VOTING IN THE GENERAL ELECTION: NOVEMBER 3, 2020

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BY President Barb McCarthy, 29 Aug 2020

No matter what your party affiliation or personal preference for a candidate might be, it will never be more important to vote in an election than the one coming up this November. In 2018, NY voters turned out at an all-time high for the 21st Century with only 49% of eligible voters casting a vote. Contrast that with a 75% turn-out high in 1974. In an effort to make sure everyone knows all their options and how to vote in this upcoming election, we are providing you with the resources below. Please share and consider either voting early in person or voting Absentee Ballot as soon as you receive your ballot, so that your options remain open should your personal circumstances change. If you have any questions, call your local County Board of Elections or reach out to me, and I will find an answer for you.

Barbara McCarthy   President of RC 10  irishiz9@aol.com      518-321-5597   Leave a message, and I will get back to you if I am unable to pick up.

Qualifications to Register to Vote

You must be:

  • a United States citizen;
  • 18 years old (you may pre-register at 16 or 17 but cannot vote until you are 18);
  • resident of this state and the county, city or village for at least 30 days before the election;
  • not be in prison or on parole for a felony conviction
  • not be adjudged mentally incompetent by a court;
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere.

How and Where to Register to Vote (To open any of the hyperlinks below, right click on your mouse or pad, and click on open link.)

  • You can register in person at your county board of elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center.
  • You may also submit your voter application form at the Department of Motor Vehicles, either in person or on their web site if you already have DMV-issued identification.
  • You can request a New York State Voter Registration form by mail by entering your name directly into our mailing list database.
  • You can call our 1-800-FOR-VOTE hotline to request a voter application.
  • Applications must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020, and received by a board of elections no later than October 14, 2020, to be eligible to vote in the General Election.
  • IN PERSON REGISTRATION AT THE BOARD OF ELECTIONS See addresses below). To be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than October 9, 2020. If honorably discharged from the US Military or have become a naturalized US Citizen after October 9, 2020, you may register in person at the Board of Elections up until October 24, 2020.
  • CHANGE OF ADDRESS
    Notices of change of address from registered voters received by October 14, 2020

2020 Voting by Absentee Ballot Deadlines

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot

  1. Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
  2. 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). *This is new*
  3. Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
  4. A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  5. Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.
 

Date

Deadline Information

October 27

Last day to apply online, by email, fax or to postmark an application or letter of application by mail for an absentee ballot. (Please be warned that despite this deadline, the Post Office has advised they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election.)

November 2

Last day to apply IN-PERSON for absentee ballot.

November 3

November 3 is the last day to postmark ballot. Must be received by the local board of elections no later than November 10. Military Voter Ballots must be received no later than November 16.

November 3

Last day to deliver ballot IN-PERSON to the local board of elections or to any poll

You may file an application at any time before the deadlines, but ballots will be mailed out beginning on or about September 18, 2020. (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.) If you have already determined for whom you are voting, fill out your ballot immediately and return it to the Board of Elections for your county. You can mail it or return it in person to the Board of Elections

Absentee ballots are not counted until after the election is closed so if there are more absentee ballots than usual, these ballots may take several days to count.

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

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

  • Electronically through our Absentee 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.

  • 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
    4. the reason for the request, and
    5. the signature of the voter

      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 have low vision, please use the Accessible Absentee Ballot Application - COMING SOON

How to Cast an Absentee Ballot

  • Once you 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.

Many primary absentee ballots were invalidated in the last election due to voters not following the instructions on the ballot. Please read them very carefully and double check to make sure you have complied with all instructions.

  • 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 3.
    2. Bringing it to the County Board of Elections Office no later than November 3. (Some sites have a box inside the building)
    3. Bringing it to an early voting poll site between October 24 and November 1. (This is new. There will be a box or a bag where the ballot will be secured for delivery)
    4. Bringing it to a poll site on November 3 (This is new. There will be a box or a bag where the ballot will be secured for delivery)
  • Be advised that voting in person both early and on Election Day means your vote will be counted on Election Day. Voting by Absentee Ballot means your ballot will probably not be counted until the military ballots are due which may be at least a week after the election as those ballots are not due until November 16.
Every New Yorker Can Now Obtain an Absentee Ballot Ahead of November General Election. Cuomo signed a bill allowing New Yorkers to request an absentee ballot as long as they check off temporary illness or disability on their absentee application, similar to the executive order he signed ahead of the June primary.
 
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO DETERMINE YOUR VOTING LOCATION 
 
ALBANY COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS 
 
224 South Pearl Street, Albany, NY 12202  
Phone (518) 487-5060  
Fax (518) 487-5077 
Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm 
 
 
RENSSELAER COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS 
 
Please contact the Board of Elections, 518-270-2990, with any questions regarding Absentee voting. 
 
 
SARATOGA COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS 
 
50 W. High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020 
Phone: (518) 885-2249 
Fax: (518) 884-4751 
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm
 
WASHINGTON COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS 
 
Office Address
The School on Burgoyne
1153 Burgoyne Ave.
Fort Edward, New York 12828
Mailing Address
383 Broadway
Fort Edward, NY 12828
Phone: 518-746-2180
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

The official election website for NYS will answer any questions you may have about how to vote:  https://www.elections.ny.gov/

You can also call your local Board of Election by locating their number above, or on this website: https://www.elections.ny.gov/CountyBoards.html

Please encourage everyone you know to get out and exercise their right as a citizen of the US and vote in the upcoming election.