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This entry was published on 2019-11-01
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SECTION 4-104
Registration and polling places; designation of
Election (ELN) CHAPTER 17, ARTICLE 4
§ 4-104. Registration and polling places; designation of. 1. Every
board of elections shall, in consultation with each city, town and
village, designate the polling places in each election district in which
the meetings for the registration of voters, and for any election may be
held. The board of trustees of each village in which general and special
village elections conducted by the board of elections are held at a time
other than the time of a general election shall submit such a list of
polling places for such village elections to the board of elections. A
polling place may be located in a building owned by a religious
organization or used by it as a place of worship. If such a building is
designated as a polling place, it shall not be required to be open for
voter registration on any Saturday if this is contrary to the religious
beliefs of the religious organization. In such a situation, the board of
elections shall designate an alternate location to be used for voter
registration. Such polling places must be designated by March fifteenth,
of each year, and shall be effective for one year thereafter. Such a
list required to be submitted by a village board of trustees must be
submitted at least four months before each general village election and
shall be effective until four months before the subsequent general
village election. No place in which a business licensed to sell
alcoholic beverages for on premises consumption is conducted on any day
of local registration or of voting shall be so designated. If, within
the discretion of the board of elections a particular polling place so
designated is subsequently found to be unsuitable or unsafe or should
circumstances arise that make a designated polling place unsuitable or
unsafe, then the board of elections is empowered to select an
alternative meeting place. In the city of New York, the board of
elections shall designate such polling places and alternate registration
places if the polling place cannot be used for voter registration on
Saturdays.

1-a. Each polling place shall be accessible to citizens with
disabilities and comply with the accessibility guidelines of the
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The state board of elections
shall publish and distribute to each board of elections with the power
to designate poll sites, a concise, non-technical guide describing
standards for poll site accessibility, including a polling site access
survey instrument, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities
Act accessibility guidelines (ADAAG) and methods to comply with such
standards. Such guide and procedures shall be developed in consultation
with persons, groups or entities with knowledge about public access as
the state board of elections shall determine appropriate.

1-b. The county board of elections shall cause an access survey to be
conducted for every polling site to verify substantial compliance with
the accessibility standards cited in this section. Completed surveys
shall be submitted to the state board of elections and kept on file as a
public record by each county. Each polling site shall be evaluated prior
to its designation or upon changes to the facility. A site designated as
a polling place prior to the effective date of this subdivision shall be
evaluated within two years of the effective date of this subdivision by
an individual qualified to determine whether or not such site meets the
existing state and federal accessibility standards. Any polling place
deemed not to meet the existing accessibility standards must make
necessary changes and/or modifications, or be moved to a verified
accessible polling place within six months.

1-c. The state board of elections shall promulgate any rules and
regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

2. If the board of elections, after designating a polling place, and
after sending written notice of such polling place to each registered
voter, designates an alternative polling place, it must, at least five
days before the next election or day for registration, send by mail a
written notice to each registered voter notifying him of the changed
location of such polling place. If such notice is not possible the board
of elections must provide for an alternative form of notice to be given
to voters at the location of the previous polling place.

3. A building exempt from taxation shall be used whenever possible as
a polling place if it is situated in the same or a contiguous election
district, and may contain as many distinctly separate polling places as
public convenience may require. The expense, if any, incidental to its
use, shall be paid like the expense of other places of registration and
voting. If a board or body empowered to designate polling places chooses
a public school building for such purpose, the board or agency which
controls such building must make available a room or rooms in such
building which are suitable for registration and voting and which are as
close as possible to a convenient entrance to such building and must
make available any such room or rooms which the board or body
designating such building determines are accessible to physically
disabled voters as provided in subdivision one-a. Notwithstanding the
provisions of any general, special or local law, if a board or body
empowered to designate polling places chooses a publicly owned or leased
building, other than a public school building, for such purposes the
board or body which controls such building must make available a room or
rooms in such building which are suitable for registration and voting
and which are as close as possible to a convenient entrance to such
building, and must make available any such room or rooms which the board
or body designating such building determines are accessible to
physically disabled voters unless, not later than thirty days after
notice of its designation as a polling place, the board or body
controlling such building, files a written request for a cancellation of
such designation with the board or body empowered to designate polling
places on such form as shall be provided by the board or body making
such designation. The board or body empowered to so designate shall,
within twenty days after such request is filed, determine whether the
use of such building as a polling place would unreasonably interfere
with the usual activities conducted in such building and upon such
determination, may cancel such designation.

3-a. Any person or entity which controls a building for which a tax
exemption, tax abatement, subsidy, grant or loan for construction,
renovation, rehabilitation or operation has been provided by any agency
of the state or any political subdivision thereof on or after the
effective date of this subdivision shall agree to make available for
registration and voting purposes the room or rooms in such building
which the board or body empowered to designate polling places determines
are suitable for registration and voting, are accessible to physically
disabled voters and are as close as possible to a convenient entrance to
such building. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any agency of
the state or any political subdivision thereof may deny a tax exemption,
tax abatement, subsidy, grant or loan for construction, renovation,
rehabilitation or operation to a building which is otherwise eligible
for such exemption, abatement, subsidy, grant or loan if the person or
entity which controls such building refuses to agree to make available
for registration and voting purposes the room or rooms in such building
which the board or body empowered to designate polling places determines
are suitable for registration and voting, are accessible to physically
disabled voters and are as close as possible to a convenient entrance to
such building. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to
buildings used solely for residential purposes which contain twenty-five
dwelling units or less.

3-b. Any person or entity conducting any program, activity or service
for which a loan, grant, contract, subsidy or reimbursement has been
provided by any agency of the state or a political subdivision thereof
on or after the effective date of this subdivision shall make available
for registration and voting purposes the room or rooms under the control
of such person or entity in a building in which such program, activity
or service is conducted which the board or body empowered to designate
polling places determines are suitable for registration and voting, are
accessible to physically disabled voters and are as close as possible to
a convenient entrance to such building. Any such person, organization or
entity shall agree to facilitate the use of such room or rooms, to the
maximum extent possible, by making efforts to obtain the permission and
cooperation of any person or entity which controls the building in which
such room or rooms are located. Notwithstanding any other provision of
law, any agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof may
deny a loan, grant, contract, subsidy or reimbursement to any such
person or entity otherwise eligible for such loan, grant, contract,
subsidy or reimbursement unless such person or entity agrees to make
available for registration and voting purposes the room or rooms in such
building which the board or body empowered to designate polling places
determines are suitable for registration and voting, are accessible to
physically disabled voters as provided in subdivision one-a of this
section and are as close as possible to a convenient entrance to such
building and agrees to facilitate the use of such room or rooms, to the
maximum extent possible, by making efforts to obtain the permission and
cooperation of any person or entity which controls the building in which
such room or rooms are located.

3-c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions three-a and
three-b of this section, no person, board, agency, body or entity shall
be required to make available for registration or voting by persons
other than the residents of such building, any room or rooms in a
building, other than a publicly owned building, which contains
correctional, health, mental hygiene, day care, drug or addiction
treatment, or emergency services or other services for the public
safety, or in a building used for religious services.

3-d. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of section 3-506 or
section 4-134 of this chapter, and in the absence of a specific written
agreement to the contrary, if the board or body empowered to designate
polling places has authorized the use of a portable ramp, or ramp and
platform, at a polling site for purposes of compliance with subdivision
one-a of this section, the person or entity in control of a building or
portion thereof in which such polling site is designated shall install,
remove, store, and safeguard each such ramp, or ramp and platform, at
such times and dates as may be required by the board or body empowered
to designate polling places.

4. Where an election district is so situated or the only facilities
available therein are such that public convenience would be served by
establishing a polling place outside such district, the board or body
empowered by this chapter to establish election districts may designate
a polling place in a contiguous district.

4-a. Notwithstanding any conflicting provisions of this section, the
common council of the city of Little Falls may adopt a resolution
determining that there is no building within an election district within
such city available and suitable for the meetings for the registration
of voters or for any election, or that for reasons of efficiency or
economy it is desirable to consolidate the polling places for two or
more, or all districts, in such city, in one place, regardless of
whether or not such district adjoins the district to which such meeting
or polling place is moved, and there may be as many distinctly separate
election districts lawfully located in the same building as public
convenience may require. Such a resolution shall be subject to the
approval of the county board of elections. Every such building chosen
shall meet all other requirements of this section and all federal
requirements for accessibility for the elderly and the disabled.

5. (a) Whenever the number of voters eligible to vote in an election
in any election district is less than one hundred, the polling place
designated for such district may be the polling place of any other
district which could properly be designated as the polling place of the
first mentioned district pursuant to the provisions of this chapter,
except that the polling place designated for any such district may be
the polling place of any other district in such city or town provided
that the distance from such first mentioned district to the polling
place for such other district is not unreasonable pursuant to rules or
regulations prescribed by the state board of elections and provided that
the total number of persons eligible to vote in such other district in
such election, including the persons eligible to vote in such first
mentioned districts, is not more than five hundred. The inspectors of
election and poll clerks, if any, of such other election district shall
also act in all respects as the election officers for such first
mentioned districts and no other inspectors shall be appointed to serve
in or for such first mentioned districts. A separate poll ledger or
computer generated registration list, separate voting machine or ballots
and separate canvass of results shall be provided for such first
mentioned districts, except that if the candidates and ballot proposals
to be voted on by the voters of such districts are the same, the
election districts shall be combined and shall constitute a single
election district for that election. However, if the first mentioned
district contains fewer than ten voters eligible to vote in such
election, there shall be no limitation on the total number of persons
eligible to vote in such combined district. If the polling place for any
election district is moved for any election, pursuant to the provisions
of this subdivision, the board of elections shall, not later than ten
nor more than fifteen days before such election, mail, by first class
mail, to each voter eligible to vote in such election district at such
election, a notice setting forth the location of the polling place for
such election and specifying that such location is for such election
only.

(b) Whenever the total number of voters eligible to vote in any
primary or special election, in any two election districts whose polling
places are regularly located in the same building, is less than four
hundred, the board of elections may assign the inspectors of election of
the election district which contains the greater number of such voters,
to act also, in all respects, as the election officers of the other such
election district and no other election officers shall be appointed to
serve in or for such other election district at such primary or special
election. A separate poll ledger or computer generated registration
list, separate voting machine or ballots and separate canvass of results
shall be provided for each such election district.

(c) Whenever all the candidates to be voted upon at a primary
election, except a primary election in the city of New York, or all the
candidates and ballot proposals to be voted upon at a special election,
or at a school board election conducted by the board of elections, or at
a general election in the city of New York in a year in which there is
no election for electors of president and vice-president of the United
States or governor of the state or mayor of such city, by the voters of
any two or more election districts whose polling places are regularly
located in the same building are identical, the board of elections may
combine such election districts for that election, provided that the
total number of voters eligible to vote in any such combined election
district does not exceed one thousand two hundred in a primary election
or does not exceed two thousand in a special election or a general
election in the city of New York.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, polling
places designated for any one such election district that will be
utilizing any voting machine or system certified for use in New York
state pursuant to chapter one hundred eighty-one of the laws of two
thousand five, may be the polling place of any other contiguous district
or districts, provided the voting system used in such polling place
produces separate and distinct vote totals for each election district
voting in such polling place on such voting machine or system.

6. Each polling place designated, whenever practicable, shall be
situated on the main or ground floor of the premises selected. It shall
be of sufficient area to admit and comfortably accommodate voters in
numbers consistent with the deployment of voting systems and privacy
booths, pursuant to 9 NYCRR 6210.19. Such deployment of voting systems,
election workers and election resources shall be in a sufficient number
to accommodate the numbers of voters eligible to vote in such polling
place.

6-a. Each polling place designated, whenever practicable, shall be
situated directly on a public transportation route.

7. No polling place shall be located on premises owned or leased by a
person holding public office or who is a candidate for public office at
a primary or general election.

8. Whenever the board of elections shall determine that there is no
building within an election district available and suitable for the
meetings for the registration of voters or for any election, or that for
reasons of efficiency or economy it is desirable to consolidate such
meetings of one or more districts in one place, such board may designate
a building for such purpose in an adjoining district in the same
village, city or town and there may be as many distinctly separate
meetings or polling places lawfully located in the same building as
public convenience may require. Wherever possible, public schools, fire
houses, municipal buildings or other buildings exempt from taxation
shall be designated for such meetings and polling places. Such a
determination shall be made only after notice to the chairpersons of the
county committees of all political parties and reasonable opportunity
for them to be heard.