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Attorney General Wants to Alter New York's Voter Challenge System

Gannett Albany Bureau

People who challenge ballots at polling places would have to outline their reasons for a challenge in an affidavit, under a bill from state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Under state law, any registered voter can challenge the validity of another person's voting status at the ballot box if there's an issue with their signature or they are suspected to be living out of state. When a challenge is raised, the challenged voter then has to recite an oath declaring they are legally able to cast a ballot before they are allowed to vote. [...]

Voter-rights advocates supported Schneiderman’s bill. He is up for re-election in November, as are all statewide offices.

“One of the most serious threats to the protection of the essential right to vote is the increase in organized efforts to challenge voters’ eligibility at the polls,” Brenda Wright, vice president of legal strategies at Demos, a New York City-based think tank.