2020 General Election Absentee Ballots are now available!

Absentee Voting

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Early Voting Period is October 24,2020 – November 1, 2020

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

  1. Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
  2. 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).
  3. Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
  4. A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  5. Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

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 Apply for an Absentee Ballot (Deadlines)

You may apply for an absentee ballot in any of the following ways:

By sending an email or letter to your county board of elections. The email or letter must contain the following information:

  1. Name and date of birth of the voter
  2. the address where you are registered
  3. an address where the ballot is to be sent
  4. the reason for the request, and
  5. the signature of the voter
  6. 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 with your 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.

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 or the Accessible Electronic Ballot Application Portal:

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.
  • 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.
  • You may return the ballot in any of the following ways:
    1. Put it in the mail ensuring it receives a postmark no later than November 3rd.
    2. Bringing it to the County Board of Elections Office no later than November 3rd.
    3. Bringing it to an early voting poll site between October 24th and November 1st.
    4. Bringing it to a poll site on November 3rd by 9 PM.


Members of the Military Service of the State or the United States and their spouse, parents and children are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Federal Post Card Applications are available from your Voting Assistance Officer or online from the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Should you have any questions, please email us at putnamcountyelections@putnamcountyny.gov.

When you have completed the application mail it to the Putnam County Board of Elections at 25 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512.


Every citizen of the U.S. now residing outside the U.S., whose residence prior to his /her departure from the U.S. was in New York State, is entitled to vote from that residence by absentee ballot as a Special Federal Voter. Special Federal voters are eligible to vote in all primary, special and general elections for the public offices or party positions of President and Vice-President of the U.S., U.S. Senator, Representative in Congress, and delegates and alternate delegates to a national convention. A Special Federal Post Card Application is available online from the U.S. Department of Defense Federal Voting Assistance Program.

Should you have any questions, please email us at putnamcountyelections@putnamcountyny.gov.

When you have completed the application mail it to the Putnam County Board of Elections at 25 Old Route 6, Carmel, NY 10512.

Absentee Ballot Return Plan – Executive Order 202-61

Absentee Ballots can be dropped off at the Putnam County Board of Elections at a drop box outside of our office or brought into the office and received by a Staff Member during normal Business Hours.

Early Voting:

Putnam County Board of Elections

25 Old Route 6

Carmel, NY

A locked Ballot Bag will be located at the entrance of the Early Voting Site marked Absentee Ballots Only.  At the end of each day it will be emptied, and the voted ballots will be time stamped and secured.

Election Day:

Putnam County will have a Coordinator at the front entrance of every polling site to assist voters with the drop off of Absentee Ballots, the ballots will be placed in a locked Ballot Bag marked Absentee Ballots.  At the end of the day the bag will be returned to the Board of Elections.

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.

To Check the Status of Your Absentee Application and/or Ballot Click Here