Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE
Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy    JOINDONATE

Voter Registration Basics

Voter Registration Basics

The League of Women Voters has long been recognized as the premiere source for nonpartisan election information.Need some assistance during election time? Whether you’re a first-time voter or just looking for some friendly reminders, the League has the information you need.

INFORMATION & DEADLINES ON VOTER REGISTRATION, ABSENTEE BALLOTS AND MORE…

SPECIAL POPULATIONS & YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE IN NEW YORK STATE

  • College Students
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  • Individuals with Disabilities
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  • Homeless Individuals
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  • Individuals with Mental Health Disabilities
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  • Individuals with Criminal Convictions and Those Detained in Jail or Prison
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NYS Board of Elections

FAQs About Voting via Absentee Ballots

How can I apply to vote absentee in New York State?

In NYS, you must first request an absentee ballot application and then a ballot will be mailed to you. You then complete and mail the ballot to your county Board of Elections

Where do I get an absentee ballot application?

Voters can access an absentee ballot application from the State Board of Elections’ and New York City Board of Elections’ websites here:

Under #1 on the application, voters can select “temporary illness or physical disability” as their reason for requesting to vote by absentee ballot. Governor Cuomo’s order expanded the definition of “temporary illness” to include the risk of contracting the coronavirus. The form can be printed, completed, signed, and mailed back to your county Board of Elections. You can find contact information for your county Board of Elections here: https://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html

What if I don’t have access to the internet, computer or a printer?

Voters who do not have internet access or a printer can call their Board of Elections and request that they mail them a paper application.

Voters who do not have access to a printer, but do have computer access, can request an absentee ballot electronically by submitting an absentee ballot application by FAX or email. Email applications from an individual can have an application attached to it. This would allow a Board to complete the review process prior to issuing the absentee ballot to identify the voter and the reason for the ballot.

Call your county board of elections (find your county BOE phone number at: https://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html) to find out their procedure for applying for an absentee ballot application electronically.

How will I receive my absentee ballot?

Absentee ballots will be sent to the voter’s residence address unless otherwise requested by the voter. Delivery of absentee ballots to voters still remains the same, via mail or in person. There is no change in the return methods. The ballot must still be sent back by mail or returned in person by a specific deadline (see below.)

What will I receive with the absentee ballot?

After applying for an absentee ballot, you will receive:

  1. Absentee Ballot: must be filled out (no signature here) and inserted into
  2. Ballot Envelope: Must be sealed, then signed and dated and inserted into:
  3. Pre-addressed Return Envelope: Must add your own postage

When will the absentee ballot be mailed to me?

Your absentee ballot materials will be sent to you at least 32 days before federal, state, county, city or town elections in which you are eligible to vote. If you applied after this date, your ballot will be sent immediately after your completed application is received and processed by your local Board of Elections. Complete the ballot, SIGN THE ENVELOPE  PROVIDED, and mail to your county Board of Elections. The voter’s signature on the return envelope will be used to validate the ballot.

Will I need to stamp the return envelope or is postage provided?

You will need to put a stamp on the return envelope when you mail your ballot to the county Board of Elections. You must use the return envelope provided with the ballot, sign the back of the envelope and provide postage. Postage probably is more than just one stamp. Voters should check with their county Board of Elections’ website or call them to inquire as to the postage required. As more details emerge, we will share on this website.

What if I am not at my normal voting address during the election?

Voters can request their ballot be sent to an alternative address on their absentee ballot application. Voters who are currently forwarding their mail to another address should contact their county Board of Elections to ensure that they are still on their voter rolls.

What if I have a disability that does not allow me to read or sign the application or ballot?

You may sign the absentee ballot application yourself, or you may make your mark and have your mark witnessed in the spaces provided on the bottom of the application. Please note that a power of attorney or printed name stamp is not allowed for any voting purpose. For more information about voting absentee with a disability, please contact your county Board of Elections.

What is the deadline to apply to vote by absentee ballot? And to submit the absentee ballot?

  • October 27 is the last day to postmark application for absentee ballot by
  • November 2 is the last day to apply in person for absentee
  • November 2 is last day to postmark absentee
  • November 3 is the last day to deliver absentee ballot in person at board of

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