New York Assemblyman Clyde Vanel (D-33) has filed four proposed laws that aim to promote research on the concrete possible applications of Blockchain technology by the state government.

The bills will create a legal language for the technology under state law and advance studies around its possible uses for local and state elections, including the verification of voter tallies.

Brief details of the bills

The first bill filed by Vanel will amend the state’s technology law to include sections that will provide definitions of the terms “Blockchain technology” and “smart contract,” as well as to provide a legal understanding for digital signatures that are stored on a Blockchain.

The second bill will mandate the state’s board of elections to conduct a study and evaluation of the use of the technology to safeguard voter records and the results of elections. The study, which will be conducted in 12 months, will assess whether a Blockchain platform is effective in limiting or preventing voter fraud, improving cybersecurity around digital voting platforms, maintaining better voter records, and efficiently sharing election results.

The third bill will call for the study and the establishment of a task force to assess whether a Blockchain platform can be utilized to store government records and to share information efficiently and fast. The bill will also require the task force to conduct at least one public hearing during its study and submit a final report on or before Jan. 1, 2019.

The fourth bill will mandate the creation of a virtual currency task force that will analyze the possible effect(s) of the digital currencies in the state’s financial markets.

Based on public records, three of the bills were already referred to a legislative committee that is related to government options.