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This entry was published on 2021-05-28
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SECTION 8-600
Early voting
Election (ELN) CHAPTER 17, ARTICLE 8, TITLE 6
§ 8-600. Early voting. 1. Beginning the tenth day prior to any
general, primary, run-off primary pursuant to subdivision one of section
6-162 of this chapter or special election for any public or party
position except for such an election held pursuant to title two of
article six or article fifteen of this chapter, and ending on and
including the second day prior to such general, primary, run-off primary
or special election for such public office or party position, persons
duly registered and eligible to vote at such election shall be permitted
to vote as provided in this title. The board of elections shall
establish procedures, subject to approval of the state board of
elections, to ensure that persons who vote during the early voting
period shall not be permitted to vote subsequently in the same election.

2. (a) The board of elections shall designate polling places for early
voting, which may include the offices of the board of elections, for
persons to vote early pursuant to this title; provided, however, that
the municipality with the highest population in each county based on the
latest federal decennial census, or the county seat in Washington
county, shall have at least one polling place designated for early
voting, and to the extent practicable if such municipality has public
transportation routes, such polling place shall be situated along such
transportation routes. There shall be so designated at least one early
voting polling place for every full increment of fifty thousand
registered voters in each county; provided, however, the number of early
voting polling places in a county shall not be required to be greater
than ten unless required by any other provision of law, and a county
with fewer than fifty thousand voters shall have at least one early
voting polling place.

(b) For any special, primary or run-off primary election at which no
voters of the municipality with the highest population within the county
are eligible to vote, the board of elections may, in lieu of having an
early voting polling place in such municipality, designate a polling
place for early voting in the municipality with the highest population
within the county within which the voters are eligible to vote at such
special, primary, or run-off primary election.

(c) The board of elections of each county or the city of New York may
establish additional polling places for early voting in excess of the
minimum number required by this subdivision for the convenience of
eligible voters.

(d) Notwithstanding the minimum number of early voting poll sites
otherwise required by this subdivision, for any primary or special
election, upon majority vote of the board of elections, the number of
early voting sites may be reduced when the board of elections determines
a lesser number of sites is sufficient to meet the needs of early
voters.

(e) Polling places for early voting shall be located so that voters in
the county have adequate and equitable access, taking into consideration
population density, travel time to the polling place, proximity to other
early voting poll sites, public transportation routes, commuter traffic
patterns and such other factors the board of elections deems
appropriate. The provisions of section 4-104 of this chapter, except
subdivisions four and five of such section, shall apply to the
designation of polling places for early voting except to the extent such
provisions are inconsistent with this section.

3. Any voter may vote at any polling place for early voting
established pursuant to subdivision two of this section in the county
where such voter is registered to vote; provided, however, if it is
impractical to provide each polling place for early voting all of the
election district ballots or if early voting at any such polling place
makes ensuring that no voter has not previously voted early during such
election, the board of elections may assign election districts to a
particular early voting poll site. All voters in each county shall have
one or more polling places at which they are eligible to vote throughout
the early voting period on a substantially equal basis. If the board of
elections does not agree by majority vote to plan to assign election
districts to early voting poll sites, all voters in the county must be
able to vote at any poll site for early voting in the county.

4. (a) Polls shall be open for early voting for at least eight hours
between seven o'clock in the morning and eight o'clock in the evening
each week day during the early voting period.

(b) At least one polling place for early voting shall remain open
until eight o'clock in the evening on at least two week days in each
calendar week during the early voting period. If polling places for
early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to
subdivision three of this section, polling places that remain open until
eight o'clock shall be designated such that any person entitled to vote
early may vote until eight o'clock in the evening on at least two week
days during the early voting period.

(c) Polls shall be open for early voting for at least five hours
between nine o'clock in the morning and six o'clock in the evening on
each Saturday, Sunday and legal holiday during the early voting period.

(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any board
of elections from establishing a greater number of hours for voting
during the early voting period beyond the number of hours required in
this subdivision.

(e) Early voting polling places and their hours of operation for early
voting at a general election shall be designated by May first of each
year pursuant to subdivision one of section 4-104 of this chapter.
Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of section 4-104 of
this chapter early voting polling places and their hours of operation
for early voting for: (i) a primary or special election shall be made
not later than forty-five days before such primary or special election;
and (ii) a run-off primary pursuant to subdivision one of section 6-162
of this chapter shall be made as soon as practicable.

5. Each board of elections shall create a communication plan to inform
eligible voters of the opportunity to vote early. Such plan may utilize
any and all media outlets, including social media, and shall publicize:
the location and dates and hours of operation of all polling places for
early voting; an indication of whether each polling place is accessible
to voters with physical disabilities; a clear and unambiguous notice to
voters that if they cast a ballot during the early voting period they
will not be allowed to vote election day; and if polling places for
early voting are limited to voters from certain areas pursuant to
subdivision three of this section, the location of the polling places
for early voting serving the voters of each particular city, town or
other political subdivision.

6. The form of paper ballots used in early voting shall comply with
the provisions of article seven of this chapter that are applicable to
voting by paper ballot on election day and such ballot shall be cast in
the same manner as provided for in section 8-312 of this article,
provided, however, that ballots cast during the early voting period
shall be secured in the manner of voted ballots cast on election day and
such ballots shall not be canvassed or examined until after the close of
the polls on election day, and no unofficial tabulations of election
results shall be printed or viewed in any manner until after the close
of polls on election day.

7. Voters casting ballots pursuant to this title shall be subject to
challenge as provided in sections 8-500, 8-502 and 8-504 of this
article.

8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, at the end of
each day of early voting, any early voting ballots that have not been
scanned because a ballot scanner was not available or because the ballot
has been abandoned by the voter at the ballot scanner shall be cast in a
manner consistent with section 9-110 of this chapter, except that such
ballots which cannot then be cast on a ballot scanner shall be held
inviolate and unexamined and shall be duly secured until after the close
of polls on election day when such ballots shall be examined and
canvassed in a manner consistent with subdivision two of section 9-110
of this chapter.

9. The board of elections shall secure all ballots and scanners used
for early voting from the beginning of the early voting period through
the close of the polls on election day; provided, however, the state
board of elections may by regulation duly adopted by a majority of such
board establish a procedure whereby ballot scanners used for early
voting may also be used on election day if the portable memory devices
used during early voting containing the early voting election
information and vote tabulations are properly secured apart from the
scanners, and the results therefrom shall be duly canvassed after the
close of polls on election day.

10. After the close of polls on election day, inspectors or board of
elections employees appointed to canvass ballots cast during early
voting shall follow all relevant provisions of article nine of this
chapter that are not inconsistent with this section, for canvassing,
processing, recording, and announcing results of voting at polling
places for early voting, and securing ballots, scanners, and other
election materials. Such canvass may occur at the offices of the board
of elections, at the early voting polling place or such other location
designated by the board of elections.

11. Notwithstanding the requirements of this title requiring the
canvass of ballots cast during early voting after the close of polls on
election day, such canvass may begin one hour before the scheduled close
of polls on election day provided the board of elections adopts
procedures to prevent the public release of election results prior to
the close of polls on election day and such procedures shall be
consistent with the regulations of the state board of elections and
shall be filed with the state board of elections at least thirty days
before they shall be effective.