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Board of Elections

Absentee Voting

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

  • Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from said city, on Election Day.
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability; or 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 Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

  • Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at your county board of elections.i
  • You may also download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form
  • Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.
  • You may also request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must be received by your county board no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. The letter must contain the following information:
    • the address where you are registered
    • an address where the ballot is to be sent
    • the reason for the request, and
    • the signature of the voter

    If you apply by letter, an application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.

    If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, 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.

Absentee Voting for June 23, 2020 Primary

For absentee applications received by email, fax or telephone, the deadline is close-of-business on June 16th.

Absentee applications received by postal mail with a postmark on or before June 16th must be processed.

After June 16th, voters may apply in person (over-the-counter) through June 22nd or by Early Voting from June 13-21. Please check with your local board of elections for Early Voting hours and locations.

The deadline for the postmarked return of an absentee ballot has been extended to June 23, 2020 for the primary election and November 3, 2020 for the general election per Chapter 91 of the laws of 2020.

The Governor has issued Executive Orders 202.15, 202.23 and 202.28, relating to absentee ballot applications for the June 23, 2020 primary and special election. The State Board of Elections is providing the following guidance in relation to processing absentee ballot applications for the June 23, 2020 primary and special election:

  • Executive Order 202.23, issued on April 24, 2020, requires County Boards of Elections to mail absentee ballot applications to all eligible active and inactive voters. Executive Order 202.28 provides that a County Board of Elections may amend the absentee ballot application form it mails to eligible active and inactive voters so as to limit the application to the June 23, 2020 primary or special election. Amending the absentee ballot application form is discretionary; it is not mandatory.
  • Regardless of whether the absentee ballot application is amended, any absentee ballot application that is received from the Executive Order 202.23 mailing and any applications received electronically, telephone, email or internet shall only be valid for the June 23, 2020 primary or special election.
  • Executive Order 202.28 did not disturb the status of voters that are in permanent absentee ballot status prior to the aforementioned Executive Orders. If a voter has been in permanent absentee ballot status, the voter shall continue to receive an absentee ballot for all applicable elections, including the General Election in November 2020.
  • A voter may still request, at any time, to be placed in permanent absentee ballot status through any statutorily valid means, including the Executive Order 202.23 mailing other than through an absentee ballot application that was obtained through modified conditions (electronically, telephone, email or internet) from any EO issued.
  • A voter may request to receive an absentee ballot for any statutorily valid reason for the November 2020 General Election through any valid means other than through an absentee ballot application that was obtained through modified conditions (electronically, telephone, email or internet) from any EO issued or that they received through the Executive Order 202.23 mailing.

In order to accommodate voters with disabilities, several measures have been made to ensure that voters can apply for, and vote, with an absentee ballot in an independent and private manner. A screen readable and fillable absentee ballot application is available on the New York State Board of Elections website. Executive Order 202.15 allows voters to email, mail, fax or deliver in person the application to your local county board of elections. Per the Executive Order, there is no requirement for in-person signature or appearance to receive an absentee ballot. Additionally, ballot marking devices will be available at local boards of elections’ offices to ensure that voters will be able to vote their absentee ballot independently and privately without having to visit an Early Voting site or poll site. Executive Order 202.26 provides that, upon transmitting or mailing absentee ballots to voters, a local board of elections shall maintain a ballot marking device in its office. Further accommodations may be available upon request at your local county board.

**Pursuant to Executive Order 202.15 issued April 9, 2020, voters may request and vote via an absentee ballot for any election held on or before June 23, 2020 due to the potential to contract the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).