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Eligible voters can request an absentee by-mail ballot

From Staff Reports • May 9, 2020 at 11:26 AM

Eligible Tennesseans can now request a ballot to vote absentee by-mail in the Aug. 6 state and federal primaries and the county general election.

State officials say voters can ask for a mail-in ballot without ever leaving their homes.

“Election offices are already accepting absentee by-mail ballot requests for the August election,” Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett said Friday. “One of the most popular reasons to vote absentee is being 60 years or older. I encourage those voting absentee by-mail this year to make their request now.”

Tennessee state law provides many ways to vote absentee by-mail. In addition to a voter being 60 or older, other popular reasons allowed under state law to vote absentee by-mail are as follows:

• The voter will be outside the county where they vote during the early voting period and all day on Election Day.

• The voter or the voter’s spouse is enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited college or university outside the county of registration

• The voter will be unable to vote in person due to service as a juror.

• The voter is hospitalized, ill or physically disabled and because of such condition, cannot vote in person.

• The voter is a caretaker of a person who is hospitalized, ill or disabled

• The voter will be working as a poll official.

• The voter is a member of the military and out of the county where they vote.

For a more exhaustive list of statutory reasons to vote absentee by-mail go to GoVoteTN.com. Voters who meet a reason under Tennessee law to vote absentee by-mail can submit a written request to their local election commission by mail, fax or email.

Your written request must include your name, home address, full social security number date of birth. The request must also include the address to mail the ballot to if it is different your home address.

To receive a primary ballot for the August election, you must request either a Republican or Democratic primary ballot. If a party is not specified, you will receive only the general election ballot.

You must state which of the qualifying reasons you meet to vote absentee by-mail. For example: I am 60 years old.

It must also include your signature, and a phone number is recommended in case your election commission needs any additional information.

To submit a request by email, attach a document with all the necessary information and your scanned signature.

Requests must be received by your local election commission no later than seven days before the election. That means absentee by-mail requests must be received by July 30 to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 6 election.

Early voting for the August election begins July 17. The deadline to register to vote in the election is July 7.

For more information about who is eligible to vote absentee by-mail or to find your local election commission, visit GoVoteTN.com.

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