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 or her name on the back of his or her registration poll record on the first line reserved for his or her signature at the time of election which is not filled with a previous signature, or in the space provided in the computer generated registration list reserved for the voter's signature. The two inspectors in charge shall satisfy themselves by a comparison of this signature with the voter's registration signature and by comparison of the voter's appearance with the descriptive material on the face of the registration poll record that the voter 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 an inability to sign his or her name presents himself or herself to vote, the board of inspectors shall permit such person to vote, unless challenged on other grounds, provided the voter had been permitted to register without signing the voter's name. The board shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" in the space on the voter's registration poll record reserved for the voter's signature or on the line or space the computer generated registration list reserved for the voter's signature at such election. If the voter's signature appears upon the voter's registration record or in the computer generated registration list the board shall challenge the voter forthwith, except that if such a person claims that he or she is unable to sign his or her name by reason of a physical disability incurred since the voter's registration, the board, if convinced of the existence of such disability, shall permit him or her to vote, shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" and a brief description of such disability in the space reserved for the voter's signature at such election. At each subsequent election, if such disability still exists, the voter shall be entitled to vote without signing their name and the board of inspectors, without further notation, shall enter the words "Unable to Sign" in the space reserved for the voter's signature at such election.

  3. The voter's facsimile signature shall be effectively concealed from the voter by a blotter or other means until after the voter shall have completed the 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.