Don’t miss the Monday deadline to apply for an absentee ballot online

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Don't miss the Monday deadline to apply for an absentee ballot online


Time is running out for voters who want to request an absentee ballot online ahead of the upcoming August 23rd primary elections.

Those contests include several closely watched congressional and state senate primaries. Two hotly watched races feature Democrats vying to become the respective nominees for the 12th congressional district, which covers Manhattan from 14th Street to the Upper East and West Sides, and the 10th congressional district, which covers lower Manhattan and stretches across the Brooklyn waterfront into Park Slope, Borough Park, and Sunset Park.

The deadline for the New York City Board of Elections to receive an absentee ballot application submitted online, by mail, or via fax is Monday, August 8th. Voters who want to request absentee ballots after Monday will need to go in person to any local BOE office by Monday, August 22nd — the last day to request an absentee ballot.

Here’s what you need to know about applying for an absentee ballot.

How can I apply for an absentee ballot online?

The city BOE offers information about absentee voting and a link to the online portal where voters can submit their applications online.

Do I have to be technically absent from the city to vote via absentee ballot?

No. A voter must indicate the reason why they are applying for an absentee ballot. One of those reasons may be that the person will not be in the city for the election. Other reasons may include temporary illness (the option a voter should select if their concern is COVID-19); permanent illness or disability; caregiving duties related to someone else who is sick or disabled; being in jail or awaiting trial; or being in prison for something that is not a felony conviction.

Who can vote in this primary election?

New York operates a closed primary system, which means voters can only participate if they are registered members of a party that has a primary election. However, due to recent judicial action stemming from the state’s redistricting process, voters can submit a request to change their party through August 11th. A voter can submit a written request at their local BOE office. If a voter wants to update that information online, the person must have a valid account with the state Department of Motor Vehicles and those requests must be submitted a day earlier, by August 10th.

When I receive my absentee ballot, do I need to put postage on it to mail it back?

According to the New York State Board of Elections, voters do not need to apply any postage to return their absentee ballots.

You can also drop your ballot off at any BOE office or any early voting site across the city.

What if I applied for an absentee ballot but then change my mind and decide to vote in person?

Voters who apply for an absentee ballot but then opt to vote in person will be instructed to complete an affidavit ballot. That’s in connection with a recent change to state election law intended to speed up the process to count absentee ballots.



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