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Election Law @ Moritz

Election Law @ Moritz

2008 Key Questions for Key States

New York

The complete research by Election Law @ Moritz for New York can be found below.

Institutional Arrangements

State Chief Election Authorities

Bipartisan appointed board

Chief election authority: State Board of Elections. § 3-100.

Method of selection: Two members per major political party, appointed by governor. § 3-100.

Current officer: N/A (Last updated 1/1/08)

State High Court Composition

R leaning/appointed

Method of selection: Gubernatorial appointment with advice and consent of the Senate. Const. Art. VI, § 2.

Justices: Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick (D), Judith S. Kaye (D), Victoria A. Graffeo (R), Robert S. Smith (R), Theodore T. Jones (D), Susan P. Read (R), Eugene F. Pigott, Jr. (R) (Last updated 12/22/07)


  • High court: Count 228 more votes in disputed Senate election, AP Alert – Political, February 2, 2005, Michael Gormley, 22:50:18.
  • Government alert: Freight tunnel impact study will also outline financing, Crain’s New York Business, October 20, 2003, Volume 19, #42, 2003 WLNR 2222927.
  • High court nominee list, AP Alert – Political, July 21, 2006, 15:50:35.

Voter Registration

EL@M did not research this topic for New York


EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Provisional Ballots

EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Early and Absentee Voting

EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Voting Technology

EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Polling Place Operations

Polling hours extension


New York's polls must be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. § 8-100. An 1888 case contains the proposition that polls could be held open past the specified time where a statute requires polls to be open between certain hours but does not specifically state that polls must close at a certain hour. In re Smith, 3 N.Y.S. 107, N.Y.Sup. 1888. For example, a statute that says "polls must open at 6 a.m. and close at 4 p.m." would not allow for the polling hours to be extended but one that says "polls must open no later than 6 a.m. and close no earlier than 4 p.m." may allow for leaving the polls open past 4 p.m. A 1976 case concluded that voters whose right to vote was denied during regular polling hours must be allowed to cast their vote at the polls after hours or at the board of elections if voting after hours at the polls is not possible. People ex rel. Woodside v. Board of Inspectors of Election of 56th Election Dist. of People ex rel. Woodside v. Board of Inspectors of Election of 56th Election Dist. of Town of Hempstead, 88 Misc.2d 696, 389 N.Y.S.2d 242, N.Y.Sup. 1976.

"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." McKinney's Election Law § 8-104.

Polling place closing times - local times

9:00 PM local time

Polling place closing times - by Eastern time zone

9:00 PM Eastern time

Ballot Security

EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Emergency Preparedness

EL@M did not research this topic for New York

Post-Election Processes

Election Contest Scenario #1: Unverified Ballots

Random withdrawal

Election workers will randomly withdraw a number of ballots equal to the number of unverified ballots and exclude them from the count. § 9-108. When officials fail to make the random withdrawal, courts will order them to reconvene and do so. In re Fribush, 141 Misc. 379, 380 (N.Y.Sup., 1931). 

Election Contest Scenario #2: Provisional Ballots with Technical Mistakes


When provisional ballot paperwork is flawed, officials will count the ballot where the voter was eligible to vote in the election and the paperwork error was caused by elections officials. §9-209(2)(a)(2); Panio v. Sunderland, 824 N.E.2d 488, 491 (N.Y., 2005). This seems to imply that the ballot will not be counted where officials determine the error was caused by someone other than election officials, including the voter. However, the statute does not specify whether any error or omission will lead to invalidation, or only material errors. But where at least the local election commission cannot agree on whether the ballot should be counted, the State Elections Board has opined that officials must count the ballot. 1979, Op.St.Bd. of Elect. No. 1.

What Court Would Hear a Presidential Contest?

Unclear what court would have jurisdiction

New York law authorizes general election contests generally. § 16-106. However, it is unclear where jurisdiction is proper. One statute says it is proper only in the state Supreme Court, while another says that the contest may be brought “in the supreme or county court….” 16-100; 16-106.

New York law authorizes primary contests generally. § 16-102. These contests are brought in the state supreme court. The supreme court is a type of trial court. County courts are a type of trial court used outside of the city of New York. Const. Art. 6, § 10. Supreme court judges are elected. NY CLS Const Art VI, § 6(c). 

Who Performs Presidential recounts?


Recounts are conducted by local boards of elections. 9-208. Board members are nominated by local political parties and appointed by local legislative bodies. 3-204. An equal number from each political party must be appointed. Id. The boards have the option to appoint a bipartisan committee to conduct recounts. 9-208.