An absentee ballot is a paper ballot, which looks exactly like the ballot on the voting machine. The ballot will have instructions on how to mark the ballot. You will receive a return envelope with the ballot that contains an oath, which must be signed, or your ballot will not be counted. The ballot must be postmarked no later than the day before Election Day.

There are several different absentee voters:

MILITARY – Members of the Armed Forces and their dependents

REGULAR – Voters who are out of the county, or ill on an Election Day

SPECIAL FEDERAL – U.S. Citizens living abroad whose last U.S. address was in Rensselaer County are only allowed to vote for Federal Offices.

SPECIAL PRESIDENTIAL – Registered Rensselaer County voters who have moved to another jurisdiction after the last day to register are only allowed to vote for President.

In general, in order to obtain an Absentee Ballot, a person must, on the day of the election

  • Be absent from Rensselaer County because of duties, occupation, business, studies or vacation, (accompanying spouse, child or parent also qualifies).
  • Be unable to appear personally at the polling place because of illness or physical disability (permanent or temporary) or because of confinement to a hospital or nursing home.
  • Be absent from voting residence by virtue of being detained in jail awaiting action by a grand jury or awaiting trial or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony, if otherwise qualified to vote in the election district assigned to their residence.

If you qualify for an absentee ballot, you must request an application. If you have access to a printer, you may download an application form. Print it out, fill it in, then mail the completed application to us or deliver in person at this address:

Rensselaer County Board of Elections

1600 7 th Avenue, 1 st floor

Troy, NY 12180

New York State
Absentee Voting and BallotsRules and Procedures

Download a PDF version of the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form

Download a PDF version of the Military/Federal Absentee Application Form

If you are not a Rensselaer County resident, you can find out where to mail your form by calling 1-800-FOR-VOTE (1-800-367-8683). If you use a TDD, please call 1-800-533-8683.

Mailed application must be signed and postmarked no later than seven (7) days before the election.