Absentee Ballots & Deadlines


Voting by absentee ballot takes several steps. You must first be registered in the town in which you seek to vote.

Each step has deadlines for each election, which are listed below.  First, you must get an application, which can be done online, in person or by mail (see below). Second, you send in the application. Then you will receive the ballot in the mail and must return it, by mail or in person.

Special Info for Military and Overseas Ballots

Information is at:  https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingMilitaryFed.html

Info for ill or disabled voters: If you check the box in Question 1 on the application stating your illness or disability is permanent, once your application is approved, you will automatically receive a ballot by mail for each election

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot

  • Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City, absent from said city, 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 (See reverse)
  • 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.

How to get an absentee ballot

In person: Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at your county board of elections. If ballots are already available for voting, you may vote your ballot at the same time. The Columbia County Board of Elections is at 401 State St., Hudson, NY 12534 and is open M-F 8am-4pm, plus extra hours on the Thursday and the Saturday before an election. For more info: columbiacountyny.com/elections or (518) 828-3115.

Online: Go to columbiacountyny.com/elections and you will see an option for “Civilian Absentee Application.” You will then see a PDF of an application that you can print, fill out and return.

Once you receive your ballot, fill it out carefully; seal carefully, sign and date the envelope, and return by mail or in person (see deadlines below). If you are returning your ballot by mail and it is within the week before the election, carry your ballot to a post office. Ask for it to be hand-cancelled. Examine the cancellation to make sure it’s legible. YOUR BALLOT MUST BE POSTMARKED BEFORE ELECTION DAY.

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 your ballot. However, anyone can deliver a voted ballot back to the BOE.

It is preferable to hand-deliver the absentee ballot to the Board of Elections, and you must do so prior to election day.


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