General Election Day will be held on November 2, 2021. The early voting period is October 23-31, 2021.
Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)
- Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
- Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
- Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
- A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
- Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.
How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)
You may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:
- By going in-person to your local county board of elections
- By designating another person to deliver your application in-person to your local county board of elections and receive your ballot
You can download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form:
If you cannot pick up your ballot, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.
If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an Absentee Ballot for each subsequent election without further application. Simply file an application with your county board of elections indicating permanent illness or physical disability.
You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.
When is it due?
Applications requesting to receive an absentee ballot by mail must be received by the board of elections in your county no later than fifteen days before the election. For absentee ballots to be received in-person, applications must be received by your board no later than the day before the election.
How to Cast an Absentee Ballot
- Once your receive the ballot, mark the ballot according to your choices for each office following the instructions on the ballot
- Once you have completed marking your ballot fold it up and place it in the Security Envelope. (This envelope will have a place for your signature.)
- Sign and date the outside of the Security Envelope.
- Seal the Security Envelope.
- Place the Security Envelope in the Return Envelope. (This 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”)
- Seal the Return Envelope.
You may return the ballot in any of the following ways:
For the November General Election:
- Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 2nd.
- Bringing it to the County Board of Elections Office no later than November 2nd by 9pm.
- Bringing it to an early voting poll site between October 23rd and October 31st
- Bringing it to a poll site on November 2nd by 9pm.
Mail Time Considerations When Returning an Absentee Ballot
When mailing your completed ballot, the USPS recommends that voters allow enough time for ballots to be returned to the Board, which is generally seven days ahead of the general election. Voters who mail in their ballots on Election Day must be aware of the posted collection times on collection boxes and at the Postal Service’s retail facilities, and that ballots entered after the last posted collection time will not be postmarked until the following business day.
You Can Still Vote in Person if You Request an Absentee Ballot
Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person. The Election Law recognizes that plans change. The Board of Elections is required to check the poll book before canvassing any absentee ballot. If the voter comes to the poll site, on Election Day or during early voting and votes in person, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.
There are certain errors or problems that can occur when a voter completes an absentee ballot envelope. Many of these errors or problems are curable by means of filing a cure statement with your board of elections. If your ballot envelope has a curable defect, you will receive a notice from the board of elections. The cure process is described here ( pdf 105KB).