Welcome to the official website of Jefferson County New York

Absentee Voting

Check the status of your absentee ballot request

Qualifications to Vote by Absentee Ballot 

  1. Absent from your county or, if a resident of New York City absent from the five boroughs, on Election Day.
  2. Unable to appear at the polls due to temporary or permanent illness or disability (temporary illness includes being unable to appear due to risk of contracting or spreading a communicable disease like COVID-19).
  3. Unable to appear because you are the primary care giver of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled.
  4. A resident or patient of a Veterans Health Administration Hospital.
  5. Detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony.

Due dates

HEADS UP! The state Legislature has recently changed the due dates for mailed-in absentee ballot applications. The application MUST be received by us by Friday, Oct. 18 in order to be guaranteed to be sent out. If you do not receive your ballot in time, there are three options:
1) Come to our office during business hours and request one in person, which can be done through Nov. 1.
2) Vote during the 60 hours of early voting from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31.
3) Vote on Election Day at your local poll site.

How to Vote by Absentee Ballot 

*EXPIRED OCT. 18* Option #1: Online -- You may apply through the New York State Absentee Ballot Application Portal.

*EXPIRED OCT. 18* Option #2: Online, then By Mail: You may download a PDF version of the  New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form and mail it to us (175 Arsenal St., Watertown, NY 13601)

*EXPIRED OCT. 18* Option #3: Online, then By Fax: You may download a PDF version of the  New York State Absentee Ballot Application Form and fax it to us: (315) 785-5197.

*EXPIRED OCT. 18* Option #4: Over the phone, then through the mail: You may call us between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (315) 785-3027 and request that an application be mailed to you. If you cannot pick up your ballot, or will not be able to receive it through the mail, you have the right to designate someone to pick it up for you. Only that person designated on your application may pick up and deliver your ballot.

Option #5: In person: You may pick up an absentee ballot application at 175 Arsenal St., Watertown, NY 13601 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Unless you are permanently ill or disabled, you will need to re-apply in any year you'll need an application ballot. Those with disabilities or permanent illness have the right to receive an absentee ballot for each subsequent election without further application. Select "permanent illness or disability" when returning your ballot application. You will then automatically receive an absentee ballot for every election until your registration is canceled.

Send completed absentee applications to the Jefferson County Board of Elections at: 175 Arsenal Street, Watertown, NY 13601

Ballots must be postmarked by the day of election and received by the county Board of Elections within seven days following the election (14 days for military and overseas voters) in order to be counted.

If you are visually impaired or otherwise disabled, such that your disability requires you to use an accessible absentee ballot application, you have two accessible options to request a ballot using the  

Option #1: You may apply using the Accessible Electronic Ballot Application Portal or;

Option #2: You can complete the Accessible Absentee Ballot with Instructions and either email the application to elections@co.jefferson.ny.us or mail to us (175 Arsenal St., Watertown, NY 13601)

Absentee Drop Off

Absentees can be mailed or dropped off at any time on or before Nov. 2. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT! 

Before election day: You can drop your ballot off at our office.

Early Voting Days: You will not have to wait in line to drop your ballot off at the early voting site during any of our early voting hours. Please come to our office on the first floor and we will stamp it and secure it for you.

Election Day: You will be able to drop in a secured Absentee ballot bag without having to wait in line at any of our poll sites. You can also drop your ballot off at our office.