The Albany Times-Union tells us:
This just in from Columbia County: when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s absentee ballot came up in the queue, the poll watchers for Jim Tedisco objected to it, saying the senator was in the county on election day and should have voted in person.
I just checked the New York Board of Elections website on this question, and it cites the following qualifications to vote absentee:
* unavoidably absent from your county or, if a resident of the city of New York absent from said city, 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;
For those of you who might be wondering: The Senate was indeed scheduled to be in session on Tuesday, March 31, the day of the special election. So it seems to me that Gillibrand was justified (and prudent) in voting absentee.