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New York is one of eight states which allow early voting but require an excuse to vote early. Early voting begins as soon as ballots are available (at least 32 days before election day) and ends the day prior to the election. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.[1][2]

To vote early you need to provide an excuse for why you will be unable to vote at the polls during normal voting hours. The following are valid reasons:[1]

  • unavoidably absent from your county on election day
  • unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • a patient in a Veterans’ Administration Hospital
  • detained in jail awaiting Grand Jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony
  1. 1.0 1.1 Long Distance Voter "Early Voting Rules," accessed December 16, 2013
  2. National Conference of State Legislatures "Absentee and Early Voting," accessed December 16, 2013