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


Section 8-306 Voters; assistance to

Election (ELN)

1. A voter who states under oath to the board of inspectors that he requires assistance may be assisted in the manner and subject to the conditions and requirements provided for in this section.

  2. A board of inspectors of election shall assist any voter:

  (a) who informs such board, under oath, that he cannot read and therefore requires assistance, or

  (b) who cannot even with the aid of glasses see the names printed on the official ballot, or

  (c) who is so physically handicapped that he cannot do what is needed at that election to turn down the levers or use a write-in slot on a voting machine, or mark a paper ballot, or

  (d) who, unless aided by another person, cannot enter a voting booth.

  3. Any voter who requires assistance to vote by reason of blindness, disability or inability to read or write may be given assistance by a person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's employer or agent of the employer or officer or agent of the voter's union. A voter entitled to assistance in voting who does not select a particular person may be assisted by two election inspectors not of the same political faith. The inspectors or person assisting a voter shall enter the voting machine or booth with him, help him in the preparation of his ballot and, if necessary, in the return of the voted ballot to the inspectors for deposit in the ballot box. The inspectors shall enter in the remarks space on the registration poll card of an assisted voter, or next to the name of such voter on the computer generated registration list, the name of each officer or person rendering such assistance.

  4. An election officer or other person assisting a voter shall not in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce the assisted voter to vote any particular ticket, or for any particular candidate, or for or against any particular ballot proposal, and shall not keep or make any memorandum or entry of anything occurring within the voting booth and shall not, directly or indirectly, reveal to any other person the name of any candidate voted for by such voter, or which ticket he has voted, except when required pursuant to law to give testimony as to such matter in a judicial proceeding.

  5. A person other than an inspector, who assists a voter in voting, shall make an oath before entering the booth that he "will not in any manner request, or seek to persuade or induce the voter to vote any particular ticket or for any particular candidate, and that he will not keep or make any memorandum or entry of anything occurring within the booth, and that he will not, directly or indirectly, reveal to any person the name of any candidate voted for by the voter, or which ticket he had voted, or anything occurring within the voting booth, except when required pursuant to law to give testimony as to such a matter in a judicial proceeding."

  6. If a voter makes any false representation to obtain assistance in voting, he shall be punishable therefor as prescribed by law.

  7. For the instruction of voters, there may be so far as practicable, in each polling place, a mechanically operated model of a portion of the face of the voting machine. Such model, if furnished, shall be located during the election on the inspectors' table or in some other place which the voters must pass to reach the machine. Each voter, before entering the machine, shall, upon request, be instructed regarding its operation and such instruction illustrated on the model and the voter given opportunity personally to operate the model. The voter's attention shall also be called to the facsimile ballot so that the voter can become familiar with the location of the ballot proposals, if any, and the location of the respective offices to be filled at the election. If any voter, after entering the voting machine booth and before the closing of such booth, shall ask for further instructions concerning the manner of voting, two inspectors of opposite political faith shall give such instructions to him. No inspector or other election officer or other person instructing a voter, shall, in any manner, request, suggest or seek to persuade or induce any such voter to vote any particular ticket, or for any particular candidate or for or against any particular ballot proposal. After giving such instructions, the inspectors shall retire and such voter shall then close the booth and vote as in the case of an unassisted voter.

  8. In no event shall an inspector or any other person enter a voting machine or booth for the purpose of giving instructions to a voter, after the voter has closed such booth, except as permitted herein.

  9. Any voter requesting a sample ballot shall be furnished one if available and he may take it away from the polling place.