Make sure your vote counts!
These notices explain how to make sure your vote counts and how to avoid over votes (filling in too many ovals) and double votes (voting more than once for the same candidate). Read the Notice concerning overvotes and double votes.
Download / view the Absentee Ballot Application Form from the NYS Board of Election's website.
If you are in the Military and need an absentee ballot application please go to the Federal Voting Assistance Program website
Who is eligible for an absentee ballot?
Any registered voter who: will be out of their county of residence on any primary, special or general 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 a 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 any time, but be aware that any change is not effective until after the next general election.
How does an absentee ballot work?
An absentee ballot is a paper ballot which looks exactly like the ballot in 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 day or, if personally delivered, must be received by the Board of Elections no later than the close of polls on election day -- 9:00 PM.
How do I apply for an absentee ballot?
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 or print out a copy above.
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.
What if I have no absentee ballot application available?
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,
- dates in which you are out of the county 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.
When do I apply for an absentee ballot?
You may request an absentee ballot application at any time.
If you mail your application, you must postmark it no later than seven days before the election for which you are requesting the absentee ballot. If application in person (or someone you have designated is delivering it for you) you may do so up until close of business on the day before the election.
Notes for the absentee voter:
- 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 (call your County Board for this information.)
More information on Absentee Ballots and associated forms
- New York State Board of Elections: Absentee Voting
- Federal Voting Assistance Program: Voting Help for Uniformed Service Members, their families & Citizens living outside the U.S.