Governor Signs Law Modifying Signature Requirements for Upcoming School/Library Elections

March 8, 2021

By: Kate I. Reid and Kristin Warner

On Monday, March 8, 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into a law a bill that amends the signature requirements for petitions for small city school districts, union free and central school districts, as well as libraries under the New York Education Law. 

For small city school districts, the number of signatures required on a petition for a candidate for school board will be decreased from 100 to 50. 

For the 2021 election only, union free and central school districts are required to base the number of signatures required for their candidates’ petitions on the numbers from the election held in 2019, rather than those from the previous year’s election. Therefore, the number of signatures required for candidates in these districts to be included on the ballot will be at least 25 qualified voters or 2% of the voters who voted in the 2019 annual election of the members of the board of education, whichever is greater.

This law also changes the requirements for library elections, setting the required signatures for library petitions seeking to establish or increase their funding and for those candidates running for library trustee at a set amount of 25 or more qualified voters of the municipality or the library district, respectively.

This law took effect immediately and is set to expire on December 31, 2021. 

If you have questions about the topics referenced in this memo, please contact Kate I. Reid, Kristin Warner, any attorney in Bond’s School Law practice or the attorney at the firm with whom you are regularly in contact.