Frequently Asked Questions: NYS Absentee Ballots for the 2020 Election

Oct 14, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions:
Absentee Ballots in New York State for the 2020 Election

Can I vote by absentee ballot in New York in 2020?
If you’re a registered voter, yes, you can. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New York State has expanded
eligibility in 2020 and 2021. A registered voter can request an absentee ballot if they’re unable to vote in
person because of the “risk of contracting or spreading a disease that may cause illness.”

Do I have to request an absentee ballot?
For the upcoming election on November 3rd, you will have to formally request an absentee ballot. You may
have received one earlier this year—that’s because local officials were required to send all registered voters
an absentee application (in the case of the primary) or an actual ballot (in the case of school budget votes)
due to those elections being held during the height of the pandemic. If you applied for an absentee ballot for
the June primaries, you were given the option to check a box for the general election ballot. If you checked
that box at that time, you’ve already applied for a ballot for the November election.

How do I request an absentee ballot?
You can request an absentee ballot in three ways:
• By visiting absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov and filling out the online form.
• By contacting your county’s Board of Elections by phone, email, fax, mail, or in person. If you live in Tioga
County, the contact information is 1062 State Route 38, PO Box 306, Owego, NY 13827. Their phone
number is 607-687-8261.
• Tioga Opportunities, Inc. is a voter registration site and can also assist. Please contact us at 607-687-4120,
ext. 331.
If you’re requesting an absentee ballot for reasons related to COVID-19, make sure that you select the
“temporary illness” option when asked for your reasoning.

When do I need to request an absentee ballot by?
Your ballot request must be completed or postmarked by October 27th if you’re submitting it via mail, email,
online, phone, or in person per New York State Board of Elections.
Please keep in mind that the United States Postal Service has warned states (including New York) that it can’t
guarantee you will receive your absentee ballot on time unless the application arrives at least 15 days prior to
the election. To ensure that you receive your ballot on time, send in your application prior to October 19th

What is the deadline to send my absentee ballot?
If you’re mailing your ballot in, it must be postmarked by November 3rd and received by your county Board of
Elections by November 10th. You can also drop off your absentee ballot in person at your county’s Board of
Elections or at a polling place no later than 9:00 PM on Election Day, November 3rd. Early voting runs from
October 24th to November 1st and those sites will also accept your ballot.

(Sources: Press & Sun Bulletin and New York State Board of Elections)

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