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Recently, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law several bills to ease absentee voting and to make polls safer for in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic. For clarity to voters on what options they will have for voting in the November 3rd General Election, the Tompkins County Board of Elections offers the following:

In-Person Voting: When citizens vote in person and cast their ballot, it is counted and locked in. There are two options for in-person voting:

  • Early Voting is scheduled for 60 hours across 9 days from October 24 to November 1. Anyone registered to vote in Tompkins County can go to either of our two Early Voting sites, sign the electronic poll book, be issued a ballot, mark the ballot, and cast the ballot just like on Election Day.
  • Election Day Voting on November 3. All Tompkins County polling places will be open between 6 AM to 9 PM. Voters must go to their assigned polling place during those hours. They will sign the electronic poll book, be issued a ballot, mark their ballot, and then cast the ballot.

When voters enter the polling place, they will use hand sanitizer, be issued a pair of plastic gloves to wear at all times, and be expected to physically distance while in the polling place.

Absentee Ballot Voting: When citizens vote by absentee ballot, they will mark the ballot and insert it into the provided oath envelope and seal the envelope. Voters should NOT put anything but the ballot into the oath envelope. They will sign their name after the oath on the outside of the envelope and place the oath envelope inside the provided return envelope to return it to the Tompkins County Board of Elections. The ballots will remain in secure storage at the Tompkins County Board of Elections until they are opened and counted. The counting of the absentee ballots will begin as soon as practicable after Election Day.

The completed absentee ballot can be returned via U.S. mail or dropped off in person at any early polling place or at the Board of Elections (128 East Buffalo Street, Ithaca, NY 14850) during business hours or until 9PM on Election Day.

To receive an absentee ballot, voters must first file an application for the ballot with the Tompkins County Board of Elections. Those who applied for an absentee ballot for the 2020 primary elections should apply again for an absentee ballot for the general election. They can do this by filling out an application form and filing it through the mail, by calling the Tompkins County Board of Elections office at (607) 274-5522, in person the Tompkins County Board of Elections office, or by electronic means. Methods of filing electronically include via fax ((607) 274-5533), email attachment (at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), or the absentee ballot application portal link on the Tompkins County Board of Elections website. Once the Board of Elections receives the application and ballots become available, one will be sent to the voter in the manner requested.

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