Voting in person or by absentee ballot has been a hot topic of discussion this election season. Well, the state of New York just made it a lot easier to request an absentee ballot with a new online portal. Before the portal was launched you had to either download the form, fill it out and mail it to the Board of Elections or actually go there in person to request an absentee ballot.

Now, you just go to New York’s absentee ballot portal and request an absentee ballot for the November 3rd election.

In a recent press conference, Governor Cuomo said, “As the November election approaches, we know that many voters feel vulnerable in the midst of this pandemic, in line with the sweeping reforms we have implemented to make it easier for New Yorkers to exercise their right to vote, today we launch the online portal through which every registered voter concerned about COVID-19 can obtain an absentee ballot. Voting is the cornerstone of democracy and we want each and every voter to feel safe and secure in the exercise of voting.”

In past elections, you had to have a qualifying reason to vote by absentee ballot, but this election, if you are at risk from the coronavirus, you only have to mark "temporary illness" to request your absentee ballot.

I requested mine this morning and it literally took three minutes to have it look up my voter registration, verify who I was, and request a ballot.

To register to vote, 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 November 3rd.

Here are the deadlines for absentee ballots.

  • October 27th, last day to apply online, by email, fax or to postmark an application or letter of application by mail for an absentee ballot.
  • November 2nd, last day to apply IN-PERSON for an absentee ballot.
  • November 3rd, last day to postmark ballot. Must be received by the local board of elections no later than Nov. 10th. Military Voter Ballots must be received no later than Nov. 16th.
  • November 3rd, last day to deliver ballot IN-PERSON to the local board of elections or to any poll site.
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