New York Consolidated Laws, Election Law - ELN § 5-506. Optional use of computer registration lists

1. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter to the contrary, a board of elections may apply to the state board of elections for permission to discontinue preparation, use and maintenance of registration poll records.

2. The state board of elections shall adopt regulations establishing the requirements which must be met by a board of elections seeking such permission.

3. Such requirements shall include, but not be limited to the following:

a. The board of elections maintains a complete, current, computer readable record for each registered voter which includes a reproducible signature, except that the record of the elections in which such voter has voted shall not be required to be maintained in such record for longer than the five previous calendar years.  Such record may also include a copy of the entire registration poll record or application for registration of each such voter.

b. The board of elections maintains at least two copies of such computer readable records, which it stores in two different buildings.

c. The computer generated registration list prepared for each election in each election district shall be printed by a printer which meets or exceeds standards for clarity and speed of reproduction established by the state board of elections, shall be in a form approved by such board, shall include the names of all voters eligible to vote in such election and shall be in alphabetical order, except that, at a primary election, the names of the voters enrolled in each political party may be placed in a separate part of the list or in a separate list, as the board of elections in its discretion, may determine.  Such list shall contain, adjacent to each voter's name, at least the following:  street address, date of birth, party enrollment, year of registration, a computer reproduced facsimile of the voter's signature or an indication that the voter is unable to sign his name, a place for the voter to sign his name at such election and a place for the inspectors to mark the voting machine number, the public counter number and the number of any paper ballots given the voter.

d. The board of elections preserves, for as long as registration records are otherwise required to be preserved, the original application for registration or registration poll record of every registered voter filed in a manner which makes such records available for examination or, if the computer readable record for each registered voter maintained by the board of elections includes a copy of the entire registration poll record or application for registration of each such voter, the board of elections preserves the original of each such poll record or application in such a manner for a period of at least two years, or such longer period as the state board of elections may require, after such copy is entered in the computer readable record or if such computer readable records do not include the backs of those registration poll records which have been used at one or more elections, the board preserves the original of each such poll record for a period of at least two years after such copy is entered in such computer readable record or four years after the last election at which such poll record was used, whichever is later, or such longer period as the state board of elections may require.

4. After such inquiry as it deems appropriate, the state board of elections shall approve the applications of those boards of elections whose systems meet the requirements established by this section and the regulations of the state board.  Such boards may then discontinue preparation, use and maintenance of registration poll records.

5. If the state board of elections amends its regulations, a board of elections whose system was previously approved by the state board shall have a reasonable time to conform to the new regulation.

6. If the state board of elections determines on its own initiative, or upon investigation of a complaint, that the system being used by a board of elections is not in compliance with the requirements of this section and the regulations of the state board, it shall order such board of elections to comply forthwith.

7. If such a board of elections does not comply with the provisions of subdivision six of this section, the state board shall issue an order withdrawing permission to discontinue use of registration poll records and such board of elections shall be required to reinstitute use of such records on the first day of December following issuance of such an order.

8. No computer tape, computer disc or other record which can be used to reproduce such computer generated facsimile signatures shall be sold or otherwise distributed other than for use by a board of elections or upon the order of a court of competent jurisdiction.  However all other data contained on any such tape, disc or record shall be sold or otherwise distributed in the same manner as other records of the board of elections.


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