-33) has introduced four bills in order to promote research into possible uses for blockchain by the state’s government.
These bills would establish legal language for the technology under state law and create studies around its application for local and state elections, including the verification of voter tallies.
The first bill would entail adding sections to New York’s technology law which define “blockchain technology” and “smart contract,” and provide a legal understanding for digital signatures stored on a blockchain.
The second bill “directs the state board of elections to study and evaluate the use of blockchain technology to protect voter records and election results.”
The study, which will be conducted in 12 months, will assess if a blockchain platform is effective in reducing or preventing voter fraud, improving cybersecurity around digital voting platforms, maintaining better voter records and more efficiently sharing election results.
The third bill also calls for a study and the creation of a task force to determine whether a blockchain platform can be used by the state government to store records and share information quickly and efficiently.
The New York bill would require the task force to hold at least one public hearing during its study, with a final report to be submitted before or on January 1, 2019.
The fourth bill would mandate the creation of a digital currency task force to determine the impact of cryptocurrencies on New York financial markets.
According to public records, three of the bills were referred to a committee related to government options.