Frequently asked questions about absentee ballots

Voters can now apply for absentee ballots. (Image courtesy of Flickr)

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading some to worry about social distancing and virus transmission at the polls for the general election on Nov. 3, some North Shore residents may find it best to apply for an absentee ballot.

Can I cast an absentee ballot?

Voters can cast an absentee ballot if they are:

  • Absent from their home county.
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
  • Unable to appear because they are the primary caregiver 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 the deadline to apply?

Voters must apply online, postmark, email or fax a completed application or letter request for the General Election Absentee ballot no later than Oct. 27, seven days before the election, and may apply in-person up to the day before the election. Voters may also file an application at any time before the deadlines, but ballots will be mailed out beginning on or about Sept. 18.

How do I apply for an absentee ballot?

Voters may send a mail, email or fax request, or go in person, to the Nassau County Board of Elections with a filled out version of the New York State absentee ballot application form, available at or

Once it is filled out, where can I return my ballot?

After a voter receives and marks his or her ballot, the ballot can be returned by a number of ways:

  • Put it in the mail, ensuring it receives a postmark no later than Nov. 3.
  • Taking it to the county Board of Elections Office no later than Nov. 3.
  • Taking it to an early voting poll site between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1.
  • Taking it to a poll site on Nov. 3.

About the author

Rose Weldon

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