December 2, 1997

Mr. Wallace S. Nolen
Sullivan Correctional Facility
P.O. Box AG
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116

Dear Mr. Nolen:

I have received your letter of October 23. As in the case of your
previous correspondence, the matter involves access to records of boards of
elections that include digital or facsimile signatures.

In this regard, I do not believe that any opinions have been prepared
by this office that pertain specifically to access to records that include
signatures, other than the response to you of September 24. Further, having
reviewed that opinion, I do not believe that I can add anything of substance
to it in relation to your letter.

It is suggested that you contact the New York State Board of
Elections to attempt to obtain the basis for the promulgation of §6212.5 of its
regulations relating to facsimile signatures. It is likely, in my view, that the
provision in question was adopted to prevent a recipient of an electronic
record containing facsimile signatures from having the ability to generate what
appear to be original and authentic signatures. From my perspective, a
disclosure that would permit a recipient of the record to create or generate
what appears to be an original signature is distinguishable from a disclosure
of a photocopy or the ability to inspect a record containing a signature.

I hope that I have been of assistance.


Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director