Q: How do I vote by absentee ballot?

Absentee Voting in Tioga County

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot

  • Absent from your county on Election Day.
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability; or because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
  • A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  • Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

When is it due?

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. You may apply in-person up to the day before the election (November 2, 2020). You may file an application at any time before the deadlines. (PLEASE BE AWARE THAT DESPITE THE ABOVE DEADLINES THE POST OFFICE HAS ADVISED THAT THEY CANNOT GUARANTEE TIMELY DELIVERY OF BALLOTS APPLIED FOR LESS THAN 15 DAYS BEFORE AN ELECTION.)

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

You may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

  • Electronically through the NYS Board of Elections Absentee Application Portal:Electronic Absentee Ballot Application Portal
  • By sending an email request to your local county board of elections
  • By sending a fax request to your local county board of elections
  • By going in-person to your local county board of elections
  • By mailing a paper application to your local county board of elections

    You can download a PDF verson of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form:

    Upon completion, applications must be mailed to your county board no later than the seventh day before the election or delivered in person no later than the day before the election. If mailing your application, the USPS recommends mailing at least 15 days prior to the election to guarantee timely delivery of ballots.

  • By sending a letter to your county board of elections. The letter must contain the following information:
    1. Name and date of birth of the voter
    2. the address where you are registered
    3. an address where the ballot is to be sent, and
    4. the reason for the request.

      If you apply by letter, an application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.

    If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.

    If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an Absentee Ballot for each subsequent election without further application. Simply file an application with your county board of elections indicating permanent illness or physical disability.

    You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

    If you are visually impaired or otherwise disabled, such that your disability requires you to use an accessible absentee ballot application, you have two accessible options to request a ballot on this page, either using the Accessible Electronic Ballot Application Portal or downloading and submitting the Accessible Absentee Ballot Application form:
    Electronic Accessible Absentee Ballot Application Portal
    Accessible Absentee Ballot Application Form with Instructions

How to Cast an Absentee Ballot

  • Once your receive the ballot, mark the ballot according to your choices for each office following the instructions on the ballot
  • Once you have completed marking your ballot fold it up and place it in the Security Envelope. (This envelope will have a place for your signature.)
  • Sign and date the outside of the Security Envelope.
  • Seal the Security Envelope.
  • Place the Security Envelope in the Return Envelope. (This envelope will have the return address of your county Board of Elections on the outside and should have a logo that reads, “Official Election Mail”)
  • Seal the Return Envelope.
  • You may return the ballot in any of the following ways:
    1. Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 3rd.
    2. Bring it to the County Board of Elections Office no later than November 3rd.
    3. Bring it to an early voting poll site between October 24th and November 1st
    4. Bring it to a poll site on November 3rd.

Mail Time Considerations When Returning an Absentee Ballot

When mailing your completed ballot, the USPS recommends that voters allow enough time for ballots to be returned to the Board, which is generally seven days ahead of the general election. New York State requires your ballot to be both postmarked by November 3, 2020 and received by our Board by November 10, 2020. Voters who mail in their ballots on Election Day must be aware of the posted collection times on collection boxes and at the Postal Service’s retail facilities, and that ballots entered after the last posted collection time will not be postmarked until the following business day.

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