Voting by Mail in the State of New York

Absentee Voting in New York

Dates to remember:

 September 18, 2020 – Absentee ballots will be mailed to you around this date.

 October 24, 2020 – Early voting period starts.

 October 27, 2020 – Last day to apply for absentee ballot.

 November 1, 2020 – Early voting ends.

 November 3, 2020 – General Election Day

Voting buttons - Photo by cottonbro

Can Anybody Vote by Mail in New York?

You may vote by Absentee Ballot in the following situations:

 You are absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.

 You cannot appear in person at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability.

Note that temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19.

 You are unable to vote in person because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.

 You are a resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.

 You cannot appear because you are detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

How do I vote by Mail in New York?

You must apply online, postmark, email or fax a completed application or letter request for the General Election Absentee ballot no later than 7 days (October 27, 2020) before the election, OR…

You may apply in-person up to the day before the election (November 2, 2020).

The easiest way is to apply online: Electronic Application Portal

But you may also contact your local county board of elections by email, phone, fax, or a personal visit.

New  York State absentee ballot application

You can also download the paper application and send it by mail to your local county board of elections .

You must apply before October 27. But please be advised that USPS cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.

According to Washinton Post , at least 83% of American voters can cast ballots by mail in the fall.

Only six states still requires excuse beyond covid-19 fear: Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. They are all states where Trump won by 5+ in the last election.

Other states, including New York and some traditional red states, have made it easier to vote by mail this fall.

Mail-in Voting will not Create Fraud

President Trump has made numerous unfounded claims that mail-in voting will create widespread abuse and fraud.

His claims are not in line with the views of election experts and many within his own party.

A recent analysis by The Washington Post found only 372 cases of potentially fraudulent ballots out of roughly 14.6 million ballots cast by mail in 2016 and 2018.

States that have been conducting all-mail elections for years have rigorous processes in place to verify and track ballots.

Is Mail-In Voting and Absentee Voting the Same Thing?

Some states prefer to call it “mail-in voting” rather than “absentee voting,” because voters will be mailed a ballot regardless if they can vote in person or not.

The different terms are a result of a decentralized election system. Each state sets its own rules on how to conduct elections.

One definition of absentee voting involves a voter who is for some reason unable to make it to the polls on Election Day. In this scenario, the voter obtains a form to request a ballot, fills that form out with their excuse for not being able to vote in person and sends it to the state.

Mail-in voting on the other hand may involve a universal distribution of ballots, which is currently practiced in a handful of states.

Some Republicans argue that there is an important difference, but both involve the same fundamental process of casting a ballot using the mail.


The early voting period in New York is October 24,2020 - November 1, 2020.

Yes, but the rules are relaxed 2020.

You are qualified for voting by Absentee Ballot if you are absent from your county on Election Day, you are unable to appear in person due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (including you are at risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19), you are the primary care giver to a person who is ill or physically disabled, or you are detained in jail or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

An analysis by Washington Post found a minuscule rate of potentially fraudulent ballots, undercutting the President’s claims that mail-in voting could corrupt the election.

  • Visit your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act.
  • Get the Voter Registration Form and mail it to your county board of elections.

September 2: Trump Defunds NYC

On September 2, Donald Trump announced he is beginning the process of defunding New York City.

The president has been running on a law-and-order agenda. He now begins the process of defunding New York City by denying the city some $7 billion.

In a memo Trump claims that anarchy had broken out in some of our states and cities. He cited Portland, Seattle, Washington and New York City, writing, “My administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo responds: “It’s cheap, it’s political, it’s gratuitous, and it’s illegal.”

Read more: CBS New York

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