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This entry was published on 2022-08-19
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SECTION 8-400
Absentee voting; application for ballot
Election (ELN) CHAPTER 17, ARTICLE 8, TITLE 4
§ 8-400. Absentee voting; application for ballot. * 1. A qualified
voter may vote as an absentee voter under this chapter if, on the
occurrence of any village election conducted by the board of elections,
primary election, special election, general election or New York city
community school board district or city of Buffalo school district
election, he or she expects to be:

(a) absent from the county of his or her residence, or, if a resident
of the city of New York absent from said city; or

(b) unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election
district in which he or she is a qualified voter because of illness or
physical disability or duties related to the primary care of one or more
individuals who are ill or physically disabled, or because he or she
will be or is a patient in a hospital, provided that, for purposes of
this paragraph, "illness" shall include, but not be limited to,
instances where a voter is unable to appear personally at the polling
place of the election district in which they are a qualified voter
because there is a risk of contracting or spreading a disease that may
cause illness to the voter or to other members of the public; or

(c) a resident or patient of a veterans health administration
hospital; or

(d) absent from his or her voting residence because he or she is
detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or
confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other than
a felony, provided that he or she is qualified to vote in the election
district of his or her residence.

* NB Effective until December 31, 2022

* 1. A qualified voter may vote as an absentee voter under this
chapter if, on the occurrence of any village election conducted by the
board of elections, primary election, special election, general election
or New York city community school board district or city of Buffalo
school district election, he or she expects to be:

(a) absent from the county of his or her residence, or, if a resident
of the city of New York absent from said city; or

(b) unable to appear personally at the polling place of the election
district in which he or she is a qualified voter because of illness or
physical disability or duties related to the primary care of one or more
individuals who are ill or physically disabled, or because he or she
will be or is a patient in a hospital; or

(c) a resident or patient of a veterans health administration
hospital; or

(d) absent from his or her voting residence because he or she is
detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial, or
confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense other than
a felony, provided that he or she is qualified to vote in the election
district of his or her residence.

* NB Effective December 31, 2022

2. A qualified voter desiring to vote at such election as an absentee
voter for any reason specified in subdivision one hereof must make
application for an absentee ballot on a form to be obtained and filed as
provided herein, by letter as provided in paragraph (d) of this
subdivision, or through the electronic absentee ballot application
transmittal system pursuant to section 8-408 of this title.

(a) Application forms shall be furnished by and may be obtained from
any board of elections at any time until the day before such election,
or on the electronic absentee ballot application transmittal system.
Application forms shall also be supplied by the board of inspectors of
the election district in which applicant is a qualified voter on all of
the days provided for local registration. In addition, application forms
shall be supplied upon the request of the person authorized to vote
pursuant to this section, any such person's spouse, parent or child, a
person residing with the applicant as a member of his household, or the
applicant's duly authorized agent. Application forms sent outside of the
United States to a country other than Canada or Mexico, shall be sent
airmail. Any reference to "board of elections" in the remaining
provisions of this section, except with respect to the furnishing and
obtaining of applications for absentee ballots, means only the board of
elections of the county or city in which the applicant is a qualified
voter.

(b) Applications may be filed with the board of elections, through the
electronic absentee ballot application transmittal system or in person
with the board of inspectors of the election district in which the
applicant is a qualified voter on one of the days provided for local
registration.

(c) All applications requesting an absentee ballot by mail or through
the electronic absentee ballot application transmittal system must be
received by the board of elections not later than the fifteenth day
before the election for which a ballot is first requested. Applications
for an absentee ballot that will be delivered in person at the board of
elections to the voter or to an agent of the voter must be received by
such board not later than the day before such election.

(d) The board of elections shall mail an absentee ballot to every
qualified voter otherwise eligible for such a ballot, who requests such
an absentee ballot from such board of elections in writing in a letter,
telefax indicating the address, phone number and the telefax number from
which the writing is sent or other written instrument, or an electronic
application submitted by the voter through the electronic absentee
ballot application transmittal system established by the state board of
elections, which is signed by the voter and received by the board of
elections not later than the fifteenth day before the election for which
the ballot is first requested and which states the address where the
voter is registered and the address to which the ballot is to be mailed;
provided, however, a military voter may request a military ballot or
voter registration application or an absentee ballot application in a
letter as provided in subdivision three of section 10-106 of this
chapter; and provided further, a special federal voter may request a
special federal ballot or voter registration application or an absentee
ballot application in a letter as provided in paragraph d of subdivision
one of section 11-202 of this chapter. The board of elections shall
enclose with such ballot a form of application for absentee ballot if
the applicant is registered with such board of elections.

(e) When mailing an absentee ballot application to a voter the board
of elections shall provide a domestic postage paid return envelope. When
providing an absentee ballot application to a voter in-person, the board
of elections shall offer the voter a domestic postage paid return
envelope and provide one if requested.

3. The application for an absentee ballot when filed must contain in
each instance the following information:

(a) Applicant's full name, date of birth, and residence address,
including the street and number, if any, rural delivery route, if any,
mailing address if different from the residence address and his or her
town or city and an address to which the ballot shall be mailed.

(b) A statement that the applicant is a qualified and registered
voter.

(c) A statement, as appropriate, that on the day of such election the
applicant expects in good faith to be in one of the following
categories:

(i) absent from the county of his or her residence, or if a resident
of the city of New York absent from said city; provided, however, if the
applicant expects to be absent from such county or city for a duration
covering more than one election and seeks an absentee ballot for each
election, he or she shall state the dates when he or she expects to
begin and end such absence; or

(ii) unable to appear at a polling place because of illness or
physical disability or duties related to the primary care of one or more
individuals who are ill or physically disabled; or

(iii) a resident or patient of a veterans health administration
hospital; or

(iv) detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting
trial or confined in jail or prison after a conviction for an offense
other than a felony and stating the place where he or she is so detained
or confined.

(d) Such application shall permit the applicant to apply for an
absentee ballot for either a primary election or the general election in
any year and for those persons who will be continuously absent from
their county of residence during the period between the fall primary
election and the general election in any year to apply for ballots for
both such elections in such year. A voter who applies for an absentee
ballot shall be sent an absentee ballot for any special election or
winter primary that occurs during the period of absence specified in the
application.

4. A voter who claims permanent illness or physical disability may
make application for an absentee ballot and the right to receive an
absentee ballot for each election thereafter as provided herein without
further application, by filing with the board of elections an
application which shall contain a statement to be executed by the voter.
Upon filing of such application the board of elections shall cause the
registration records of the voter to be marked "Permanently Disabled"
and thereafter shall send an absentee ballot for each succeeding
primary, special or general election to such voter at his or her last
known address by first class mail with a request to the postal
authorities not to forward such ballot but to return it in five days in
the event that it cannot be delivered to the addressee. The mailing of
such ballot for each election shall continue until such voter's
registration is cancelled.

5. The application for an absentee ballot shall contain the following
language printed in bold face directly above the signature line: "I
CERTIFY THAT THE INFORMATION IN THIS APPLICATION IS TRUE AND CORRECT AND
UNDERSTAND 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." Such application shall be accepted for all purposes as the
equivalent of an affidavit and if it contains a material false statement
shall subject the person signing it to the same penalties as if he had
been duly sworn.

6. For purposes of this section, the use of titles, initials or
customary abbreviations of given names by the signers of, or witnesses
to, an absentee ballot request letter, an absentee ballot application
form or an absentee ballot envelope, or the use of customary
abbreviations of addresses of such signers or witnesses, shall not
invalidate such voter's signature or witness's signature on an
application for an absentee ballot or upon canvass or recanvass of the
ballot pursuant to this chapter.

7. If a person entitled to an absentee ballot is unable to sign his
application because of illness, physical disability or inability to
read, he shall be excused from signing upon making a statement, in
substantially the following form, which shall be witnessed by one
person:
"I hereby state that I am unable to sign my application for an absentee
ballot without assistance because I am unable to write by reason of my
illness or physical disability or because I am unable to read. I have
made, or have received assistance in making, my mark in lieu of my
signature."
(Date)...........................

...........................(Mark)

(Name of Voter)
"I, the undersigned, hereby certify that the above named voter affixed
his mark to this application in my presence and I know him to be the
person who affixed his mark to said application and understand that this
statement 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."

...........................

(Signature of Witness)

...........................

(Address of Witness)
Such statement shall be included in the application form furnished by
the board of elections.

8. Printed forms of applications for absentee ballots in accordance
with the requirements of this section shall be provided by the board of
elections. An appropriate number shall be retained by the board of
elections for the purpose of furnishing an application form to each
qualified voter who applies therefor before the board of elections,
either in person or by mail, and an appropriate number shall be
delivered to each board of inspectors on registration days with the
election supplies, and the board of inspectors shall retain the
completed and unused applications and return them to the board of
elections with their election supplies and an appropriate number shall
be available for distribution to officers of political parties, county
clerks, city, town and village clerks, colleges, libraries, hospitals,
nursing homes, senior citizens centers and any other convenient
distribution source which is approved by the local or state board of
elections and which requests such forms.

10. The state board of elections shall prescribe a standard
application form for use under this section. The use of any application
form which substantially complies with the provisions of this section
shall be acceptable and any application filed on such a form shall be
accepted for filing.