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Posted: Thursday, October 29, 2020

Offers or Acceptance of Value in Exchange for Proof of Voting Not Permissible

The right to vote is one of the critical cornerstones of our democracy, and the Buffalo State College community takes great pride in watching our students engage in this right—often for the first time. We strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff members to vote in all elections to have their voices heard.

As we are in the last week of election season, however, we would like to remind all employees that it is a violation of state and federal election laws to provide benefits to campus community members for voting. In particular, faculty members should not afford any course credit or extra credit to students who show proof that they voted (or concomitant penalties for not voting).

NYS Election Law states as follows:

§ 5–106. Qualifications of voters; reasons for exclusion

1. No person who shall receive, accept, or offer to receive, or pay, offer or promise to pay, contribute, offer or promise to contribute to another, to be paid or used, any money or any other valuable thing as a compensation or reward for the giving or withholding a vote at an election, or for registering or refraining from registering as a voter, or who shall make any promise to influence the giving or withholding of any such vote or registration, or who shall make or become directly or indirectly interested in any bet or wager depending upon the result of an election, shall vote at such election. In elections in which federal candidates are on the ballot, such as the current general election, it is also against federal law to offer any kind of benefit or reward for voting. See 18 U.S. Code § 597.

Please contact Human Resource Management with questions.

Submitted by: Lydia Kawaler
Also appeared:
Friday, October 30, 2020
Monday, November 2, 2020