New York Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated May 04, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Important Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Postmarked 25 days before the election. 
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Postmarked by the USPS no later than seven days before the election (by mail). Received by the day before the election (in person).
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by USPS by the day before the election and received no later than the 7th day after the election (by mail). Received by close of polls on election day (in person).

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: You can use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the New York State Board of Elections (the address is on the form).  Register to vote now!

You can also download New York's voter registration form.  Fill out the form mail it to your County Board of Elections. The address is on the form.

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

You are eligible to vote absentee in New York if you will be:

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony

Apply for your absentee ballot

Download and complete the New York Absentee Ballot Application. If you want the ballot mailed to you, be sure to include your mailing address in the space provided.  Mail or hand-deliver your completed application to your County Board of Elections.  Once they process your request, they'll mail your ballot to you.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

The Board of Elections will mail you an absentee ballot and a return envelope.  Fill out your ballot, sign where indicated, put a stamp on it, and then mail your ballot back to your County Board of Elections.  Your ballot must be postmarked the day BEFORE election day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to provide ID when I apply for my New York absentee ballot?

You do not need to provide ID if you've already voted in New York at least once.  If you're voting in New York for the first time and you did not meet the ID requirements when you registered (see above), you must include a copy of your ID with your absentee ballot application.  Acceptable forms of ID include: a copy of a current and valid photo ID that shows your name OR a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check or some other government document that shows your name and New York address.

I missed the deadline to apply for a New York absentee ballot, but I am not able to go to the polls on election day.  Is there anything I can do?

If the deadline for requesting an absentee ballot by mail has passed and you cannot appear at the polls on election day because of an accident or sudden illness, then you may be able to vote by Emergency Absentee Ballot.  You'll need to write a letter authorizing a representative to pick up an Absentee Ballot Application and an Absentee Ballot for you.  Your representative will need to take this letter to your County Board of Elections.  Your County Board of Elections will give the documents to your representative.  The application and voted absentee ballot must be returned to your County Board of Elections by 9:00 P.M. on election day.  Please contact your County Board of Elections for more information.

Can I vote by absentee ballot on a permanent basis in New York?

Under certain circumstances, yes.  If you are permanently ill or disabled, you can use the New York Absentee Ballot Application to apply for permanent absentee status.  Once approved, New York State will automatically mail you an absentee ballot for each eligible election.

Can I vote in person before the election in New York?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information

State Elections website:
Email address:
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


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