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


Section 8-304 Voters; signature identification

Election (ELN)

1. A person before being allowed to vote shall be required, except as provided in this chapter, to sign his name on the back of his registration poll record on the first line reserved for his signature at the time of election which is not filled with a previous signature, or on the line of the computer generated registration list reserved for his signature. The two inspectors in charge shall satisfy themselves by a comparison of this signature with his registration signature and by comparison of his appearance with the descriptive material on the face of the registration poll record that he is the person registered. If they are so satisfied they shall enter the other information required for the election on the same line with the voter's latest signature, shall sign their names or initials in the spaces provided therefor, and shall permit the applicant to vote. Any inspector or inspectors not satisfied shall challenge the applicant forthwith.

  2. If a person who alleges his inability to sign his name presents himself to vote, the board of inspectors shall permit him to vote, unless challenged on other grounds, provided he had been permitted to register without signing his name. The board shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" in the space on his registration poll record reserved for his signature or on the line of the computer generated registration list reserved for his signature at such election. If his signature appears upon his registration record or upon the computer generated registration list the board shall challenge him forthwith, except that if such a person claims that he is unable to sign his name by reason of a physical disability incurred since his registration, the board, if convinced of the existence of such disability, shall permit him to vote, shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" and a brief description of such disability in the space reserved for his signature at such election. At each subsequent election, if such disability still exists, he shall be entitled to vote without signing his name and the board of inspectors, without further notation, shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" in the space reserved for his signature at such election.

  3. The voter's signature made by him upon registration and his signature made at subsequent elections shall be effectively concealed from the voter by a blotter or piece of opaque paper until after the voter shall have completed his signature.

  4. In any case where a person who has heretofore voted has placed his voting signature on the back of his registration poll record on the first or any succeeding line or lines at the time or times of an election, instead of on the last line of the space thereon required to be reserved for such voting signatures and on any lines next running upward therefrom, the inspectors of election shall obliterate such misplaced signature or signatures, initial the obliteration and require such voter to sign his name again in the correct place on such registration poll record.

  5. Any person who has heretofore registered and who at such time placed his or her registration signature on the back of the registration poll record otherwise than in the space required to be provided therefor at the bottom of such poll record, shall, before being permitted to vote at any election thereafter, subscribe a new registration signature for himself on the last line at the bottom of such poll record, and, at the same time, if the inspectors of election are satisfied that the signatures were made by the same person, obliterate his original registration signature placed elsewhere than on the bottom of such record. Such obliterations may be made by crossing out the signature so as to completely efface the same or by affixing thereover a piece of gummed tape of a size sufficient only to cover such signature and of a type adequate to fully conceal the same.