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Absentee Voting Information

Expanded Voting Options for 2020 General Election

(adapted from

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)
If you are:

  • 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.

How to Apply for an Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)
You may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways no later than October 27, 2020. The USPS mail service has said they cannot guarantee timely delivery for ballots applied for less than 15 days before an election (October 19)

  • Portal: Electronically through NYS BOE Electronic Absentee Ballot Application Portal
  • Email request to Sullivan County Board of Elections:
  • Phone request to Sullivan County Board of Elections: (845) 807-0400
  • Fax request to Sullivan County Board of Elections: (845) 807-0410
  • In-person (by appointment) to Sullivan County Board of Elections Office at the Government Center: 100 North Street – Monticello, NY 12701
  • Mail a paper application to Sullivan County Board of Elections: 100 North Street – PO Box 5012, Monticello, NY 12701. You can download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form:
  • Letter to Sullivan County Board of Elections, PO Box 5012, Monticello, NY 12701. The letter must contain the following information:
    • Name and date of birth of the voter
    • Address where you are registered
    • Address where the ballot is to be sent, and
    • The reason for the request.
      (If you apply by letter, an application form will be mailed with your ballot. The application form must be completed and returned with your ballot.)

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.

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 indicating permanent illness or physical disability. You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

If you are visually impaired or otherwise disabled, such that your disability requires you to use an accessible absentee ballot application, you have two accessible options to request a ballot on this page, either using the Accessible Electronic Ballot Application Portal: Electronic Accessible Absentee Ballot Application Portal >  Accessible Absentee Ballot Application with Instructions (pdf 95.6KB) > 

When is it due?
You must apply online, postmark, email or fax a completed application or letter request for the General Election Absentee ballot no later than 7 days (October 27, 2020) before the election.

You may apply in-person up to the day before the election (November 2, 2020).

You may file an application at any time before the deadlines, but ballots will be mailed out beginning on or about 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.)

How to Cast an Absentee Ballot

  • Once your 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. (This envelope will have a place for your signature.)
  • Sign and date the outside of the Security Envelope in order for your ballot to be counted.
  • Seal the Security Envelope.
  • Place the Security Envelope in the Return Envelope. (This envelope will have the return address of the Sullivan County Board of Elections on the outside and should have a logo that reads, “Official Election Mail”)
  • Seal the Return Envelope.
  • You may return the ballot in any of the following ways:
    • Put it in the mail, ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 3rd.
    • Bring it to the Sullivan County Board of Elections Office no later than November 3rd by 9 p.m.
    • Bring it to an early voting poll site between October 24th and November 1st.
    • Bring it to a poll site on November 3rd by 9 p.m.

Mail Time Considerations When Returning an Absentee Ballot

  • When mailing your completed ballot, the USPS recommends that voters allow enough time for ballots to be returned to the Board, which is generally seven days ahead of the general election. New York State requires your ballot to be both postmarked by November 3, 2020 and received by our Board by November 10, 2020.
  • Voters who mail in their ballots on Election Day must be aware of the posted collection times on collection boxes and at the Postal Service’s retail facilities, and that ballots entered after the last posted collection time will not be postmarked until the following business day.

You Can Still Vote in Person if You Request an Absentee Ballot
Even if you request or cast and return an absentee ballot, you may still go to the polls and vote in person. The Election Law recognizes that plans change. The Board of Elections is required to check the poll book before canvassing any absentee ballot. If the voter comes to the poll site on Election Day or during early voting and votes in person, the absentee ballot is set aside and not counted.

Registered voters who will be outside of Sullivan County and those who are physically unable to appear at the polls on Election Day are eligible to receive absentee ballots.

There are several types of absentee voters:

MILITARY - Members of the Armed Forces and their dependents
REGULAR - Voters who are out of the county, or ill on Election Day or Primary Day
PERMANENTLY DISABLED – These voters are on a permanent list and receive a ballot for each election

SPECIAL BALLOT - For those who are unable to vote in person due to Religious Scruples, Duties for the Board of Elections or a Victim of Domestic Violence
SPECIAL FEDERAL – U. S. citizens living abroad whose last U. S. address was in Sullivan County are only allowed to vote for Federal Offices. These include President, Vice President, U. S. Senator, and Congress
SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL – Registered Sullivan County voters who have moved to another jurisdiction after the last day to register are only allowed to vote for President 

Download New York State Absentee Ballot Application (English Form)

Download New York State Absentee Ballot Application (Spanish Form)

You may also request an Absentee Ballot by sending a letter to your County Board of Elections. The letter must be received by the county Board of Elections no earlier than 30 days before the election. The letter must contain the following information:

  • Your name and date of birth
  • The address where you are registered
  • An address where the ballot should be sent
  • The reason for the request (Vacation, Permanent or Temporary Medical Disability, Caregiver, detention in jail for an offense other than a felony waiting for a trial)
  • The dates that you will be out of the county (optional)
  • The signature of the voter

If the Absentee Ballot is mailed back to the Board of Elections, it must be postmarked by the day before the election and received no later than seven days after the election.