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


Section 8-506 Challenges; absentee, military, special federal and special presidential ballots

Election (ELN)

Challenges; absentee, military, special federal and special presidential ballots. 1. During the examination of absentee, military, special federal and special presidential voters' ballot envelopes, any inspector shall, and any watcher or registered voter properly in the polling place may, challenge the casting of any ballot upon the ground or grounds allowed for challenges generally, or (a) that the voter was not entitled to cast an absentee, military, special federal or special presidential ballot, or (b) that notwithstanding the permissive use of titles, initials or customary abbreviations of given names, the signature on the ballot envelope does not correspond to the signature on the registration poll record, or (c) that the voter died before the day of the election.

  2. The board of inspectors forthwith shall proceed to determine each challenge. Unless the board by majority vote shall sustain the challenge, an inspector shall endorse upon the envelope the nature of the challenge and the words "not sustained", shall sign such endorsement, and shall proceed to cast the ballot as provided herein. Should the board, by majority vote, sustain such challenge, the reason and the word "sustained" shall be similarly endorsed upon the envelope and an inspector shall sign such endorsement. The envelope shall not be opened and such envelope shall be returned unopened to the board of elections. If a challenge is sustained after the ballot has been removed from the envelope, but before it has been deposited in the ballot box, such ballot shall be rejected without being unfolded or inspected and shall be returned to the envelope. The board shall immediately enter the reason for sustaining the challenge on such envelope and an inspector shall sign such endorsement.

  3. If the board of inspectors determines by majority vote that it lacks sufficient knowledge and information to determine the validity of a challenge, the inspectors shall endorse upon the ballot envelope the words "unable to determine", enter the reason for the challenge in the appropriate section of the challenge report and return the envelope unopened to the board of elections. Such ballots shall be cast and canvassed pursuant to the provisions of section 9-209 of this chapter.