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How to Vote this November: There are 3 ways

By: 
By Michael Gormley
Publication: 
Newsday
Sep
17
2020

New Yorkers have three ways to vote in this year’s general election on Nov. 3.

Absentee ballots

This year, any voter may receive an absentee ballot if they are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 at polling places.

Voters may request absentee ballots from their county board of elections by mail, email, fax, telephone or by visiting.

Absentee ballot applications may be downloaded in English or in Spanish at www.elections.ny.gov/VotingAbsentee.html. A voter should complete the application and check "temporary illness or physical disability" for the reason, which would include concern about contracting the COVID-19 virus.

A voter may also apply for an absentee ballot through the state’s new Electronic Absentee Ballot Application Portal: absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov.

Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed or completed online must be postmarked or dated no later than Oct. 27.

The Postal Service can’t guarantee timely delivery of mailed applications if sent less than 15 days before Election Day.

Voters also may apply for absentee ballots in person at county boards of elections up to Nov. 2.

Absentee ballots are scheduled to be mailed to applicants beginning Friday.

Once voters decide whom to vote for, they must mark their choices on the ballot and then place it in the security envelope provided. Sign and date the outside of the security envelope where marked. Then, seal the security envelope, place it in the return envelope and seal that.

The ballot must be mailed early enough to get a postmark no later than Nov. 3.

Absentee ballots also may be deposited at county boards of elections, at early voting sites or on Election Day at their polling place.

Early voting

Voters can go to selected polling sites to vote early from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1. County boards of elections websites provide the locations, hours and days for early voting sites. Click here for Nassau and here for Suffolk.

Election Day

Voters may vote at their regular polling places from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Voters who submitted absentee ballots can overrule that vote by casting another at their polling place on Election Day.