1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Election
  4. Article 8: Conduct of Elections
  5. Title 1: Polling Places


Section 8-102 Polls; opening of

Election (ELN)

1. The inspectors of election, and clerks, if any, shall meet at the polling place at least one-half hour before the time set for opening the polls of election. The inspectors of election shall:

  (a) See that the American flag is displayed.

  (b) Cause the facsimile ballots and voter information posting to be posted conspicuously within the polling place.

  (c) Cause the distance markers to be placed at a distance of one hundred feet from the polling place.

  (d) Establish a guard-rail by delineating and marking out the voting area by a suitable means. The ballot scanner, ballot marking device, ballot boxes and secure storage containers, privacy booths, all ballots and all equipment shall be kept within such guard-rail.

  (e) Place the books, ballots and sample ballots, blanks, stationery and supplies so that they will be ready and convenient for use.

  (f) Affix or attach to their clothing and cause the clerks, if any, to affix or attach to their clothing the proper identification buttons, badges or emblems issued by the board of elections pursuant to the provisions of this chapter. The inspectors and clerks shall wear no other buttons, badges or emblems which are similar in design.

  (g) See that the privacy booths contain conspicuous instructions on how to properly mark ballots and that voters are provided with appropriate writing instruments for marking ballots.

  (h) Unlock all ballot boxes and secure storage containers to be used to hold election day paper ballots, see that they are empty, allow them to be examined by the watchers present, and lock them up again in such a manner that the watchers and the persons just outside the guard-rail may see that the boxes are empty when re-locked; provided, however, the ballot boxes or secure storage containers holding unused ballots shall be inspected to confirm that only the number of unused election day paper ballots provided by the board of elections are contained therein.

  (i) Inspect the ballot scanner and ballot marking device to see that it is in good working order. Inspect the placement of privacy booths to preserve the secrecy of voting; inspect the screen of the ballot scanner and ballot marking device; inspect the polling place to make certain there is no way that anyone can view any voting action by a voter at the ballot scanner, ballot marking device, or in a privacy booth; and affix a conspicuous notice, in the form prescribed by the state board of elections, in a prominent place near the ballot scanner and in the privacy booth, instructing the voter on how to properly mark a ballot in order to have his or her vote counted. Such notice shall be printed in English and such other languages as the board of elections may determine to be appropriate.

  (j) Announce that the polls are open for voting and the time when the polls will close.

  2. The keys to the ballot scanner and ballot marking device shall be delivered to the inspectors at least one-half hour before the time set for the opening of the polls, in a sealed envelope, on which shall be written or printed the ballot scanner or ballot marking device serial number and location of the polling place, as reported by the voting machine custodian. The envelope containing the keys shall not be opened until at least one inspector from each of the two parties shall be present in the polling place and shall have examined the envelope to see that it has not been opened. Before opening the envelope, such election inspectors present shall examine the serial number on the machine, and shall see if they are the same as the numbers written on the envelope containing the keys. If found not to agree, the envelope must not be opened until the voting machine custodian, or other authorized person, shall have been notified and shall have arrived at the polling place for the purpose of re-examining such machine and shall certify that it is properly arranged. If the serial number on the machine is found to agree with the number on the envelope, the inspectors, except as hereinafter provided, shall turn on the machine. The inspectors shall carefully examine the printed record produced by the machine to see that each counter registers zero, and shall allow watchers to examine the printed record. The inspectors shall then sign a certificate showing the delivery of the keys in a sealed envelope, the serial number on the machine, the number registered on the protective counter, that all the counters are set at zero and that the public counter is set at zero. The machine shall remain secured against voting until the polls are formally opened and shall not be operated except by voters when voting or by election officials upon the instructions of the board of elections. If any counter is found not to register zero, the inspectors of election shall immediately notify the board of elections.