Absentee Voting

Absentee By-mail Ballot Information

Frequently Asked Questions

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Click here for more information about accessible absentee ballots.

  1. Am I eligible to vote absentee by-mail?

    You can vote absentee by-mail if you fall under one of the following categories:

    • You will be outside the county where you are registered during the early voting period and all day on Election Day.
    • You or your spouse are a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county where you are registered.
    • You are on the permanent absentee list (see question 4 below).
    • You reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home for the aged outside your county of residence.
    • You will be unable to vote in-person due to jury duty.
    • You are sixty (60) years of age or older.
    • You have a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place.
    • You are hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at your polling place to vote.
    • You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled.
    • You are a candidate for office in the election.
    • You serve as an Election Day official or as a member or employee of the election commission.
    • You are observing a religious holiday that prevents you from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day.
    • You or your spouse possess a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) card and you will be working outside the state or county of registration during the open hours of early voting and Election Day and have no specific out-of-county or out-of-state address to which mail may be sent or received during such time.
    • You are a member of the military or are an overseas citizen.
  2. How can I request an absentee by-mail ballot?

    You must submit a written request containing the information below to your local county election commission office by the seventh day before Election Day. You can use the absentee ballot request form to make sure all required information is provided.

    You can submit your written request for an absentee ballot by mail, fax, or e-mail. If e-mailing your request, be sure the attached document contains the information below and your scanned signature.

    1. Name of the registered voter
    2. Address of the voter's residence
    3. Voter's social security number
    4. Voter's date of birth
    5. Address to mail the ballot
    6. The election in which the voter wishes to participate. If the election involves a primary, the political party in which the voter wishes to participate.
    7. Reason the voter wishes to vote absentee. If applicable, a copy of the CDL containing the CDL number or the TWIC card must be included in the voter’s request.
    8. Voter's signature

    A request that contains this information will be processed and a ballot will be mailed to the voter.

    NOTICE: A person who is not an employee of an election commission commits a Class E felony if such person gives an application for an absentee ballot to any person or commits a Class A misdemeanor if such person gives an unsolicited request for application for absentee ballot to any person. T.C.A. § 2-6-202(c)(3) and (4).

  3. What if I do not provide all of the information required on the absentee by-mail ballot application?

    The county election commission will return the application to you so you can make corrections and resubmit your application.

  4. Do I qualify for the permanent absentee list?

    You will receive an application for ballot for each election if your licensed physician signs a statement stating that, in their judgment, you are medically unable to vote in person. The statement must be filed not less than seven (7) days before the election and signed under the penalty of perjury.

  5. When can I request my ballot?

    You may request an absentee by-mail ballot no earlier than ninety (90) days before the election and no later than seven (7) days before the election. To be processed for the next election, the application must be received by the election commission no later than seven (7) days before the election.

    The deadline for the August 6 election is Thursday, July 30.

    Requests for the November presidential election cannot be received until August 5.

  6. What if I do not receive or ruin my ballot and can no longer use it?

    You should notify your county election commission.

  7. What is the deadline to return my ballot so it can be counted?

    You must mail your ballot in time for your county election commission to receive it no later than the close of polls on Election Day.

  8. Can I hand deliver my ballot to the election office?

    No. You must return your ballot by mail (USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.).

  9. Is any additional information required if I registered to vote by mail?

    Unless you are on the permanent absentee voting register or enrolled in the Safe at Home program, you must appear in-person to vote in the first election after you have registered by mail. If you have already voted in-person since you registered, then no additional information will be required to vote by mail.

  10. How can I receive an accessible absentee ballot?

    If you have a print disability that prevents you from reading or marking a paper absentee by-mail ballot, you may submit a Print Disability Absentee Ballot Request form to request an accessible ballot by e-mail.

    A print disability is one that interferes with the person’s ability to effectively read, write, or use print materials and includes blindness, low vision, and some physical disabilities such as paralysis. Low vision is the loss of sight that is not correctable with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

    You must complete and submit parts one and two of this form to receive an accessible absentee ballot. Both parts should be submitted to your county election commission. You may submit the forms by mail, fax or e-mail. When e-mailing, you must attach the completed request forms to the e-mail.