UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – Oneida County Board of Elections Commissioners Sarah F. Bormann and Nichole D. Shortell remind Oneida County voters that applications requesting an absentee ballot for the 2021 General Election by mail must be received at the Board of Elections office no later than close of business Monday, October 18th.

Oneida County residents may apply for an absentee ballot via mail, email, fax, or via the New York State Board of Elections electronic portal at https://absenteeballot.elections.ny.gov/. Voters applying for an absentee ballot by mail are encouraged to mail their applications as soon as possible to ensure the application is received by the upcoming deadline.

Absentee voters may apply for an absentee ballot in person at the Board of Elections office at Union Station, 321 Main Street, 3rd Floor in Utica until November 1, the day before the election.

Voters applying for an absentee ballot due to the COVID-19 pandemic should select “temporary illness or physical disability” as their reason for requesting an absentee ballot. This category has been expanded for 2021 to cover voters affected by COVID-19 or those who are worried about the potential of contracting it.

Voters who meet the deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail will be mailed a ballot as soon as practicable by the Board of Elections. To cast an absentee ballot, voters should:

  1. Mark the ballot according to their choices for each office following the instructions on the ballot
  2. Fold up the absentee ballot and place it in the Oath Envelope. (This envelope will have a place for the voter’s signature.)
  3. Sign and date the outside of the Oath Envelope.
  4. Seal the Oath Envelope.
  5. Place the Oath Envelope in the Return Envelope. (This envelope will have the return address of the Oneida County Board of Elections on the outside and should have a logo that reads, “Official Election Mail”).
  6. Seal the Return Envelope and mail it to the Board of Elections.

Absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day, November 2nd, and received by the Board of Elections no later than November 9th to be counted. Voters may also return their absentee ballot by:

  • Bringing it to the Oneida County Board of Elections Office no later than November 2nd by 9pm.
  • Bringing it to an early voting site between October 23rd and October 31st.
  • Bringing it to a poll site on November 2nd by 9pm.

Voters are reminded that certain errors or problems that can occur when a voter completes an absentee ballot envelope are now considered “curable” by New York State Election Law. Many of these errors or problems are curable by means of filing a cure statement with the Board of Elections. If your ballot envelope has a curable defect, you will receive a notice from the Board of Elections that you should respond to as soon as possible to ensure your vote can be counted. For voters interested in learning more, the cure process is described here: https://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/download/Voting/CuresProcess2021Guidance.pdf.

Voters are encouraged to contact the Oneida County Board of Elections via phone at (315) 798-5765 or via email at BoardofElections@ocgov.net with any questions.