Tennessee

Step 1: Apply

Can I vote-by-mail in my state?


Maybe. Tennessee requires an excuse to vote-by-mail. You can find a list of the accepted excuses below. If you qualify, follow the application steps listed. If you don't qualify, call your representatives and ask them to change the rules. Many states have already done so this year. Click here to register as a new voter or to check your existing registration. (It's always a good idea to double-check.) https://tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup/




Who is allowed to vote-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.
  • 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; and/or you have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • You are the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled, and/or you have determined it is impossible or unreasonable to vote in-person due to the COVID-19 situation.
  • 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.




Where should I send my completed application?


Deliver your completed application to your county election office via mail, email, fax, or in person. When emailing, you must scan and attach the completed form to the email. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php




When is the application due?


Technically, applications must be received by October 27, 2020. To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you send it immediately and no later than the middle of October. New voters must register by October 5, 2020.




***Shenanigan Alerts***


Things to look out for: At this time, only five states have the kind of restrictive regulations Tennessee has. If you registered to vote by mail or online, even if you meet the requirements to vote absentee, you must vote in-person if this is the first election since you registered. Only those who are on the permanent absentee voting register or enrolled in the Safe at Home program are exempt.




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php




What if I don't qualify to vote-by-mail?


It can be frustrating to learn that different states have different rules for voting. Where you live shouldn't affect your right to vote safely. If you are a Tennessee resident and you want to vote-by-mail, call your elected officials. Pressure from constituents matters. Other states have changed their requirements this year due to concern over Coronavirus. At this time, only five states have the kind of restrictive regulations Tennessee has. Enter your address in the link below. Call the offices of your governor and state legislators listed at the bottom. https://www.270towin.com/elected-officials/





Step 2: Vote-by-Mail

When do I have to mail or drop off my completed ballot?


Technically, ballots must be received by Election Day. (November 3, 2020) To avoid delays within the election office and the postal service, we recommend you return your voted ballot as soon as it arrives and no later than the middle of October. You may also be able to drop your ballot at your local election office. When we called, some offices claimed the ballot was required to be mailed. It's a good idea to call your county and check first. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php




Does it require a stamp? Two?


Read the outside of the envelope to see if additional postage may be required. The US Postal service will deliver any ballot, regardless of whether or not it has the correct postage, or any at all. They will charge the local election office for any unpaid postage. https://time.com/4547550/absentee-mail-ballot-postage-stamp-postal-service-usps/




Can my ballot be dropped off at a polling site or dedicated drop box?


You may not deliver your ballot to a polling site and there will be no drop boxes.




Is there any way to check if my ballot was received?


https://tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup/




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php





Early In-Person Voting

Does my state offer any in-person early voting days?


October 14 - October 29, 2020




Link to information and locations:


Contact your local election office for times and availability. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php




I have a question that wasn't answered here.


Please call the county election office where you live. They are in charge of elections and should be able to help you. https://tnsos.org/elections/election_commissions.php





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