On August 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo signed legislation expanding absentee voting in New York State. All New York State voters may apply to vote by absentee ballot using the temporary illness clause, which now includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19.
On September 9, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order further expanding absentee voting in New York State as follows: All boards of elections shall develop a plan to allow a registered voter to drop off a completed absentee ballot at a board of election, early voting location, or election day voting location, without requiring they wait in line with in-person voters, to help minimize delays during in-person voting and promote contactless voting. Plans must be submitted to the State Board of Elections by September 21, 2020, and made publicly available in the county board of elections office and on their website when submitted.
Please note: Westchester County voters may have received a letter recently from the Commissioner of Elections indicating that their absentee ballot application was faulty. According to the County Board of Elections, that letter was sent automatically to all voters who requested an absentee ballot for the June primaries. It does not reflect the status of any new absentee ballot application that may have been submitted after August 20, 2020.
VOTING BY ABSENTEE BALLOT
For purposes of the November 2020 General Election and elections occurring before January 1, 2022, a voter may request an absentee ballot by selecting “temporary illness,” which includes “the risk of contracting or spreading a disease” such as COVID-19.
Qualifications to vote by absentee ballot
- Absent from your county on Election Day.
- 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 you are the primary care giver 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.
Deadlines and how to apply for an absentee ballot if you are already registered to vote
- online, using the new NYS Board of Elections Absentee Ballot Request tool
- by sending a completed absentee ballot application or letter no later than seven days before the election (deadline: Tuesday, October 27, 2020)
- by mail with postmark to Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601,
- by email to BOE-WestAbsentee@westchestergov.com,
- by fax to (914) 995-7753 or (914) 995-3190.
- in-person at Westchester County Board of Elections, 25 Quarropas Street, White Plains, NY 10601 up to the day before the election (deadline: Monday, November 2, 2020).
You may file an absentee ballot application at any time before the above deadlines, but ballots will not be mailed out until after 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.
Deadlines for submitting your completed absentee ballot
By mail: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 (General Election Day): Last day for your completed absentee ballot to be postmarked or hand-delivered to the Board of Elections. Please note that mailed absentee ballots without a postmark must be received by Wednesday, November 4, 2020, to be counted. Mailed absentee ballots with a postmark must be received by Tuesday, November 10, 2020, to be counted.
In person (new options for dropping off absentee ballot per Governor’s Executive Order 202.61):
- Drop it off at an early voting poll site between Saturday, October 24, 2020 and Sunday, November 1, 2020
- Drop it off at a poll site on Tuesday, November 3, 2020 (Election Day) by 9pm
- Drop it off at your County Board of Elections Office between Tuesday, September 8, 2020 and Tuesday, November 3, 2020 (Election Day) by 9pm
Read the Absentee Voting Instructions on the Westchester County Board of Elections website or contact the Board of Elections directly.
Watch the LWV NYS video on How to Vote Via Absentee Ballot in NY State for step by step instructions. LWV NYS also provides an Absentee Voting by County section on its website with links to websites, contact information, hours of operation, and applicable forms for all county boards of elections.
Visit the NYS Board of Elections Absentee Voting page and the Westchester County Board of Elections Absentee Voting page for additional details.
- For additional questions regarding voting or the elections, please contact the LWVS Voter Service Chairs.