Ready to Make a Voting Plan?
Good news—there’s 3 different ways you can vote this year.
- Vote by mail. This is also known as voting via absentee ballot, and due to COVID-19, everyone in New York is eligible to vote by mail if they choose this year.
- Vote in-person early, from October 24th – November 1st
- Vote in-person on Election Day, November 3rd
Request your absentee ballot by Monday, October 27th
In New York you can request a ballot by mail, email, phone, fax or in person.
Request on state website by October 27.
You can Request by mail, email, phone or fax
Request in person by November 2
Return your absentee ballot ASAP
- Return it by mail. Officially, the last day to postmark your ballot is November 3rd.
- Return it in person. You can also hand deliver your ballot to your early voting site (between Oct. 24 - Nov. 1), your County Board of Elections (by November 3), or an Election Day poll site.
Getting and Returning Your Ballot
Read the instructions on your ballot carefully before completing it. You can return your ballot by mail or in person.
Return by mail: Your ballot must be postmarked by Nov 3 and received by Nov 10
Return in person at an early voting poll site between Oct 24 and Nov 1
Return in person at any County Board of Elections Office during regular business hours between now and November 3
Return in person at a poll site on Nov 3 by 9:00 PM
Completing Your Ballot
When you open your absentee ballot mailer in New York state, you’ll find three things:
- The ballot
- A ballot or affirmation envelope
- A return envelope
Read the Instructions Carefully
Want to ensure your vote is counted? Avoid these missteps – and follow the instructions below – as you cast your absentee vote:
Don’t skip the instructions
Read the short instructions found on the front of your ballot envelope, the one that will hold your ballot. The instructions are on the front of the ballot envelope.
Don’t use red or other light-colored ink
Fill in the circles with blue or black pens. Don't go outside the lines.
It is ok if a voter uses a combo of blue and black ink on a single ballot to fill in the circles next to candidates' names,
Don’t use any other colors. The scanner might not pick it up.
Don’t make any extra marks on your ballot
Any extra mark on the ballot that is deemed “intentional” will invalidate the ballot. That includes a signature, writing a message or circling the name of the candidate – instead of filling in the circle next to his or her name.
These extra marks can be used later to challenge the validity of the ballot.
Don’t sign your ballot
Your signature is needed, BUT NOT on the ballot itself.
Instead, after voting, put your ballot inside the ballot envelope. That’s the one with the instructions on front and a box for your signature on back. This is where you sign – on the outside of this envelope that will hold your ballot.
This signature is your oath, an affirmation that you are indeed the registered voter who filled out this specific ballot. Elections workers will compare that signature on the envelope to the one on record at the Board of Elections.
This is where you sign -- on the back of the ballot envelope.
Don’t forget to seal the ballot envelope
Again, that’s the one that contains your ballot. After sealing and signing, place this envelope inside the return envelope. That’s the one addressed to your local county Board of Elections.
Don’t forget the stamp
You must provide your own postage stamp on this outer, return envelope. Although, there is only space for one stamp, we've heard that two stamps are needed.
Get Your Vote Counted
Get your ballot into the mail as quickly as possible or you can drop it off at your county’s Board of Elections or during in-person voting.
You can also drop off your ballot at any polling place during early voting, which runs Oct. 24 to Nov. 1.
You can also drop off absentee ballot at any polling place on Election Day, Nov. 3, that’s within your county of residence.
The deadline to apply online, postmark, email or fax a completed application for an absentee ballot is Oct. 27. If you miss that deadline, you can still apply in person at your county Board of Elections up until Monday, Nov. 2, the day before the election.
Don't Forget to Sign!
Make sure you sign in the right place. If you're unable to sign, check with your state for special accommodations.