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SECTION 2018-A
Absentee ballots for school district elections
Education (EDN) CHAPTER 16, TITLE 2, ARTICLE 41, PART 1
§ 2018-a. Absentee ballots for school district elections. 1. The board
of education of any union free, central or central high school district
which elects school board members by ballot and provides for personal
registration of voters, shall provide for absentee ballots for the
election of members of the board of education and school district public
library trustees, the adoption of the annual budget and school district
public library budget and referenda, in accordance with the provisions
of this section.

1-a. In counties with a population of one million or more, the board
of education of any union free, central or central high school district
which elects school board members by ballot and provides for personal
registration of voters shall provide for absentee ballots for the
election of members of the board of education and school district public
library trustees, the adoption of the annual budget and school district
public library budget and referenda, in accordance with the provisions
of this section.

2. * a. A qualified voter may vote as an absentee voter under this
section if during all the hours of voting on the day of an election he
or she will be:

(1) absent from the county of his or her residence; or

(2) unable to appear at the polling place because of illness or
physical disability, or duties related to the primary care of one or
more individuals who are ill or physically disabled, or because he or
she will be or is a patient in a hospital, provided that, for purposes
of this subparagraph, "illness" shall include, but not be limited to,
instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling
place of the school district in which they are a qualified voter because
there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease that may cause
illness to the voter or to other members of the public; or

(3) an inmate or patient of a veteran's administration hospital; or

(4) absent from his or her voting residence because he or she is
detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or
confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other than
a felony, provided that he or she is qualified to vote in the election
district of his or her residence.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* a. A qualified voter may vote as an absentee voter under this
section if during all the hours of voting on the day of an election he
or she will be:

(1) absent from the county of his or her residence; or

(2) unable to appear at the polling place because of illness or
physical disability, or duties related to the primary care of one or
more individuals who are ill or physically disabled, or because he or
she will be or is a patient in a hospital; or

(3) an inmate or patient of a veteran's administration hospital; or

(4) absent from his or her voting residence because he or she is
detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or
confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other than
a felony, provided that he or she is qualified to vote in the election
district of his or her residence.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

b. Each person entitled to vote as an absentee voter pursuant to this
section and desirous of obtaining an absentee ballot shall make written
application therefor to the district clerk. Application forms for use
pursuant to this section shall be in a form prescribed by the state
board of elections. The use of any application which is on a form
prescribed by the state board of elections shall be acceptable.

c. The application for an absentee ballot when filed must contain in
each instance the following information:

(1) Applicant's full name, date of birth, and residence address,
including the street and number, if any, rural delivery route, if any,
mailing address if different from the residence address and an address
to which the ballot shall be mailed.

(2) A statement that the applicant is a qualified and registered
voter.

(3) A statement, as appropriate, that on the day of such election the
applicant expects in good faith to be in one of the following
categories:

(a) absent from the county of his or her residence; provided, however,
if the applicant expects to be absent from such county for a duration
covering more than one election and seeks an absentee ballot for each
election, he or she shall state the dates when he or she expects to
begin and end such absence; or

(b) unable to appear at a polling place because of illness or physical
disability or duties related to the primary care of one or more
individuals who are ill or physically disabled; or

(c) an inmate or patient of a veteran's administration hospital; or

(d) detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial
or confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other
than a felony and stating the place where he or she is so detained or
confined.

d. Such application shall include the following statement to be signed
by the voter.

I hereby declare that the foregoing is a true statement to the best of
my knowledge and belief, and I understand that if I make any material
false statement in the foregoing statement of application for absentee
ballots, I shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Date.....................Signature of Voter ...........................

e. An applicant whose ability to appear personally at the polling
place of the school district of which he or she is a qualified voter is
substantially impaired by reason of permanent illness or physical
disability and whose registration record has been marked "permanently
disabled" by the board of elections pursuant to the provisions of the
election law shall be entitled to receive an absentee ballot pursuant to
the provisions of this section without making separate application for
such absentee ballot, and the board of registration upon being advised
by the board of elections on or with the list of registered voters that
the registration record of a voter is marked "permanently disabled"
shall send an absentee ballot to such voter at his or her last known
address with a request to the postal authorities not to forward same but
to return same in five days in the event that it cannot be delivered to
the addressee. The board of education shall determine whether such
ballot shall be sent by first class or by certified mail. All such
ballots shall be mailed in the same manner as determined by the board of
education. The board of registration shall make an appropriate entry on
the registration indicating the fact that an absentee ballot has been
sent and the date of mailing.

f. An application must be received by the district clerk no earlier
than the thirtieth day before the election for which an absentee ballot
is sought. If the application requests that the absentee ballot be
mailed, such application must be received not later than seven days
before the election. If the applicant or his or her agent delivers the
application to the district clerk in person, such application must be
received not later than the day before the election. The district clerk
shall examine each application and shall determine from the information
contained therein whether the applicant is qualified under this section
to receive an absentee ballot.

g. No later than six days before the election for which an application
has been received and for which the district clerk has determined the
applicant to be qualified to vote by absentee ballot the district clerk
shall mail, by regular mail, an absentee ballot to each qualified
applicant who has applied before such day and who has requested that
such absentee ballot be mailed to him or her at the address set forth in
his or her application. If the applicant or his or her agent delivers
the application to the district clerk in person after the seventh day
before the election and not later than the day before the election, the
district clerk shall forthwith deliver such absentee ballots for those
applicants whom he or she determines are qualified to make such
applications and to receive such ballots to such applicants or the
agents named in the applications when such applicants or agents appear
in the district clerk's office.

3. If, upon examining the application required under the provisions of
subdivision two of this section, and upon such inquiry as it deems
proper, the board of registration shall be satisfied that the applicant
is a qualified voter of the district, and entitled to vote by absentee
ballot, such board shall place his name upon the register, thereupon the
applicant shall be issued or mailed an absentee voter's ballot and the
board of registration shall make an appropriate entry on the register
indicating that an absentee ballot has been applied for by, and issued
to, the applicant.

4. Ballots for absentee voters shall be, as nearly as practicable, in
the same form as those to be voted at the district election; if the vote
at such election shall be by ballot, the absentee ballot shall conform
to the regular ballot; if the vote of such election shall be by voting
machine, the absentee ballot shall conform as closely as possible to the
manner in which the names of the candidates, the questions and the
propositions appear on the voting machines, except that the absentee
ballot shall also contain a space for a write-in or write-ins. Such
absentee ballots shall also contain instructions as to the proper
marking thereof, in accordance with the provisions of sections two
thousand thirty-two and two thousand thirty-four of this chapter. On the
back of such absentee ballots shall be printed the words "Official
Ballot, Absentee Voter."

5. a. The board of registration shall enclose each absentee voter's
ballot in an envelope which shall be labelled:

ELECTION MATERIAL

PLEASE EXPEDITE

On one side of such envelope shall be printed:

OFFICIAL BALLOT, ABSENTEE VOTER

for

School District Election
Name of Voter .......................................
Residence (street and number, if any) ...............
City (or Town) of ...................................
County of ...........................................
School district .....................................
School Election District (if applicable) ............

The date of the election and name of the school district shall be
printed, and the name of the voter, residence, school district and
school election district (if applicable) shall be written in by the
board of registration.

b. On the reverse side of such envelope shall be printed the following
statement:

STATEMENT OF ABSENTEE VOTER

I do declare that I am a citizen of the United States, and will be at
least eighteen years of age, on the date of the school district
election; that I will have been a resident of this state and of the
school district and school election district, if any, shown on the
reverse side of this envelope for thirty days next preceding the said
election and duly registered in the school district and school election
district, if any, shown on the reverse side of this envelope and that I
am or on such date will be, a qualified voter of said school district;
that I will be unable to appear personally on the day of said school
district election at the polling place of the said district in which I
am or will be a qualified voter because of the reason stated on my
application heretofore submitted; that I have not qualified, or do I
intend to vote, elsewhere than as set forth on the reverse side of this
envelope; that I have not received or offered, do not expect to receive,
have not paid, offered or promised to pay, contributed, offered or
promised to contribute to another to be paid or used, any money or other
valuable thing, as a compensation or reward for the giving or
withholding of a vote at this school district election, and have not
made any promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such
votes; that I have not made or become directly or indirectly interested
in any bet or wager depending upon the result of this school district
election; and that I have not been convicted of bribery or any infamous
crime, or, if so convicted, that I have been pardoned or restored to all
the rights of a citizen, without restriction as to the right of
suffrage, or received a certificate of relief from disabilities or a
certificate of good conduct pursuant to article twenty-three of the
correction law removing my disability to register and vote.

I hereby declare that the foregoing is a true statement to the best of
my knowledge and belief, and I understand that if I make any material
false statement in the foregoing statement of absentee voter, I shall be
guilty of a misdemeanor.

Date.....................Signature of Voter ..........................

c. The envelope shall be gummed, ready for sealing, and shall have
printed thereon, on the side opposite the statement, instructions as to
the duties of the voter after the marking of the ballot, which
instructions shall include a specific direction stating that the
envelope must reach the office of the clerk of the school district not
later than five P.M. on the day of the election in order that his vote
may be canvassed.

d. A person who shall make any material false statement in the
statement of absentee voter appearing on the reverse side of the
envelope as provided in this subdivision, shall be guilty of a
misdemeanor.

6. The board of registration shall make a list of all persons to whom
absentee voter's ballots shall have been issued and file such list in
the office of the clerk where it shall be available for public
inspection during regular office hours until the day of the election.
Any qualified voter may, upon examination of such list, file a written
challenge of the qualifications as a voter of any person whose name
appears on such list, stating the reasons for such challenge. Such
written challenge shall be transmitted by the clerk to the inspectors of
election on election day.

7. a. The board of registration shall be authorized to call upon the
commissioner of police and the officers and members of the police force
for such assistance in the enforcement of the provisions of this section
as such board shall require, and such commissioner and officers and
members of the police force shall be authorized to render such
assistance.

b. The board of registration may require any person to attend before
it at the office of the clerk of the school district and be examined by
the board as to any matter in relation to which such board is charged
with a duty under this section, and may issue a subpoena therefor. Each
member of such board shall be authorized to administer any oath that may
be required or authorized by law in this connection.

8. No absentee voter's ballot shall be canvassed, unless it shall have
been received in the office of the clerk of the school district not
later than five P.M. on the day of the election.

9. The clerk of the district shall, on the day of the election,
transmit all absentee voters' envelopes, received by him in accordance
with subdivision eight of this section, to the inspectors of election.

10. If, at the school district election, any absentee voters'
envelopes shall have been received at the polling place, the inspectors
of election immediately after the closing of the polls shall examine
them, and shall compare the signature, if any, on each envelope with the
signature, if any, on the register, of the person of the same name who
registered from the same address. If the signatures are found to
correspond, the inspectors shall certify thereto by signing their
initials opposite the name of the voter at the appropriate place in the
register. If a person whose name is on an envelope as a voter, shall
have already voted in person at such school district election, or if his
name, residence and signature, as stated on the envelope, are not on the
register, or if there is no signature on the envelope, this envelope
shall be laid aside unopened and be returned unopened to the clerk of
the district. If such person is found to be registered and has not so
voted in person, and if no objection is made, or if an objection made be
not sustained, the envelope shall be opened and the ballot withdrawn
without unfolding and desposited in the proper box or boxes. At the time
of the deposit of such ballot, the inspectors shall enter the words
"absentee vote" at an appropriate place in the register.

11. During such examination any qualified voter present in the polling
place may object to the voting of the ballot contained in any envelope
upon the ground or grounds (a) that the person named thereon is not a
qualified voter of the school district, or school election district
(where applicable), or (b) that he was within the county or city while
the polls of the election were open, except where the applicant is a
patient in a hospital located within the county or city or detained or
confined in a jail located within the county or city and except where
the ballot was obtained upon the ground of inability to appear
personally at the polling place on the day of the school district
election because of illness or physical disability, or (c) that he was
able to appear personally while the polls were open, in cases where the
ballot was obtained upon the ground that the voter was a patient in a
hospital located within the county or city or detained or confined in a
jail located within the county or city or upon the ground of inability
to appear personally at the polling place on the day of the election
because of illness or physical disability, or (d) that he was not
entitled to cast such ballot. An inspector shall make such an objection
if he shall know or suspect that the person named on such envelope is
not such a qualified voter or was so within the school district or was
able so to appear personally, or was not entitled to cast such ballot.
The election inspectors shall forthwith proceed to determine each
objection including any written challenge transmitted to them by the
district clerk as provided in subdivision six of this section. Unless
the inspectors, by majority vote, shall sustain the objection, the
chairman, or if he refuses, another inspector shall endorse upon the
envelope the objection and the words "not sustained," shall sign such
endorsement, and shall open the envelope and deposit the ballot as
provided in this section. Should the inspectors, by majority vote,
sustain such objection, the objection and word "sustained" shall be
similarly endorsed upon the envelope, the envelope shall not be opened
nor the ballots therein canvassed, and such envelope shall be returned
unopened to the clerk of the district. If the inspectors of election
shall have received an envelope endorsed with the name of a person who
to the knowledge of the inspectors is deceased on the day of the
election, the inspectors shall return such envelope unopened to the
clerk of the district with the words "deceased--objection sustained"
endorsed on the envelope.

12. If the inspectors of election shall have received an envelope, and
upon opening the same no ballot shall be found therein, the inspectors
shall make a memorandum showing that the ballot is missing. When the
casting of absentee voters' ballots shall have been completed, the
inspectors shall ascertain the number of such ballots which have been
deposited in the ballot box by deducting from the number of envelopes
opened the number of missing ballots, and shall make a separate return
thereof in duplicate. The number of absentee voters' ballots deposited
in the ballot box shall be added to the number of other ballots
deposited in the ballot box in order to determine the number of all
ballots to be accounted for in the ballot box. Such ballots shall then
be counted or canvassed by the inspectors of election along with the
other ballots cast at such school district election, or, where voting
machines are used, shall be added to the votes recorded on such
machines.

13. Where the district shall have been divided into school election
districts pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, the provisions of
this section shall be applicable, provided that any reference in this
section to the term "board of registration" shall in such case refer to
the board of registration appointed by the board of education for each
school election district, except that paragraph b of subdivision seven
of this section shall apply according to its terms.