The deadline to request an absentee ballot for the Nov. 8 election in Tennessee is Nov.
There is a wide range of eligibility requirements for registered voters in the state to vote by mail.
The eligibility list includes the following:
- Those who are 60 years of age or older.
- A person registered will be outside the county where he/she is registered during the early voting period and all day on Election Day.
- Those who are hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and unable to appear at their polling place to vote (this includes persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
- Someone is the caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill, or disabled (this includes voters who care for or reside with persons who have underlying medical or health conditions which in their determination render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or at greater risk should they contract it). A physician’s statement is not required to check this box.
- People and their spouses who are full-time students in an accredited college or university outside the county where they are registered.
- Those who reside in a nursing home, assisted living facility or home for the aged outside their county of residence.
- Those who are a candidate for office in the election.
- People who are observing a religious holiday that prevents them from voting in person during the early voting period and on Election Day.
- Those serving as Election Day officials or as members or employees of the election commission.
- Someone who is unable to vote in-person due to jury duty.
- Those with a physical disability and an inaccessible polling place.
- People or spouses possessing a valid commercial drivers license (CDL) or Transportation Worker
Identification Credential (TWIC) card and they 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.
- Members of the military or who are an overseas citizen.
- Those on the permanent absentee list.
Those requesting an absentee ballot are encouraged to fill out a request form to their local election commission office, which includes the following information:
- Name of the registered voter
- Address of the voter’s residence
- Voter’s social security number
- Voter’s date of birth
- Address to mail the ballot
- The election in which the voter wishes to participate.
- 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.
- Voter’s signature.
A request that contains the above-mentioned information will be processed and a ballot will be mailed to the voter. Ballots must be returned via mail (UPS, FedEx, USPS, etc.) to the local election commission office no later than the close of polling locations on Nov. 8. A request for an absentee ballot may also be printed from the website at GoVoteTN.gov. To prevent absentee bymail voter fraud, ballots are watermarked and election officials match the signature on the envelope with the one on ﬁle.
Absentee by-mail ballots are not opened until Election Day and are counted by local bipartisan counting boards.
Tennessee was determined by The Heritage Foundation to have the most-secured elections in the nation. Voters must present a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot at polling locations. The Secretary of State’s office noted voting machines in Tennessee are not connected to the internet.
The early-voting period for the Nov. 8 election is Oct. 19 through Nov. 3. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 11. For more information on registering to vote, registration status, address changes and absentee ballot requests in Lake County, contact the election commission office at 731-253-7521 or visit the office at 217 S. Court St., Tiptonville, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The office is closed for lunch from 12-1 p.m. daily.