- How does an absentee ballot work?
- How do I apply for an absentee ballot?
- What if I have no absentee ballot available?
- When do I apply for an absentee ballot?
- Notes for the absentee voter
- Download an absentee ballot application
Any registered voter who will be out of their county of residence on any primary, special or general election day due to occupation, business, vacation or studies; is ill or disabled; or is detained in jail awaiting grand jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony, may apply for an absentee ballot.
Anyone who is permanently ill or disabled may apply for a permanent absentee ballot. The Board of Elections will investigate the facts given and, if satisfied, will mark the voter’s record "Permanently Disabled". A ballot will automatically be mailed for each election thereafter in which the voter is qualified to vote.
In New York State you may not vote in a primary election unless you are enrolled in the political party holding a primary. In this case, an absentee ballot would not be issued to anyone not enrolled in a party. You may enroll in a party at anytime, but be aware that any change is not effective until after the next general election.
An absentee ballot is a paper ballot which looks exactly like the ballot on the voting machine. In this manner, your vote remains secret.
Keep in mind that unless the oath is signed and the ballot is enclosed in the secrecy envelope , your ballot will not be counted.
This ballot, if mailed, must be postmarked no later than the day before election or, if personally delivered, must be received by the Board of Elections no later than the close of polls on election day-9 p.m.
It’s easy. Anytime during the year you may telephone or write to your county board of elections requesting an application for the ballot. You may also apply in person at the board of elections, or have someone pick up the application for you.
Upon completion, the application must be mailed to the board of elections no later than seven days before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election.
Absentee ballots may also be requested by a letter which must be received by the board of elections no earlier than 30 days and no later than seven days before the election. This letter must contain:
- the address where you are registered,
- the address to which you want the ballot mailed,
- the reason for the request and,
- the signature of the applicant.
An absentee ballot will be sent along with an application form which you must then complete and return with your ballot.
Remember, unless you are eligible for a permanent absentee ballot or will be continuously absent between the dates of the primary and general election, you must file an application for each election.
You may request an absentee ballot application at any time.
If you mail an application, it must be postmarked no later than seven days before the election for which you are requesting the absentee ballot. If you are delivering the application in person (or someone you have designated is delivering it for you) you may do so up until close of business (5 p.m.) the day before the Election.
- Apply for your absentee ballot as soon as you know you will need it.
- Once the ballots are printed, you can apply for, receive, and cast your ballot all in one trip to the county board of elections.