9 CRR-NY 6210.13NY-CRR

OFFICIAL COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
TITLE 9. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT
SUBTITLE V. STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS
PART 6210. ROUTINE MAINTENANCE AND TESTING OF VOTING SYSTEMS, OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES, AND STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING VALID VOTES
9 CRR-NY 6210.13
9 CRR-NY 6210.13
6210.13 Standards for determining valid votes.
The State Board hereby adopts the following regulations to provide for uniform, non discriminatory standards for establishing what constitutes a vote and what shall be counted as a vote for all categories of voting systems and voting procedures used in New York.
The following standards shall apply in determining whether a ballot has been properly voted and whether a vote should be counted for any office or ballot question.
(a) The following general standards shall apply in the counting of all ballots and votes, regardless of the voting system used:
(1) A ballot that is marked or signed by the voter in such a way that it can be identified from other ballots must be voided and none of its votes counted. Examples of such markings include, but are not limited to: voter signature, initials, voter name and address, voter identification number, messages or text, or unusual markings not related to indication of the vote choice for a contest. If there are distinctly identifiable markings on one page of a multiple-page ballot, the entire ballot must be voided.
(2) A vote for any candidate or ballot measure shall not be rejected solely because the voter failed to follow instructions for marking the ballot. If, for any reason, it is impossible to determine the choice of the voter for any candidate or ballot question, the vote for that candidate or ballot question shall be considered void.
(3) A mark is considered valid when it is clear that it represents the voter’s choice and is the technique consistently used by the voter to indicate his or her selections. Such marks may include, but are not limited to, properly filled in voting position targets, cross mark “X”, a checkmark “✓”, circles, completed open arrow “←”, or any other clear indication of the voter's choice.
(i) A mark crossed out by the voter, an erasure, or words such as no next to a candidate’s name or a voting position target area for a ballot question shall not be considered to be a valid vote but will, instead, be deemed an indication that the voter did not choose to cast a vote for that candidate or measure and the vote for that candidate or proposition shall be considered void.
(4) In determining the validity of a partially filled-in voting position target area, the consistency of a voter’s marks on the entire ballot shall be taken into consideration. A hesitation mark such as a dot in the voting position target area shall not be considered a valid mark unless it is demonstrated that the voter consistently marked his or her ballot in such a manner.
(5) Overvote. If a contest is marked with a greater number of choices of different candidates or ballot questions than the number for which he or she is lawfully entitled to vote, the vote shall not be counted for that contest, but shall be counted in all other contests in which there are no overvotes and the voter’s choice can be clearly determined.
(6) Undervote. If a contest is marked with a lesser number of choices of candidates or ballot questions than the number for which he or she is lawfully entitled to vote, the votes cast for all otherwise properly marked candidates or ballot questions shall be counted.
(7) If a ballot is marked in each of two or more target areas or sensitive areas for a candidate whose name appears on the ballot more than once for the same office, and the total number of votes cast for such race for different candidates does not exceed the number for which he or she is lawfully entitled to vote, only the first vote for such candidate with multiple markings shall be counted for such candidate.
(8) Ballots that are damaged, torn by the Board of Elections or its agents, or otherwise non-machine processable as submitted by the voter, shall be manually counted by a bipartisan team of election inspectors and such vote totals shall be added to the canvass of such other valid ballots for the respective office(s) and ballot questions.
(9) Unintended machine marks placed on a ballot by the voting system that are not made at the direction of the voter shall not invalidate the ballot.
(10) If two or more persons are to be nominated or elected to the same office or position, a voter may vote for one or more persons whose names do appear on the ballot and one or more persons whose names do not appear on the ballot, provided that the total number of votes cast by the voter for that office or position does not exceed the number of persons to be elected or nominated to such office or position.
(11) Abandoned ballot.
(i) If a voter leaves the voting machine or system without casting their ballot, a bipartisan team of election inspectors shall cause the ballot to be cast as the voter left it, without examining the ballot.
(ii) If a voter leaves their paper ballot in a privacy booth and leaves the polling place without first casting that ballot on the voting device, such ballot shall be marked spoiled and retained by the election inspectors, accounted for in the statement of canvass, and returned in secure storage with such other spoiled ballots to the county board.
(12) Write-in votes are votes cast for a person or persons whose name(s) do not appear on the official ballot.
(i) Write-in votes for persons who names appear on the official ballot for that office or party position shall not be counted.
(ii) A write-in vote may be cast by the use of a name stamp.
(iii) A write-in vote must be cast in the appropriate place on the machine, or it shall be void and not counted.
(iv) A voter need not write in the first and last name of a candidate in every situation; the standard is whether the election inspectors can reasonably determine the intent of the voter when they cast their ballot.
(13) If a ballot is received that is a Federal write-in absentee ballot (pursuant to 42 USC section 1973ff-2), the county board shall canvass the ballot as follows:
(i) If the overseas voter designated a candidate by writing in the name of the candidate or writing in the name of a political party, the vote is counted for the candidate of that party.
(ii) If the overseas voter wrote in only the last name of a candidate whose name appears on the ballot, the vote is counted for that candidate.
(iii) If the voter wrote in the name of only a candidate for president or only a candidate for vice-president whose name appears on the ballot, the vote is counted for the electors of that candidate. The name is entered into the canvass as the official ballot name of the presidential candidate.
(iv) Abbreviations, misspellings or other minor variations in the form of the name of a candidate or political party shall be disregarded if the intention of the voter can be ascertained. The name is entered into the canvass so that its spelling matches the spelling of the candidate’s official ballot name. If it is impossible to determine the voter's choice of a candidate or candidates for an office upon the official ballot, such vote shall not be counted, but shall be returned as a blank vote.
9 CRR-NY 6210.13
Current through August 15, 2019
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