ALBANY — New Yorkers may now apply online for absentee ballots that can be cast in the November elections.
The state Board of Elections website on Tuesday added a page for any voter to quickly apply for the mail-in ballot.
The state web page eases the process to vote by mail in order to avoid concerns about the spread of COVID-19 at crowded polling places this general election, which includes the presidential election.
Once a registered voter clicks onto the web page, he or she must provide their name and address and whether they want their absentee ballot mailed to them or made available for pickup at their county board of elections office.
Although absentee ballots have been traditionally used for voters who are ill or out of their county on Election Day, the new portal addresses concerns about COVID-19. A voter who chooses to apply for an absentee ballot because of concerns about the virus can check the circle that states as a reason “Temporary illness or physical disability (including affected/potential of COVID-19).”
An applicant can then request a ballot in English or Spanish.
Then a voter must agree and check the box next to this statement: “By selecting this check box, I certify that I am a registered voter and that the information in this application is true and correct and that this application will be accepted for all purposes as the equivalent of an affidavit and, if it contains a material false statement, shall subject me to the same penalties as if I had been duly sworn.”
The applicant must then hit the “submit” button.
The applicant will receive a notice of receipt: “Thank you for applying. Your application will be reviewed and processed by your local County Board of Elections. If you have any questions or would like to make any change to the application, please contact your local County Board of Elections.” The prompt also provides an applicant with a confirmation number.
Ballots will start to be mailed to voters beginning Sept. 18.
The last day for an application to be postmarked is Oct. 27, which is seven days before Election Day. The state Board of Elections warns, however, that the U.S. Postal Service said it can’t guarantee on-time delivery of ballots applied for less than 15 days before Election Day.
Applications are still available on state and county boards of elections sites for downloading and mailing.