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FOIL-AO-17816

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From:   Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent:    Wednesday, September 23, 2009 10:21 AM
To:      
Subject:           RE: Another question

Section 87(3)(a) of the Freedom of Information Law has long required that an agency maintain a record indicating the manner in which each member of a body casts his or her vote in any instance in which a vote is taken.   Further, it has been held that such a record must be prepared and made available even when action is taken during an executive session [Smithson v. Ilion Housing Authority, 130 AD2d 965 (1987), affirmed 72 NY2d 1034 (1988)].  In short, members of public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Law cannot vote by secret ballot, and a record must be prepared specifying how each member casts a vote.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone: (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html