Voting is confusing this year, but also easier than ever. Jennifer Wilson from the League of Women Voters shows us step-by-step what to expect when voting with an absentee ballot, and speaks with Karen DeWitt about this year's elections process.
October 24 is the start of early voting in New York State
October 27 is the latest you can submit an absentee ballot request (but the earlier the better)
November 3 is the latest date you can submit your ballot, postmarked by that date or delivered in person
Apply for absentee ballots - through your county Board of Elections or online.
Once you get your absentee ballot, here are step-by-step instructions and tips from the League of Women Voters.
- Make sure to open the piece of mail carefully since there are important documents and information inside.
- Take note of and follow the directions on the ballot and envelopes.
- Orient yourself with the ballot (candidates will either be on the top or on the side of the ballot)
- When filling out the ballot, blue or black pen is preferred. But you can also use a pencil and most pen colors.
- Fill in circles completely.
- Double check how many candidates you can vote for, depending on the political race
- You don't have to vote in all of the races. You can leave some blank and the ballot will still be counted.
- Do not write anywhere outside the designated areas, unless noting a write-in candidate
- Put ballot in envelope with affirmation statement then sign and date that statement. Sign only on the X, unless someone helped you fill out the ballot. They will sign under the X for a witness declaration.
- Seal that envelope and make sure it is completely shut. If the envelope is not 100% closed, the ballot will not be counted. You can use water or tape to make sure it is totally closed. If the ballot cannot be counted, you will be told to vote in person or another absentee ballot will be sent, if there's time.
- Make sure info on envelope is correct.
- The smaller envelope then goes inside a return envelope, which also must be completely sealed.
- There is a checklist on the exterior envelope to help.
- Then either mail in the ballot or deliver in person. If you do mail it, use two stamps since it's a large envelope.
If would prefer not to mail in: Drop off your ballot in-person at any Election Day site, or Early Voting site during Early Voting and on Election Day. You can also have someone else drop it off for you.
Of note: Jennifer Wilson from the LWVNYS said it is very likely that we will not know results of the presidential election and other elections on Election Night due to absentee ballots.