1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Election
  4. Article 7: Election Ballot
  5. Title 2: Voting Machines


Section 7-202 Voting machine or system; requirements of

Election (ELN)

1. A voting machine or system to be approved by the state board of elections shall:

  a. be constructed so as to allow for voting for all candidates who may be nominated and on all ballot proposals which may be submitted and, except for elections at which the number of parties and independent bodies on the ballot exceeds the number of rows or columns available, so that the amount of space between the names of any two candidates of any party or independent body in any row or column of such machine or system at any election is no greater than the amount of space between the names of any other candidates of such party or independent body at such election;

  b. permit a voter to vote for any person for any office, whether or not nominated as a candidate by any party or independent body without the ballot, or any part thereof, being removed from the machine at any time;

  c. be constructed so that a voter cannot vote for a candidate or on a ballot proposal for whom or on which he or she is not lawfully entitled to vote;

  d. if the voter selects votes for more than one candidate for a single office, except where a voter is lawfully entitled to vote for more than one person for that office, notify the voter that the voter has selected more than one candidate for a single office on the ballot, notify the voter before the ballot is cast and counted of the effect of casting multiple votes for the office, and provide the voter with the opportunity to correct the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;

  e. provide the voter an opportunity to privately and independently verify votes selected and the ability to privately and independently change such votes or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted;

  f. be provided with a "protective counter" which records the number of times the machine or system has been operated since it was built and a "public counter" which records the number of persons who have voted on the machine at each separate election;

  g. be provided with a lock or locks, or other device or devices, the use of which, immediately after the polls are closed or the operation of the machine or system for such election is completed, will absolutely secure the voting or registering mechanism and prevent the recording of additional votes;

  h. be provided with sufficient space to display the information required herein, provided, however, in the alternative, such information may be displayed within the official ballot;

  i. be provided with a device for printing or photographing all counters or numbers recorded by the machine or system before the polls open and after the polls close which shall be a permanent record with a manual audit capacity available for canvassing the votes recorded by the machine or system; such paper record shall be preserved in accordance with the provisions of section 3-222 of this chapter;

  j. retain all paper ballots cast or produce and retain a voter verified permanent paper record which shall be presented to the voter from behind a window or other device before the ballot is cast, in a manner intended and designed to protect the privacy of the voter; such ballots or record shall allow a manual audit and shall be preserved in accordance with the provisions of section 3-222 of this chapter;

  k. provide sufficient illumination to enable the voter to see the ballot;

  l. be suitable for the use of election officers in examining the counters such that the protective counters and public counters on all such machines or systems must be located so that they will be visible to the inspectors and watchers at all times while the polls are open;

  m. be provided with a screen and hood or curtain or privacy features with equivalent function which shall be so made and adjusted as to conceal the voter and his or her action while voting;

  n. contain a device which enables all the election inspectors and poll watchers at such election district to determine when the voting machine or system has been activated for voting and when the voter has completed casting his or her vote;

  o. permit the primaries of at least five parties to be held on such machine or system at a single election, and accommodate such number of multiple ballots at a single election as may be required by the state board of elections but in no case less than five;

  p. be constructed to allow a voter in a wheelchair to cast his or her vote;

  q. permit inspectors of elections to easily and safely place the voting machine or system in a wheelchair accessible position;

  r. ensure the integrity and security of the voting machine or system by:

  (i) being capable of conducting both pre-election and post-election testing of the logic and accuracy of the machine or system that demonstrates an accurate tally when a known quantity of votes is entered into each machine; and

  (ii) providing a means by which a malfunctioning voting machine or system shall secure any votes already cast on such machine or system;

  s. permit alternative language accessibility pursuant to the requirements of section 203 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 1973aa-1a) such that it must have the capacity to display the full ballot in the alternative languages required by the federal Voting Rights Act if such voting machine or system is to be used where such alternative languages are required or where the local board deems such feature necessary; and

  t. not include any device or functionality potentially capable of externally transmitting or receiving data via the internet or via radio waves or via other wireless means.

  2. The state board of elections shall approve, for use at each polling place at least one voting machine or system at such polling place which, in addition to meeting the requirements in subdivision one of this section, shall:

  a. be equipped with a voting device with tactile discernible controls designed to meet the needs of voters with limited reach and limited hand dexterity;

  b. be equipped with an audio voting feature that communicates the complete content of the ballot in a voice which permits a voter who is blind or visually impaired to cast a secret ballot using voice-only or tactile discernible controls; and

  c. be capable of being equipped with a pneumatic switch voting attachment which can be operated orally by gentle pressure or the creation of a vacuum through the inhalation or exhalation of air by the voter including, but not limited to, a sip-and-puff switch voting attachment.

  3. The state board of elections may, in accordance with subdivision four of section 3-100 of this chapter, establish by regulation additional standards for voting machines or systems not inconsistent with this chapter.

  4. Local boards of elections which obtain voting machines pursuant to this chapter may determine to purchase direct recording electronic machines or optical scan machines in conformance with the requirements of this chapter.