Understand who can apply to vote absentee under T.C.A. § 2-6-502

To vote pursuant to the above statute, an individual must fall into one of the following categories.

MILITARY PERSONNEL: Persons who are United States citizens, residents of Tennessee and members of the Uniformed Services (i.e., armed forces personnel), and their family members.

"Armed forces personnel" is defined in T.C.A. § 2-1-104(1) as members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Environmental Science Service Administration, Public Health Service of the United States or members of the Merchant Marine of the United States, and their spouses and dependents.

CIVILIANS OUTSIDE U.S.: Persons who are United States citizens, residents of Tennessee, and who are currently residing overseas.

OVERSEAS CITIZEN: A United States citizen who resides outside the U.S. and, but for living outside the U.S., would be qualified to vote in Tennessee.

PERSONS BORN OVERSEAS: A person who has never lived in the U.S. but has a parent who is eligible to vote in Tennessee may vote in Tennessee in the same voting residence claimed by the parent.

Request an absentee ballot

An individual who meets the above requirements may request an absentee ballot by completing a Federal Post Card application, also known as a “Form 76 or FPCA” (herein Form 76). An overview of the process may be found at FVAP.gov.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program provides an online version of the Form 76 that a voter may complete and send to the local county election commission. Once you have provided all the information needed to obtain a ballot, print the form and sign the application.

The form may be mailed, faxed or emailed with an attached document that includes a scanned signature to the local county election commission. A form may be faxed only if the election commission office has a fax machine physically located in its office.  If you do not provide all the information required on the by-mail ballot application, the county election commission will reject the application and return the application to the voter immediately by mail to be completed and returned again.

Receive your absentee ballot

Tennessee allows you to receive an absentee ballot by mail or e-mail.  Please indicate how you would like to receive your absentee ballot on your request.  If you indicate e-mail, provide your e-mail address (on the Form 76 your e-mail address should be provided in Block 2) with the request.  If you do not indicate how you want your absentee ballot sent, the absentee ballot will be mailed. Tennessee does not allow you to receive your absentee ballot by fax.

Submit the voted ballot to the county election commission

The voted ballot must be received by mail by the close of the polls on election day. If the ballot is rejected, the registered voter will be notified that the ballot was rejected and why the ballot was rejected.