Initial Complaint Process

As long as the complainant has identified themselves in the complaint and provided their contact information, the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement Chief Enforcement Counsel (CEC) will send a letter to them acknowledging receipt of the complaint.  The CEC then reviews the complaint to determine whether it involves a potential violation of the NYS Election Law and if it is a matter that falls under the jurisdiction of the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement (DELE).  If the CEC determines the complaint falls within the purview of the DELE, an investigation will begin, and a case number is assigned.  See NYS Election Law § 3-104(3).

When filing a complaint with the DELE, it is strongly recommended that individuals provide their name and contact information.  If an anonymous complaint is received, the CEC will not be able to send the complainant an acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint or the final case determination.  Additionally, the DELE staff assigned to the investigation will not be able to contact the complainant for more information or if questions arise.

Although the complainant or potential witnesses may be contacted for additional information by a member of the DELE who has been assigned to conduct the investigation, the investigation itself is confidential, and the DELE will not provide progress updates.

How to File

If someone wants to file a complaint about a potential NYS Election Law violation with the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement (DELE), they may submit their complaint by mail, email, or fax. The DELE has an online and fillable pdf Complaint Form available to use to ensure all of the necessary information is captured in the complaint.  Please note, the DELE will not accept complaints by phone.

Although DELE will accept anonymous complaints, it is strongly recommended that complainants provide their names and contact information. Without the complainant’s contact information, the DELE cannot obtain further information or ask questions that may arise during the investigation.  Additionally, if the complainant chooses to remain anonymous, they will not receive a copy of the final determination of the complaint before it is posted on the website.




By Mail:

  Division of Election Law Enforcement
  NYS Board of Elections
  40 N. Pearl St., Suite 10-D
  Albany, NY 12207-2729

By Email:

   [email protected]

By Fax:

   (518) 457-4257​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Please be advised, any instances of Election Law violations concerning candidates, committees, and treasurers who are participants of the NYS Public Campaign Finance Program should be reported to the Enforcement Unit of the Public Campaign Finance Board



All work of the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement (DELE) is confidential. The disclosure of DELE materials not only has the potential to impede or obstruct investigations but potentially undermines principles of fundamental fairness in investigations and prosecutions.  Therefore, the DELE does not comment on whether complaints have been received, investigations are undertaken, or the status of complaints or investigations. 



Once investigations are complete, regardless of the outcome, the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement Chief Enforcement Counsel (CEC) will issue the case determination, which is presented to the New York State Board of Elections Commissioners at the next scheduled Board Meeting.  After the determination has been presented to the Commissioners, the CEC will send a copy of it to the complainant.  The determination will then be posted on the DELE’s Final Determinations page.

If a complainant is unsatisfied with the CEC’s determination, they may then file their complaint with another agency, for example, the local District Attorney, if they have not already done so.  Additionally, in certain situations, a voter or group of voters may have a private right of action, such as under NYS Election Law Article 16, in which case it is recommended they contact an Election Law attorney.


Elections not subject to NYS Election Law

According to NYS Election Law § 14-100(11), "elections provided for pursuant to the education law, special district elections, fire district elections or library district elections" are excluded from the definition of "election." Therefore, the New York State Board of Elections Division of Election Law Enforcement (DELE) does not have jurisdiction over them. Some examples of elections that are not included in the NYS Election Law definition of "election" include school board elections, fire department elections, and water/sewer district elections. Complaints regarding these types of elections should be directed to the appropriate governing entity.

In addition, selected village elections are not covered by the NYS Election Law. Village Elections that occur on days other than regularly scheduled Primary or General Election days are excluded unless the election is administered by the county Board of Elections. Any questions regarding whether a village election is under the jurisdiction of the DELE can be directed to [email protected].