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Election News

October 11, 2023

How to Vote by Absentee Ballot in the General Election

You are qualified to vote by absentee ballot if you will be:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In jail or prison for any reason other than a felony conviction. This includes anyone who is awaiting grand jury action, awaiting trial, or serving a sentence for a misdemeanor.


You may apply for an absentee ballot by:

Absentee ballot applications can be found here in English and Spanish.


How to cast an absentee ballot:

1.       Once you receive the ballot, mark the ballot according to your choices for each office following the instructions on the ballot

2.       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.)

3.       Sign and date the outside of the Security Envelope.

4.       Seal the Security Envelope.

5.       All absentee ballots include a pre-paid Return 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”.) The Return Envelope does not require any additional postage.

6.       Seal the Return Envelope.


You can submit your absentee ballot by:

  • Mailing your ballot by October 31st.
  • Bringing your ballot to an early voting poll site in your county between October 28th and November 5th.
  • Bringing your ballot to your County Board of Elections Office or a poll site in your county no later than November 7th by 9 pm.


New Absentee Ballot Procedures
Due to a recent change in law, New York State voters are no longer permitted to cast a ballot on a voting machine if they have already been issued an absentee ballot for that election. Voters who have already been issued an absentee ballot can still vote in person using an affidavit ballot. The affidavit ballot will be kept separate until the election is completed. Election officials will verify whether the voter’s absentee ballot has been received. If the voter’s absentee ballot has been received, the affidavit ballot will not be counted. If the voter’s absentee ballot has not been received, the affidavit ballot will be counted.

If a voter requests a second absentee ballot, any previously issued absentee ballot that is returned by the voter will be set aside unopened to provide the voter a chance to return the second ballot, unless the first ballot has already been opened. If both ballots are received before the return deadline, the ballot with the later postmark date is accepted and any other ballots that have been received are rejected, unless the first ballot has already been opened. If a voter submits more than one timely absentee ballot and cast an affidavit ballot, the last received ballot, either submitted in person during the election or by mail within the absentee return deadline, will be canvassed.