Don’t Miss Election Day: How to Vote by Absentee Ballot


What if you have registered to vote at Onondaga County but can’t appear at the polls in person on Election Day? How can you vote if you are a student temporarily staying in Onondaga County?

Absentee ballots are the answer for those voters’ dilemmas.

“Knowing about absentee ballots will give people an opportunity to have their voices heard. They don’t have to miss the voting because they’re out of town or can not go to the poll station on Election Day,” said Nicole Walsh, administrative assistant to Republican Elections Commissioner Helen Kiggins Walsh at Onondaga County Board of Elections.

Four groups of people  are eligible for absentee ballot:

  •  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:  people who are unable to vote in person because of religious scruples, duties for the Board of Elections or who are victims of domestic violence

To get an absentee ballot, voters can also visit the website of Onondaga County Board of Elections and download an application for the absentee ballot.

Voters can also pick up the ballot at the Board of Elections. They can mail their absentee ballots back to the elections board. For the federal elections primary on June 24, 2014, absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than June 23. For the Nov. 4 general election, the deadline is a postmark of no later than Nov. 3.ection Day, voters can cast their  absentee ballot at the Board of Elections.

To be eligible for an absentee ballot, the voters must give:

  • Name and date of birth
  • The address where registered
  • An address where the ballot should be sent
  • The reason for the request
  • The dates that the voter will be out of the county (optional)
  • The signature of the voter

For students who are temporarily living in Onondaga County, they can either choose to vote here or register as an absentee voter at their home counties. Students who want to vote in their home counties can ask for absentee ballot from the Board of Elections in their home counties.

“It’s a personal choice,” said Walsh of the Onondaga County Board of Elections.

(Mei Wang is a graduate student in magazine, newspaper and online journalism.)


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