1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Election
  4. Article 8: Conduct of Elections
  5. Title 3: Casting the Ballot


Section 8-302 Voting; verification of registration

Election (ELN)

1. At all elections held pursuant to the provisions of this chapter two inspectors representing different political parties shall act together at all times in supervising the use of the registration records and in verifying the rights of persons to vote on the basis of such records.

  2. The voter shall give his name and his residence address to the inspectors. An inspector shall then loudly and distinctly announce the name and residence of the voter.

  2-a. (a) If a voter's name appears in the computer generated registration list with a notation indicating that the voter's identity was not yet verified as required by the federal Help America Vote Act, the inspector shall require that the voter produce one of the following types of identification before permitting the voter to cast his or her vote on the voting machine:

  (i) a driver's license or department of motor vehicles non-driver photo ID card or other current and valid photo identification;

  (ii) a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the voter.

  (b) If the voter produces an identification document listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the inspector shall indicate so in the computer generated registration list, the voter will be deemed verified as required by the federal Help America Vote Act and the voter shall be permitted to cast his or her vote on the voting machine.

  (c) If the voter does not produce an identification document listed in paragraph (a) of this subdivision, the voter shall only be entitled to vote by affidavit ballot unless a court order provides otherwise.

  3. (a) If an applicant is challenged, the board, without delay, shall either enter his name in the second section of the challenge report together with the other entries required to be made in such section opposite the applicant's name or make an entry next to his name on the computer generated registration list or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list.

  (b) A person who claims to have moved to a new address within the election district in which he is registered to vote shall be permitted to vote in the same manner as other voters unless challenged on other grounds. The inspectors shall enter the names and new addresses of all such persons in either the first section of the challenge report or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list and shall also enter the new address next to such person's address on such computer generated registration list. When the registration poll records of persons who have voted from new addresses within the same election district are returned to the board of elections, such board shall change the addresses on the face of such registration poll records without completely obliterating the old addresses and shall enter such new addresses and the new addresses for any such persons whose names were on computer generated registration lists into its computer records for such persons.

  (c) A person who claims a changed name shall be permitted to vote in the same manner as other voters unless challenged on other grounds. The inspectors shall either enter the names of all such persons in the first section of the challenge report or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list, in the form in which they are registered, followed in parentheses by the name as changed or enter the name as changed next to such voter's name on the computer generated registration list. The voter shall sign first on the registration poll record or on the computer generated registration list, the name under which the voter is registered and, immediately above it, the new name, provided that on such a computer generated registration list, the new name may be signed in the place provided at the end of such list. When the registration poll record of a person who has voted under a new name is returned to the board of elections, such board shall change his name on the face of each of his registration records without completely obliterating the old one, and thereafter such person shall vote only under his new name. If a voter has signed a new name on a computer generated registration list, such board shall enter such voter's new name and new signature in such voter's computer record.

  (d) If an applicant requests assistance in voting and qualifies therefor, the board shall provide assistance as directed by this chapter, and shall without delay either enter such applicant's name and the other entries required in the third section of the challenge report or make an entry next to such applicant's name on the computer generated registration list or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list.

  (e) Whenever a voter presents himself or herself and offers to cast a ballot, and he or she claims to live in the election district in which he or she seeks to vote but no registration poll record can be found for him or her in the poll ledger or his or her name does not appear on the computer generated registration list or his or her signature does not appear next to his or her name on such computer generated registration list or his or her registration poll record or the computer generated registration list does not show him or her to be enrolled in the party in which he or she claims to be enrolled, a poll clerk or election inspector shall consult a map, street finder or other description of all of the polling places and election districts within the political subdivision in which said election district is located and if necessary, contact the board of elections to obtain the relevant information and advise the voter of the correct polling place and election district for the residence address provided by the voter to such poll clerk or election inspector. Thereafter, such voter shall be permitted to vote in said election district only as hereinafter provided:

  (i) He may present a court order requiring that he be permitted to vote. At a primary election, such a court order must specify the party in which the voter is permitted to vote. He shall be required to sign his full name on top of the first page of such order, together with his registration serial number, if any, and his name and the other entries required shall then be entered without delay in the fourth section of the challenge report or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list, or, if such person's name appears on the computer generated registration list, the board of elections may provide a place to make such entry next to his name on such list. The voter shall then be permitted to vote in the manner otherwise prescribed for voters whose registration poll records are found in the ledger or whose names are found on the computer generated registration list; or

  (ii) He or she may swear to and subscribe an affidavit stating that he or she has duly registered to vote, the address in such election district from which he or she registered, that he or she remains a duly qualified voter in such election district, that his or her registration poll record appears to be lost or misplaced or that his or her name and/or his or her signature was omitted from the computer generated registration list or that he or she has moved within the county or city since he or she last registered, the address from which he or she was previously registered and the address at which he or she currently resides, and at a primary election, the party in which he or she is enrolled. The inspectors of election shall offer such an affidavit to each such voter whose residence address is in such election district. Each such affidavit shall be in a form prescribed by the state board of elections, shall be printed on an envelope of the size and quality used for an absentee ballot envelope, and shall contain an acknowledgment that the affiant understands that any false statement made therein is perjury punishable according to law. Such form prescribed by the state board of elections shall request information required to register such voter should the county board determine that such voter is not registered and shall constitute an application to register to vote. The voter's name and the entries required shall then be entered without delay and without further inquiry in the fourth section of the challenge report or in the place provided at the end of the computer generated registration list, with the notation that the voter has executed the affidavit hereinabove prescribed, or, if such person's name appears on the computer generated registration list, the board of elections may provide a place to make such entry next to his or her name on such list. The voter shall then, without further inquiry, be permitted to vote an affidavit ballot provided for by this chapter. Such ballot shall thereupon be placed in the envelope containing his or her affidavit, and the envelope sealed and returned to the board of elections in the manner provided by this chapter for protested official ballots, including a statement of the number of such ballots.

  3-a. The inspectors shall also give to every person whose address is in such election district for whom no registration poll record can be found and, in a primary election, to every voter whose registration poll record does not show him to be enrolled in the party in which he wishes to be enrolled a copy of a notice, in a form prescribed by the state board of elections, advising such person of his right to, and of the procedures by which he may, cast an affidavit ballot or seek a court order permitting him to vote, and shall also give every such person who does not cast an affidavit ballot, an application for registration by mail.

  3-b. In every election district in which the candidates for any office or position in a primary election have been assigned numbers by the board of elections because of identical or similar names, the inspectors shall also give to every person eligible to vote in such primary, a copy of a leaflet prepared by the board of elections which contains biographical information about such candidates.

  3-c. At the time that an individual casts an affidavit ballot, the appropriate state or local election official shall give the individual written information that states that any individual who casts an affidavit ballot will be able to ascertain under the system established under subdivision four of section 9-212 of this chapter whether the vote was counted, and, if the vote was not counted, the reason that the vote was not counted.

  4. At a primary election, a voter whose registration poll record is in the ledger shall be permitted to vote only in the primary of the party in which such record shows him to be enrolled unless he shall present a court order pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (e) of subdivision three of this section requiring that he be permitted to vote in the primary of another party, or unless he shall present a certificate of enrollment issued by the board of elections, not earlier than one month before such primary election, pursuant to the provisions of this chapter which certifies that he is enrolled in a party other than the one in which such record shows him to be enrolled, or unless he shall subscribe an affidavit pursuant to the provisions of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (e) of subdivision three of this section.

  5. Except for voters unable to sign their names, no person shall be permitted to vote without first identifying himself as required by this chapter.