New York Consolidated Laws, Election Law - ELN § 7-106. Election day paper ballots;  form of

1. Paper ballots which are to be counted by a ballot scanner may consist of two or more sheets which are divided into perforated sections which can be separated at the time the ballot is scanned.  Such ballots shall be printed on paper of a quality, size, color, and weight approved by the state board of elections.

2. All paper ballots of the same kind for the same polling place shall be identical.  A different, but in each case uniform style and size of type, shall be used for printing the names of candidates, the titles of offices, political designations, and the reading form of all questions submitted.  The names of candidates shall be printed in capital letters in black-faced type.

3. Each ballot shall be printed on the sheet with a stub which shall be separated therefrom by a line of perforations extending across the entire ballot.  On the face of the stub shall be printed “No․․․․․․․․” the blank to be filled with consecutive number of ballots beginning with “No. 1”, and increasing in regular numerical order.

4. On such ballot shall be printed the following indorsement, the blanks properly filled in:

Official Ballot for (General, Primary or Special, as applicable)


County of․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

(Assembly or Legislative, as applicable) District․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

(Ward and City or town․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․, as applicable)․․․․․․․․․․․․

Election District․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․․

(Insert date of election.)

(Insert names of election commissioners providing the ballot.)

5. The following ballot instructions shall be printed in heavy black type:


(1) Mark only with a writing instrument provided by the board of elections.

(2) To vote for a candidate whose name is printed on this ballot fill in the (insert oval or square, as applicable) above or next to the name of the candidate.

(3) To vote for a person whose name is not printed on this ballot write or stamp his or her name in the space labeled “write-in” that appears (insert at the bottom of the column, the end of the row or at the bottom of the candidate names, as applicable) for such office (and, if required by the voting system in use at such election, the instructions shall also include “and fill in the (insert oval or square, as applicable) corresponding with the write-in space in which you have written in a name”).

(4) To vote yes or no on a proposal, if any, that appears on the (indicate where on the ballot the proposal may appear) fill in the (insert oval or square, as applicable) that corresponds to your vote.

(5) Any other mark or writing, or any erasure made on this ballot outside the voting squares or blank spaces provided for voting will void this entire ballot.

(6) Do not overvote.  If you select a greater number of candidates than there are vacancies to be filled, your ballot will be void for that public office, party position or proposal.

(7) If you tear, or deface, or wrongly mark this ballot, return it and obtain another.  Do not attempt to correct mistakes on the ballot by making erasures or cross outs.  Erasures or cross outs may invalidate all or part of your ballot.  Prior to submitting your ballot, if you make a mistake in completing the ballot or wish to change your ballot choices, you may obtain and complete a new ballot.  You have a right to a replacement ballot upon return of the original ballot.

(8) After completing your ballot, insert it into the ballot scanner and wait for the notice that your ballot has been successfully scanned.  If no such notice appears, seek the assistance of an election inspector.

6. The instructions in subdivision five of this section may be printed on the front or back of the ballot or on a separate sheet or card.  If such instructions are not printed on the front of the ballot, there shall be printed on the ballot, in the largest size type for which there is room, the following legend:  “See instructions on the other side” or “See enclosed instructions”, whichever is appropriate.

7. Each such ballot shall be printed in sections in which the candidates' names and political designations, the ballot proposals and other requisite matter shall each be boxed in by heavy black perpendicular lines of equal width. In each such section shall be voting ovals or squares which voters may fill in. If applicable, ovals or squares shall be provided next to the blank spaces provided for a voter to write in a name.

8. The space for the title of an office shall be three-eighths of an inch, and the name of a candidate or for writing in a name, one-fourth of an inch, in depth. At the left of the name of each designated candidate shall be an enclosed voting space, three-eighths of an inch in width and approximately one-fourth of an inch in depth, bounded above, below and to the right by black lines, heavier than those which separate the spaces containing the names of candidates. To the left of voting spaces which do not adjoin a vertical line dividing two parts, there shall be a heavy black vertical line approximately one-eighth of an inch in width. No voting space shall be provided in the space for writing in names. In such case, the space corresponding to a voting space shall be all black.

9. Below the names of the candidates for each office or position there shall be printed as many blank spaces, for writing in names of persons for whom the voter desires to vote, as there are persons to be nominated or elected.

10. In case the sections shall be so numerous as to make the ballot unwieldy if they are printed in one column, they may be printed in as many columns as shall be necessary, and in that case, in order to produce a rectangular ballot, blank sections may be used.

11. The names of parties or independent bodies which contain more than fifteen letters may, whenever limitations of space so require, be printed on the ballot in an abbreviated form.  In printing the names of candidates whose full names contain more than fifteen letters, only the surname must be printed in full.  The officer or board charged with the duty of preparing the ballots shall request each such candidate to indicate, in writing, the shortened form in which, subject to this restriction, his name shall be printed.  If no such indication is received from such candidate within the time specified in the request, such officer or board shall make the necessary determination.  No emblem shall occupy a space longer in any direction than the voting square to which it relates.

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