Ask the VE Ambassadors: Absentee Ballots

Ask the VE Ambassadors: Absentee Ballots

Every Tuesday until Election Day (November 8th), the #PaceVotes16 coalition and Vote Everywhere Ambassadors will be answering the most common questions about voting in the upcoming election – from finding your polling site to deciding who you want to vote for. First up:

Q: How do I vote via absentee ballot?

1. Know if you need to vote by absentee ballot
If you’ve registered in a state or county where you are not currently living, you have two options to vote: you can go to the polling site for the address you registered at, or you can vote by mailing in an absentee ballot to your county’s Board of Elections. Check your voter registration status (please note that if you registered with us this semester, your form may not have been processed yet!) to find the address where you’ve registered, then look up your polling site – if you can’t get there on Election Day (November 8th), you’ll need to vote by absentee ballot.

2. Apply for your absentee ballot online or by mail ASAP
States have different deadlines for applying for your absentee ballot, as well as different methods for how you can apply – some states let you apply online, while others require that you print and mail in your application. Note that this is just your application for a ballot to be sent to you, so we recommend putting in your request as soon as you can to allow yourself a few weeks to receive your ballot – if it doesn’t reach you in time, you won’t be able to mail it back in time vote!

How: You can visit your state’s Board of Elections website, find your ballot and deadlines on Rock the Vote, or register with Turbovote to find out how your state handles absentee ballots and what your deadlines are.

3. Mail your ballot back to your state or county Board of Elections before the deadline
Most absentee ballots must be sent on or before Election Day (November 8th), but again, check the requirements for your individual state and double check the address for your BoE. You can send your ballot back before the deadline, so mail it back as soon as you fill it out!

You can also bring your absentee application and/or ballot to the Center for Community Action & Research in room Y31 (NYC) or Choate House 51W (PLV) at least 2 days before your state’s deadline! We’ll mail it in for you – no need to pay for postage. Happy voting!

Have a question about voting in this year’s election? Send it to and we’ll get back to you ASAP – and your question may be featured next week!