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Absentee Voting FAQ


Important new law effective January 1, 2022:
Any voter who is issued an Absentee Ballot MAY NOT cast a vote on a voting machine during early voting or on an election day. The voter may still complete an Affidavit Ballot at the poll site.


 How can I apply to vote by absentee ballot?

A: Pursuant to N.Y. Election Law § 8-400, Suffolk County voters who wish to vote by absentee ballot may apply:

  1. Electronically by the New York State Board of Elections Absentee Application Portal at: https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/
  2. By Mail.Send a signed application or written request to: Suffolk County Board of Elections, PO Box 700, Yaphank, NY 11980. If you do not complete an application and send a letter request instead, please include your name and date of birth, the reason for the request, the address where you are registered and an address where you want the ballot to be sent. (See below for permissible reasons.)
  3. In Person. Go to the Suffolk BOE at 700 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank, NY 11980 and make a request or complete and submit your application. Depending on availability, you may be able to get a ballot while you wait! Otherwise you can come back the next day to retrieve your ballot or the Board of Elections will mail it to you.
  4. By Fax. Send a signed application, telefax or other signed writing to 631-852-4590. If you do not complete an application and send a telefax or letter request instead, please include your name and date of birth, the reason for the request, the address where you are registered and an address where you want the ballot to be sent. (See below for permissible reasons.)

 What are the deadlines to apply to vote absentee?

A: The deadline to apply depends on how you apply.

  1. By the NYS BOE Portal. Request must be transmitted no later than 15 days before the election.
  2. By Mail. Application must be received no later than 15 days before the election.
  3. In Person. Voters may apply in-person up to the day before the election.
  4. By fax . The request or application must be received no later than 15 days before the election.

 When will I receive my absentee ballot?

A: Under normal circumstances, the Suffolk County Board of Elections will send out ballots between one and three days after receiving an application. It may take a few days longer if there is a high volume of requests. In any case, voters may file an application at any time before the deadlines.


 What about travel time through the postal system?

A: Please be aware that postal service delays do not extend the above deadlines. Please consider time for mail delivery when making your request in order to provide adequate time for your ballot to be delivered to you prior to an election.


 Where can I find an absentee ballot application?

A: You can download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application at the Suffolk County Board of Elections website at https://suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE

If you are visually impaired or have low vision, please use the Accessible Absentee Ballot Application here:https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/home/accessible


 What if I cannot pick up my ballot or I can’t receive it through the mail?

A: 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 and deliver your ballot.


 What are my rights if I am permanently ill or disabled?

A:  If you are permanently ill or disabled, you have the right to receive an Absentee Ballot for each subsequent election without further application. Simply file an application with the Suffolk County Board of Elections indicating permanent illness or physical disability. You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

All Early Voting and Election Day poll sites are equipped with Accessible Voting Machines and are available for voters needing assistance.


 What are the qualifications to vote by Absentee Ballot?

A: All registered voters are eligible to receive an absentee ballot for the following reasons:

  • Absence from Suffolk County on Election Day;
  • Temporary illness or disability including instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling place because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease like COVID-19;
  • Permanent illness or physical disability;
  • Duties related to primary care of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled;
  • Resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital; or
  • Detention in a jail/prison, awaiting trial, awaiting action by a grand jury, or in a prison for a conviction of a crime or offense which is not a felony.

 How do I submit my Absentee Ballot in person?

A: Completed, signed and sealed Absentee ballots may be delivered to:

  1. Any Early Voting or Election Day poll site during voting hours; or
  2. The Suffolk County Board of Elections during office hours.

 How do I submit an Absentee Ballot by Mail?

A: After marking your votes on the ballot, fold the ballot and put it in the smaller envelope with the oath. Sign and date the back of the envelope. Seal the envelope and put it in the larger envelope that is addressed to the Board of Elections. Mail your ballot to the Suffolk County Board of Elections office.

An absentee ballot must be postmarked by Election Day and must reach the Board of Elections no more than 7 days after the election to be counted. To avoid delays in mailing, you should mail your ballot early.


 What if I am an Overseas or Military Voter?

A: If you are applying for an absentee ballot because you or your family are in the military or because you currently reside overseas, do not use this application. You are entitled to special provisions if you apply using the Federal Postcard Application.

For more information about military/overseas voting, refer to the Military and Federal Voting sections at: https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingMilitaryFed.html


 What if I request or submit an absentee ballot and then decide to vote on a machine?

A: Effective January 1, 2022, you may not cast a ballot on a machine at a poll site after the Board sends an absentee ballot to you following a timely request. Regardless of whether the absentee ballot was delivered to you by the postal service or was sent back to the Board, you will be unable to vote on a machine.

If you were issued an absentee ballot, you may only vote at a poll site during early voting or on Election Day by Affidavit Ballot.

Suffolk County Government

H. Lee Dennison Bldg

100 Veterans Memorial Hwy
P.O. Box 6100
Hauppauge, NY 11788

Riverhead County Center

County Road 51
Riverhead, NY 11901