How to actually vote on the absentee ballot for June primary

Absentee ballots for the June 23 primary are now being mailed out. (If you haven’t yet sent in your application please do that online right now — voting absentee is the healthiest way to vote this year.)

You will get one very long ballot that is not easy to decipher — tons of empty space, candidates on both sides of the ballot, a list of presidential candidates, and then another long list of delegates pledged to support those presidential candidates.

Here’s what you need to know.

On ballot side 1, vote for Congress (A), Assembly (B), and President (C).

This should be straightforward, just make sure you see all the candidates.

A. If you are in Grand Street Dems, you are either in Congressional District 7 or 12. If you are in 7, GSD endorses Nydia Velázquez. If you are in 12, GSD endorses Carolyn Maloney.

B. GSD endorses Yuh-Line Niou for re-election.

C. GSD did not make an endorsement for President.

On ballot side 2, vote for Delegates to the Democratic National Convention (D).

This is where it starts to get confusing. The names here are people who want to go to the Democratic National Convention this summer to cast official votes for the party’s Presidential and Vice Presidential nominees. This is independent from your vote in (C) for President, but tied up with the overall vote for President in your Congressional District.


Delegates pledged to a candidate will get selected in proportion to the percentage of votes their presidential candidate receives in each district (candidates need to clear 15% of the vote to get any delegates).

At its most basic level, if Joe Biden receives 50% of the vote in your district, then 50% of the delegates pledged to Biden will get selected to go to the convention. Which ones? The Biden delegates with the most votes out of all the Biden delegates.

You do not have to vote for delegates pledged to the candidate you voted for for President. You can vote for up to seven delegates if you are in Congressional District 7, and up to eight delegates if you are in Congressional District 12.

Place ballot in envelope #1, SIGN it, then put envelope #1 into envelope #2.

Even this part may be confusing. The envelope with your name on it and lots of other writing (“Official Absentee Ballot”) is where you seal up your ballot. You must sign and date the very bottom of the back of this envelope.

(Note: the part of the envelope that says “Official Absentee Ballot for” with lots of blanks does not need to be filled out, since this information is already printed to the left.)

Then you put that package into the slightly larger envelope (“Business Reply Mail”), and the whole thing goes in the mail.

You do not need to add postage. Ballots must be postmarked by June 22.