You can apply online or by printing and mailing a paper application to your County Board of Elections. We recommend applying online – it is fast, easy, and the best way to guarantee your ballot. You may also email, call, fax, or request an Absentee Ballot in-person at your County Board of Elections.
- Apply Online: Enter your county of residence, last name, first name, date of birth, and zip code. From there you will be prompted to complete your application.
- Apply by paper: Complete sections 1 through 8 of your application. Mail or deliver your application to your County Board of Elections.
- Apply by email, phone, fax, or in person: Select your county and apply through your preferred method of communication. In any request, you should include your (1) name, (2) date of birth, (3) address where you are registered to vote, (4) address where the ballot should be sent, and (5) the reason for your request (see below for more details).
To apply for an Absentee Ballot, you must select an excuse. Due to COVID-19, any registered voter may select “temporary illness” as their excuse (“temporary illness” includes being “unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19”).
We strongly recommend that your application be submitted or mailed by or before Sunday, October 18th, to provide enough time for the postal service and your county Board of Elections. Applying online takes 5 minutes, and you should complete your application as soon as possible to guarantee your ballot. Legally, you may apply for an absentee ballot up until Tuesday, October 27th.
This is an unprecedented election, and voting absentee is the only way to guarantee that you will be able to vote from the safety of home. It is quick and easy to apply, and a lot of your neighbors vote this way to protect themselves and their community from the spread of COVID-19.
While applying to vote absentee will give you the option to vote from the safety of your home, you will still have the option to vote in person. If you decide to vote in-person on Election Day (Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020) or during in-person Early Voting (Saturday, October 24th – Sunday, November 1st), your Absentee Ballot will simply be set aside and not counted.
NOTE: You can contact your County Board of Elections with any questions about filling out your application or the status of your application.
Once your Absentee Ballot arrives in the mail, carefully read the instructions to fill out your ballot, then mail or deliver it to your County Board of Elections.
- 1. Once you receive your Absentee Ballot, carefully read the INSTRUCTIONS. Select your candidates using a black or blue pen.
- 2. Place your completed ballot in the security envelope. Sign and date the security envelope and follow the instructions included on the security envelope.
- 3. Put your security envelope into the Return Envelope. (The Return Envelope will have the return address of your County Board of Elections on the outside and should have a logo that reads, “Official Election Mail.”) Place 1 postage stamp on the Return Envelope and put it in the mail.
NOTE: You should contact your County Board of Elections with any questions about completing your Absentee Ballot.
The Return Envelope will already be labelled with the appropriate return address for your County Board of Election.
New York State requires an Absentee Ballot to be postmarked on or by November 3rd, 2020 and received by the Board of Elections on or by November 10th, 2020. To guarantee delivery, you should mail it as soon as possible.
If you do not wish to mail in your Absentee Ballot you may, before 9pm on November 3rd, (1) bring it to your County Board of Elections Office, (2) bring it to your polling location, or (3) bring it to an early voting polling site between Oct. 24t h and Nov. 1st. If you choose to deliver your ballot in-person during Early Voting or on Election Day, signs will direct you where to go and you will not have to wait in line.
If I receive my Absentee Ballot, do I have to vote Absentee?
No, you can still choose to vote in person even if you receive your Absentee Ballot. If you decide to vote in-person on Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3rd, 2020) or during in-person Early Voting (Oct. 24th – Nov. 1st), your Absentee Ballot will simply be set aside and not counted.
Will my Absentee Ballot be counted on Election Night?
If your Absentee Ballot is postmarked on or before November 3rd, 2020 and received by your County Board of Elections on or before November 10th, 2020 then it will be counted in the CERTIFIED RESULTS.