ABOUT Voting By Mail
Requesting a ballot
- To Vote By Mail: After October 27th, 2020 voters may only apply for an absentee ballot in-person or by designating someone in writing on this printable application (español) to pick it up at the local Board of Elections. This "in-person absentee" option is available until close of business on Monday, November 2.
- When applying due to COVID-19, select "Temporary illness or physical disability" as the reason. This includes the potential for spreading or contracting COVID-19 illness.
- Voters with disabilities may be eligible for an accessible electronic ballot (used with a screen reader). Learn more here.
Completing a ballot
- After requesting a ballot, a voter will receive:
- Absentee/Military Ballot: Follow the instructions! Mark your votes for each contest with a blue or black pen. Fill in the oval completely. Avoid making stray marks on the ballot (no signature here). Insert your ballot into:
- Ballot (oath) Envelope: Must be sealed (do not use tape or glue), signed, and dated accurately. Insert this into:
- Return Envelope: Postage IS NOT prepaid for Election 2020! See below for “dropbox” alternatives to mailing.
- Voters with disabilities may:
- Sign the Ballot (oath) Envelope themselves, or may make a mark and have that mark witnessed in the space provided on the Ballot (oath) Envelope for name and address of a witness.
- A power of attorney or name stamp is not allowed.
Returning a ballot
- Voters must return ballots prior to 9PM on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2020 using any of these methods:
- By mail. Ballots must be postmarked by Election Day. Return postage IS NOT prepaid.
- Return postage costs 1 “forever stamp”. To be safe, NYC voters may decide to use 2 forever stamps.
- The USPS is required by law to properly deliver election mail, regardless of insufficient postage.
- If a mailed ballot is returned undelivered, please file a report with the NYS Attorney General’s office and drop off your ballot using the options below if there is still time.
- By dropping it off at your local Board of Elections office during operating hours. Find your local Board of Elections address here. NYC voters may drop it off at any NYC Board of Elections offices in the Five Boroughs.
- By dropping it off at ANY Early Voting site in your county during Early Voting operating hours (find local early voting locations and hours here). NYC voters may drop it off at ANY Early Voting site in the Five Boroughs. Find details here.
- By dropping it off at ANY Election Day poll site in the county during Election Day operating hours (6 AM - 9 PM). NYC voters may drop off ballots at ANY Election Day poll site in the Five Boroughs.
Know Your Absentee Voting Rights!
- Even if you have requested, received, or returned a mail ballot, you can still vote in-person during Early Voting or on Election Day. New York Election Law ensures only the in-person ballot will be counted.
- To see all voting options for your county or borough click here.
- Opportunity to Cure Technical Errors. New due process safeguards require local boards of elections to allow voters to correct several clerical errors or technical defects that can occur when a voter completes an absentee ballot or envelope. Many are curable by filing a cure statement.
- Impacted voters will receive a notice by email, phone, or snail mail from their local board of elections and will have a time-limited opportunity to cure the defect. The "Cure Process" is described here.