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Getting Residents Prepared for the 2020 General Election and Absentee Voting

Yet another thing that is different this year is the wide-ranging availability of absentee voting for the upcoming General Election. Election Day is Tues., Nov. 3, 2020, and due to the ongoing pandemic, absentee voting is open to everyone in the general public who would prefer to avoid going to crowded polling places. Of course, for seniors, it is recommended to vote absentee to prevent any chance of COVID-19 exposure.

With that, LeadingAge NY encourages members to assist residents in applying for their absentee ballots and making them aware of how they can participate in the 2020 General Election. Not only is there a presidential race this year, but there are also many exciting local elections taking place and several open State Senate and Assembly seats.

Please share the below resources with your residents and/or their families to ensure that they are aware of how they can safely cast their votes.

How to vote absentee in the 2020 General Election:

  1. Applying for an Absentee Ballot – Applications must be sent to your county board no later than Oct. 27th or delivered in person no later than the day before the election (Nov. 2nd).
  • Apply online through the Electronic Absentee Ballot Application Portal (recommended).
  • Send an email, phone, fax, or apply in person at your local county board of elections.
  • PDF versions of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form are available here (English) and here (Spanish).
  • When you are filling in the application, under reason for requesting the ballot, you may check “Temporary illness or physical disability” (including affected/potential of COVID-19).
  1. Receiving Your Absentee Ballot
  • On your application, select the way you would like to receive your absentee ballot. You can receive your ballot by mail (recommended), pick up your ballot at your local county board of elections office, or you can designate another person to pick up your absentee ballot for you.
  1. Casting Your 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.
  • 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.
  1. Returning Your Completed Absentee Ballot – Ballots can be returned to your local county board of elections office in the following ways:
  • Put it in the mail, ensuring it receives a postmark no later than Nov. 3rd. (The ballot must be received by your county board by Nov. 10th.)
  • Bring it to your county board of elections office by 9 p.m. on Nov. 3rd.
  • Bring it to an early voting poll site between Oct. 24th and Nov. 1st.
  • Bring it to a poll site by 9 p.m. on Nov. 3rd.

When it comes to absentee voting, timing is everything. Encourage residents and staff who would like to vote absentee to begin the process as soon as possible and to have their mail-in ballot postmarked before Nov. 3, 2020. (Please be aware that despite the above deadlines, the Post Office has advised that they cannot guarantee timely delivery of ballots that are applied for after Oct. 19th. This is just another reason that early application for your absentee ballot is critical.)

Visit this link for full comprehensive instructions on absentee voting.

Contact: Sarah Daly, sdaly@leadingageny.org