New York Consolidated Laws, Election Law § 8-104. Polls




1. The American flag shall be kept displayed at each polling place throughout the election.  Facsimile ballots, voter information posting and distance markers shall not be taken down, torn or defaced during the election.  While the polls are open no person shall do any electioneering within the polling place, or in any public street, within a one hundred foot radial measured from the entrances designated by the inspectors of election, to such polling place or within such distance in any place in a public manner;  and no political banner, button, poster or placard shall be allowed in or upon the polling place or within such one hundred foot radial.  While the polls are open no person shall consume any alcoholic beverages within the polling place.

1-a. The election inspectors shall conspicuously post in the polling place before the opening of the polls, a voter information posting, which shall include:  (a) the sample ballot and instructions for the use of ballot scanners and ballot marking devices required pursuant to section 7-118 of this chapter;  (b) a statement that “today is election day” and the hours during which polling places will be open;  (c) instructions on how to cast an affidavit ballot and a concise statement of a voter's right to such a ballot;  (d) instructions relating to requirements for voting on ballot scanners by those registrants who must provide identification pursuant to the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002;  (e) instructions for first-time voters;  (f) a voter's bill of rights describing voter's rights under applicable federal and state law, including the right of accessibility and alternate language accessibility;  (g) information pertaining to voting by election day paper ballot, including information about the consequence of casting an overvote, steps to prevent unintentional undervoting and spoiled ballots;  (h) instructions on how to contact the appropriate officials if a voter's right to vote or right to otherwise participate in the electoral process has been violated;  and (i) general information on federal and state laws regarding prohibitions on acts of fraud and misrepresentation.  The state board of elections shall prescribe the form and content of the voter information posting, which may be comprised of one or more pages, provided each page shall be posted separately.  The state board of elections shall prescribe an official version of such voter information posting for every language which appears on any general, primary or special election ballot in any election district in the state and for such other languages as such board, in its opinion, determines is appropriate.  Such posting shall be used in all jurisdictions, and a separate posting shall be made by election inspectors for each language appearing on the ballot and for such additional languages as the board of elections may require.  A board of elections may modify or supplement the voter information posting used in its jurisdiction to provide additional or local information;  provided, however, any such modification or supplementation shall be submitted to the state board of elections for prior approval.

2. The ballot boxes, other secure storage containers and all official ballots shall be kept within the guard-rail, and at least six feet therefrom, from the opening of the polls until the announcement of the result of the canvass and the signing of the inspectors' returns thereof.  No person shall be admitted within the guard-rail during such period except the election officers, authorized watchers, persons admitted by the inspectors to preserve order or enforce the law, voters duly admitted for the purpose of voting and children under the age of sixteen accompanying their voting parents or guardians;  provided, however, that candidates voted for at the polling place may be within the guard-rail during the canvass.

3. The provisions of this chapter concerning the preservation of order and apprehension for crime on a day of registration, shall apply to a day of election, but a person taken into custody shall not be prohibited thereby from voting.

4. After a ballot box or other secure storage container has been locked for the purposes of election, it shall not be opened until it is opened at the close of the polls for purposes of canvass or by election officials upon the instructions of the board of elections.  Each inspector shall be responsible personally for the custody of each ballot box and other secure storage container and its contents from the time the election begins until the box or container is delivered, according to law, to the person entitled to receive it.

5. Voters entitled to vote who are on line or in the polling place at the time fixed by law for the closing of the polls shall be allowed to vote.

6. In the city of New York, during days of primary, general, special and community school board elections, at each premises wherein a polling place or places are located, at least one police officer or peace officer designated by the police commissioner of such city pursuant to the provisions of article two of the criminal procedure law shall be assigned for duty from the opening until the closing of the polls.  Additional police officers or peace officers may be assigned as is deemed appropriate by the police commissioner of such city.


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